June 2018 Print

President's Report

We have all heard the saying “teamwork makes the dream work” but what if we reversed it and said, dream work makes the team work?  Without a dream, without a vision, without a goal there is no forward movement, no progress.  Dreams are what motivate us to do better, to be better.  We tell our children to dream big for a reason, knowing that we as parents become their team to help them achieve it.  For NC SGMP, we too have a dream that is backed by an awesome team. I am not just speaking of those members who comprise our board, but everyone who is a member of this chapter who help to make the dream of a local chapter possible.  Our dream of being one, if not the finest, chapter of SGMP starts with our members being present and being involved.  There is no NC SGMP without you.  So thank you for all that you do and all that we will do together to further the dream as one awesome team.

I want to take a moment and acknowledge two of our newer team members who recently took and passed the CGMP exam at NEC earlier this month.  Congratulations to Jessica O’ Sullivan and Julie Truluck! Both ladies work at the UNC’s School of Government.

Our chapter celebrates 25 years in existence this year.  We want to celebrate this awesome milestone.  It was acknowledged during our spring conference in Fayetteville, but 25 deserves a real celebration.  More information will be forth coming as plans and made and finalized for an afterhours celebration to hopefully include many of our past members.

There is no chapter meeting during these summer months, but the board will be working hard.  Our annual board planning retreat will be held on July 12th.  This day- long retreat will be our tool to identify goals for the upcoming year and how we will achieve them.  Your help will be needed.  We will be sending out a member survey to get ideas on topics that are of interest to you for our educational meetings, what can be done to make meetings better and how to increase attendance and membership.  We also welcome any ideas regarding fundraising for the upcoming year.  You can submit any ideas, questions or concerns via email to

Dedication Responsibility Education Attitude Motivation
results in
Together Everyone Achieves More

See you all at our next meeting in September.

Erica Quillet

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NC SGMP Celebrates 25 Years

The North Carolina Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals was chartered on March 11, 1993, with a membership of 91 government planners and suppliers.  Although membership has reduced for various reasons, the chapter’s exemplary education, society mission, camaraderie and sense of unity, still remains strong.

I am amazed seeing the growth of this group.   When I say growth, I don’t mean that our members grew, I mean that we matured.  It’s like watching a child grow up.  We went through some very tough times.   We lost members, gained new members, and some members returned.   Somehow we always managed to come out and survive.  There were several years we were in survival mode only, barely making it.  Other chapters were closing and we were so close to being another one to close.  Our members are amazing, somehow they always have faith that we will be ok.  Just when you thought it was time to throw in the towel, our members would rally and keep going.  We had several years where the board was doing it all, and years where we had major membership support.  As I said in the beginning it was like watching a child grow, going through the terrible twos, dealing with the teenage years and then into young adulthood.   It was during those times when we were just making it through one month at a time that we decided we wanted to do better than "just get by".   We set our goals towards acquiring awards from National.   We earned the Chaper Merit award two years in a row.  Then decided to go for more and were so proud when we earned the Honorable Mention chapter award.  We worked hard to make this chapter one that we all could be proud to be a part of.  I am so proud of this chapter.   You know you will be successful when the group never gave up on the mission and dreams.

Now 25 years later - we are strong.  There will always be struggles and challenges along with the honors.  I personally look forward to watching this chapter grown into the golden years.  

Our members are incredible, never forget that.   It’s because of all of us that we are celebrating 25 years and it will be because of each of us that we will celebrate many, many more.

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SGMP National Education Conference

Attending the SGMP National Education Conference in Norfolk, Virginia June 5-8, 2018 Norfolk, Virginia was a rewarding and inspiring experience.  The North Carolina Chapter was well represented with 8 members* in attendance. 

Congratulations to Jessica O’Sullivan and Julie Truluck, Program Managers with UNC School of Government for completing the CGMP Pre-Conference Classes and earning their Certified Government Meeting Professional Certification.  This is quite an achievement!

