March 2018 Print

Calendar of Events

Next meeting...

Wednesday, April 11th
Cambria Hotel & Suites - RDU Airport
300 Airgate Drive
Morrisville, NC 27560

"Working with Convention Service Managers"
Presented by Julie Brakenbury, CGSP, and Tammy Jeffries, CGSP from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Join us to learn how convention services departments of destination management organizations (DMOs) can expand your planning resources and enhance the event experience and satisfaction for your attendees. Tools, practices, and partnerships with hotels and venues are our expertise.  When you partner with DMO services teams, we make your job easier and your end results for your attendees more satisfying.

Core Competency: Facilities & Services

Check out the article on our Chapter Community Service project - Stanton Hospitality House.  Bring your donation of new sleeping pillows to the April meeting!

Register Now

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Chapter Spring Conference

Are you ready for the Spring Chapter Conference?!  Fayetteville is our host this year and they have so much in store for us!  We'll experience Fayetteville's social scene at Fowler's Restaurant and be treated to a tour of the city and enjoy the southern hospitality that Fayetteville offers!  

Chapter Spring Conference
Tuesday, May 8th - Wednesday, May 9th
Ramada Plaza Fayetteville
1707 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304

For overnight accommodations click here.  Use code: SGMP18 to secure the special rate of $69/night.

Draft Agenda

Tuesday, May 8

10:00am – 1:00pm

Board retreat with lunch

2:00 – 3:30pm

Exhibitor set up        

2:00 – 3:30pm

Registration and hotel check-in

3:30 -  4:30pm

Welcome and education session - Michelle Milligan

4:30 - 5:30pm

Exhibits open with snacks and beverages           

5:30 - 5:50pm

Load bus for reception/dinner at Fowlers

6:00 - 6:30pm

Reception (drinks and hors d'oeuvres)

6:30 - 7:00pm


7:00 - 8:00pm

Entertainment/Speaker - Barbara White


Return to hotel for Game Night

Wednesday, May 9

7:30 – 8:30am

Breakfast with exhibitors (hotel check out)

8:30 – 9:30am

Education - Joe Tew

9:45 – 11:45am

Depart for bus/walking tour of Fayetteville  (3 museums)

12:00 – 1:00pm             

25th Anniversary lunch with Michelle Milligan

1:00 – 2:00pm                           

Education - Barbara White

2:15 – 3:15pm

Education - Courtney Smedick



Registration will open April 11.

Registration Fees

Fees include:  Education sessions, 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Supplier fees include: exhibit table, education sessions, 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Planner Members-$75
Planner Non-Members-$85
Supplier Members-$300
Supplier Non-Members-$350

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Supplier Spotlight

Discovering Fayetteville
Come explore Fayetteville, NC, and any of the other 8 communities that comprise America’s Hometown. Just off I-95, you’ll discover the rich role the area played in our country’s history, warmly intermixed with more modern amenities and entertainment opportunities. Shop a little (or a lot!), tour some of our art galleries or museums, stroll through the botanical gardens, or catch an event.

Whether you are coming with a group, or taking a weekend adventure, the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB) is here to help! We will help arrange site visits, assist with promotional items, gather & present proposals, and anything else needed to ensure your trip goes off without a hitch.

Come see what you’ve been missing in America’s Hometown.

Few places in America have played such a formative role in our country's most defining moments as Fayetteville. From its original settlement in 1739 by Scottish immigrants through the deployment of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq today, it is here the very seeds of American freedom, democracy and patriotism were planted and continue to grow.

The Fayetteville area has played key roles during defining moments in America's history. The Liberty Point Resolve of 1775 pledged local support for the Revolutionary War cause for independence from England while Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald rallied for the loyalist cause. After the Revolution, with no permanent state capital, the North Carolina legislature periodically met here.In 1789, at a meeting in Fayetteville, the legislature ratified the U.S. Constitution and chartered the University of North Carolina, America's oldest state university.

Known throughout its history for its cultural diversity and military presence, today the Fayetteville area stands testament to its proud past.

The Arts
Fayettevilles creative diversity may well be one of its best assets. From an array of cultural events, to performing arts and galleries featuring local artisans, to museums, live music and nightlife, Fayetteville serves up a feast for the imagination day in and day out.



Cumberland County has a rich cultural diversity that manifests itself in many aspects, but none quite as delicious as the cuisine. Italian, Cuban, BBQ, classic steakhouses…it’s all right here, waiting to tantalize your tastebuds.

For instance, Chris’ Steakhouse is a popular local eatery that was originally built as a barbecue lodge. Around since 1963, they offer high-end steaks from an open hearth in a classic chophouse setting.

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Community Service

Stanton Hospitality House
Fayetteville NC

We are trying something new - we want our sponsors to choose the charity our chapter helps. And since Visit Fayetteville and the Ramada Plaza Convention Center have generously offered to host our Chapter Spring Conference, we asked them to choose a charity.