During the Pre-Conference Joint Leadership Session there was an opportunity to exchange ideas and bond with other chapters sharing leadership tools and ideas. 

The conference speakers were engaging and motivating.  Speakers included Keynote Speaker, Anthony Melechiorri, TV personality and host and creator of “Hotel Impossible” on Travel Channel, Walter Bond, Executive Coach (Think. Execute. Win!), Vincent Phipps, Communication VIP, and Dr. Dale Henry, Your Best Unlimited, to name a few.   The educational opportunities over the two days included topics across the core competencies such as:

  • Marvelous Meetings: How to Make Your Events Productive and Enjoyable!
  • Your Mobile Meeting App: How to Boost Adoption and Interactivity
  • Negotiating from a Stronger Base: What's Behind the Curtain of Hotel Negotiations
  • What Time is the Noon Lunch? Maintain Your Sanity in the Wonderful World of Meetings
  • This is How You Do It-Proven Secrets to Email Etiquette
  • Are You Safe? No You're Not - Cyber Security
  • From Conflict to Conversation
  • Negotiating Contentious Hotel Contract Clauses
  • The Inner Secrets to Double Your Memory


There were numerous opportunities for networking at each meal as well as at the Welc

ome Reception and EXPO Trade Show.  Attendees made valuable contacts and new friendships that will last long into the future. 

We congratulate the following award winners for 2018-19 for their high achievement and dedication to SGMP:


Our SGMP chapters have been up to some amazing work! 

Communications of the Year Awards
1st - Old Dominion Chapter
2nd - Rocky Mountain Chapter
3rd - Missouri State Capital Chapter

Programming of the Year Awards
1st - Old Dominion Chapter
2nd - Pacific Northwest Chapter
3rd - Missouri State Capital Chapter

Chapter Operations Awards
Honors - Michigan Chapter
Merit - Old Dominion Chapter
Merit - Missouri State Capital Chapter

Highest Net Growth Award
Central Florida Chapter

Highest Percentage Growth Award
San Antonio Alamo Chapter

The 37th Annual SGMP National Education Conference will take place in Detroit, Michigan June 25-27, 2019, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

* Myron Jones, Tarshi McCoy, Jessica O’Sullivan, Erica Quillet, Jon Sedgwick, Ilka Solomon, Julie Truluck, and Renita Williams


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Planner and Supplier of the Year

Planner of the Year

Last month at the May Conference in Fayetteville, NC SGMP proudly awarded Lori Schwarze the Planner of the Year Award. For those that know Lori and the work she’s done for the chapter this award should come as no surprise. Lori was chosen not only for her dedication to the chapter, but also her drive to improve communication to our members. Most notably, Lori spearheaded the effort to move our website to Star Chapter. In making this transition, members experienced a well-organized website, easy registration process, and consistent email communication from the website. We couldn’t have made this decision as a chapter without Lori’s diligent research and desire to improve communication and the chapter. Congratulations to Lori on this well-deserved award.

Supplier of the Year

Sarah Campbell was the recipient of the Supplier of the Year Award last month at the annual NC SGMP Conference held in May in Fayetteville. Sarah is one of the rising leaders with NC SGMP. This past year Sarah chaired the Membership Committee and was consistently a welcoming presence at our registration table for every meeting. Her organization and friendly face are both huge reasons that membership has increased. Not only has Sarah been our membership guru, but she also is a champion of Johnston County and had put NC SGMP in contact with many unique venues for our monthly meetings included a recent trip to a moonshine distillery. Sarah’s energy is contagious and this chapter is grateful for all that she’s done to make it better. Congratulations to Sarah on all her accomplishments this year.

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NC SGMP Spring Annual Conference

The 2018 NC SGMP Spring Conference was held May 8-9 at the Ramada Plaza in Fayetteville. We had two days of education and fun activities led by our host, Myron Jones from the Fayetteville Area CVB. This year’s conference was a kick-off to the year-long celebration for the chapter’s 25th anniversary.