The Stanton House of Fayetteville provides housing for families with loved ones that are going through an illness at nearby Cape Fear Valley Medical. Stanton House provides a safe haven so families can be near their loved ones.

They help with all the small details of everyday life that can become so overwhelming when your family members are going through a medical crisis.

Here's how you can help!
The most pressing thing they need right now are regular standard sized new sleeping pillows. The kind you can find at the Dollar Store or Walmart for $6-10. We are looking to collect 10-20 of them from our members.  These can be brought to the April meeting or the May Conference.  

Thank you for making a difference in people's lives!  

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SGMP National Education Conference

Chart Your Course:  Education, Networking and Resources!
2018 NEC
June 5-7, 2018
Norfolk, VA

The SGMP National Education Conference (NEC) is the largest annual event in the government meetings industry.  Government professionals from across the country come together for a one-stop and non-stop education, resources and networking function!  2018 marks the 36th NEC.  

Visit the NEC website for more information and to register.


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Past Meeting Summary

Whiskey, Rum and Emergency Preparedness

The March meeting might have been one of my favorite SGMP meetings of all times.  Having experienced many medical emergencies during programs over the years (the School of Government thinks I’m cursed), I always love a discussion about emergency preparedness. And it didn’t hurt that this meeting was going to be held at Broadslab Distillery in Benson.

As we made the turn off of Highway 50 and followed the gravel driveway down a bit, we were greeted by two lovely barns.  The Barn at Broadslab is a beautiful new building that can be used for meetings, family reunions or weddings. It was obvious that someone focused on functionality when the building was designed. The main room has a permanent stage with a projector, screen and high quality audio visual equipment. Off of the stage there is a Green Room that is often used by grooms for weddings. There is a separate catering kitchen and another room for the food. At the back of the main room, there was a lovely balcony with sliding barn doors that hides the bridal suite.  There is a fireplace in the back corner. Outside there is a patio with a fire pit.  Just across the way, there is another barn that serves as the tasting room and prep area for the spirits that Broadslab makes.

It was in that second barn where the owner of Broadslab Distillery, Jeremy Norris, told us about the history of Broadslab Distillery and his grandfathers’ bootlegging experiences. He gave us a quick overview of how the whiskey and rum are made and bottled. Then it was on to the best part – the tastings.  We only had a small tasting of a few flavors but it was fantastic. For those of you who can’t make it to Benson to taste it for yourselves, you can purchase their products in ABC Stores across the state. Following the tasting, we went back to the big barn for our lunch and education session. Lunch was provided by Cyber Café in Smithfield. The food was amazing.

Jeremy started our session by sharing the safety features of the building, being sure to point out the exits, fire extinguishers and shelter in place locations. Following this overview, Kelly Lindsey, Emergency Management Planner for the City of Raleigh, started her session, Special Events and Emergency Preparedness, by having each of us introduce ourselves by sharing our experiences with emergency situations and one random fact about yourself. It was interesting to hear all of the different situations our members have dealt with over the years, along with all of the fun facts. (In case you wondered, new member Julie Truluck has tiny feet and long-time member Diana McCullers has tons of siblings.)

Kelly shared with us the disaster management cycle where you mitigate and prepare for the emergency and then respond to and recover from the emergency before you start the cycle again. She stressed the importance of situational awareness and how you should take care of yourself, then your team and then others. She mentioned that when preparing for a notice event, like a hurricane that you know is coming, you should be sure to plan to take care of your family and home while you are away. If you are worried about those, you will not be able to focus on the situation at work.

If you work at a hotel, be sure to know your space, resources, capabilities and limitations. In an emergency, you will be one of the people the guests will look to for direction and the emergency professionals will go to for information. Everyone, no matter where they work, should have an emergency response plan. Engage employees and staff in the plan by having drills and exercises so everyone is aware of what to do in the case of different emergencies. If you can, get your local first responders involved. They are happy to help you evaluate and improve your plan.

Kelly summed up the presentation by reminding us to be aware and proactive, establish a culture of preparedness where you work and create and maintain relationships with community partners. Emergency preparedness is a part of the planning process that is easily overlooked so I was grateful that Kelly gave us new tips and sent us back to our work locations with the topic fresh on our minds.

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Membership Report

Our Chapter welcomed two more members - bringing our total member roster to 46 members!  Help spread the word and bring a guest to a meeting!   


  • Courtney Forst, Doubletree by Hilton New Bern Riverfront
  • Jennifer Parrish, Mother Daughter LLC



  • Fred Baars, retired, 1/1/2008
  • Brian Newport, UNC School of Government, 1/1/2012
  • Renita Williams, Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1/9/2012



  • Lana Houk, Hilton Charlotte University Place, 2/1/2010
  • Susan Jensen, UNC School of Government, 2/1/2010
  • Jon Sedgwick, Marriott North Charleston, 2/28/2017


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