Michelle Milligan, SGMP National President, opened our conference with a session on cost savings. Both planners and suppliers discussed ideas to stretch a dollar in meetings including choosing hotels near public transportation and having chefs pick menus using foods that were in season. It was a great way to kick things off.

Following the opening session, we climbed into buses and were whisked away to the Cape Fear Regional Theater. That night we were treated to “Crowns: a Gospel Musical Behind the Curtains”, where we got to see a few songs from the upcoming show and hear from the actors and director. The show was adapted from a book about the tradition of hats in African American rituals and current fashion. Included in the evening was a hat making competition, where our own Renita Williams from the Greensboro Area CVB was pulled up on the stage as a competitor. She was paired up with another lady and they decorated a hat to be judged by Ms. Charlene Graves, a hat queen featured in the original book. Of course, Renita won!

While having dinner, Barbara Armstrong White joined us to talk to us about the way we accept and incorporate change. She shared many stories with us about her childhood and how she was forced to face changes. A few members got to give examples of how they deal with change and issues as well. Barbara also emphasized the importance of taking care of yourself while dealing with change by participating in some form of healthy renewal like meditating or exercising.

Myron then led us on an evening driving tour of downtown Fayetteville on our return to the hotel. Once back at the hotel, the evening wasn’t over. It was on to Game Night. The meeting room was transformed into a fun and competitive area with a putting green, corn hole, Battleship, snacks and much more. However, the most popular game of the night was Giant Jenga. Tarshi McCoy and Garrett Wood went head to head for one of the most stressful and exciting games I had ever seen. After over an hour, the tower was stacked so high then needed to stand in chairs to put blocks on the top. In the end, Garrett won. Most everyone turned in for the night, however, there were rumors that another game started with other contestants and lasted just as long.

Wednesday started fresh with a nice breakfast and a chance for planners to mingle with suppliers. Barbara Armstrong White joined us again to talk about generational diversity. Barbara isn’t a typical speaker – she doesn’t like lecturing but prefers interactive sessions. We did a teambuilding exercise and then discussed the differences in generations and how they like to give and receive information.

After our first session, we hopped on the vans again to head downtown for a historical tour of Fayetteville. From the iconic Market House, one of the few structures in America which employed the town hall-market scheme found in England, to the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Armory and Museum, an organization that was created in 1793, to the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, with exhibits on railroading and the 150th anniversary of Fayetteville State University, many of us learned more about Fayetteville’s history than we knew about our own towns.

After our tour, it was back to the hotel for lunch, 25th anniversary cake and a toast. We also paused to present the Stanton House, a program that provides housing for those going through tough times who have family in the local hospital for treatment, with a car full of pillows for their home. Michelle Milligan joined us to lead another session about our inner strengths and using those to be leaders, both at work and in our SGMP chapter.

We wrapped up the conference with a session on the NC Military Business Center led by Joe Tew and Courtney Smedick. They explained what they have to offer keep business from the military in North Carolina to increase our economy. We also talked a bit about protocol when it comes to planning events with general officers and political leaders. The session was packed with information and it was nice to know that they are there for us as a resource if we need them.

Thanks to the hard work of Myron, the Fayetteville Area CVB and the Programming Committee, the 2018 Spring Conference was one of the best spring conferences I’ve attended. We were able to expand on our skills as professionals and learn about Fayetteville all while having fun. It will be a hard conference to top but I am looking forward to seeing what the Programming Committee has set for us in 2018-2019.

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Social Media & SGMP

Are you following our chapter on Facebook?  We need your help to boost engagement on our page.  Please LIKE @SGMPNorthCarolina and follow along as we post upcoming events and important details about our chapter.

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Great Wolf Lodge

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Fayetteville CVB

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Johnston Country

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