October 2014  

President's Corner

I would like to thank all of our WestField Past Presidents for their dedication, leadership and character and also those members who have stood in every board, chair or committee position during our 25-year history. You helped us tremendously and our hats are off to you!

I am so excited to stand with our 2014-2015 Board of Directors. I have so much faith and confidence in each and every one of them and in our year ahead. Though we don’t have a crystal ball, we go forward with hope and determination to do all we have committed to accomplish.

We decided one thing as we swore our allegiance -- this coming year is about nourishing our current membership and restoring our robust membership of years gone by. Where did some of our friends go? We’ll find them. Who are our new friends? We’ll meet them. We know we have so much to offer and once they are here, it will be easy to embrace them, keep them engaged and provide numerous opportunities for ROI.

I speak for our newly installed Board of Directors when I say Thank You to our members and affiliate members. My own personal experience as a member of this chapter has been extraordinary, and it has enriched my life beyond comprehension, both on a personal and professional level. For that, I am so grateful and I want everyone who walks through our doors and into our WestField home to feel that very same way.

It’s emotional. It’s about passion and community and friendship and support and fun.  We have all that here at MPI WestField in abundance and I am so proud of that. We are so lucky.

Thank you, and here’s to our next 25!

Bonnie Cunningham
MPI WestField President, 2014-2015

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Upcoming Events

Our October education program promises valuable, usable content from Nana Danso, award-winning motivational speaker, and author of Real Magic: Breaking Through the Illusion of Success. The topic is "Creating Messages That Stick!"  Watch a 30-second video about this program, customized just for WestField by our speaker, Nana Danso - click here!

Date: Tuesday, October 21st
Place: Tarry Lodge and Tarry Market
Port Chester, NY
Registration and Reception: 5:30 - 6:15 pm @ Tarry Lodge
Presentation: 6:30 - 7:15 pm @ Tarry Market
Dinner Reception: 7:30 - 8:30 pm @ Tarry Market

Today’s world is saturated with information. Everywhere we turn there is information overload. Learn how to create clear and concise messages, make your messages memorable and provide only the information that your audiences would like to hear.

There is a misconception that only younger generations are distracted by texting and Facebook. However, many kids cannot capture the attention of their parents.

The tips you will receive in this presentation will:

  • Enhance your communication skills
  • Enable your messages to get through to diverse audiences, including teenagers
  • Give you the confidence to persuade people to take action

Speaker Bio:

Nana Danso teaches audiences how to create magic in their lives. His knowledge in the area of magic comes from his experience as a close-up magician and his comprehensive study of the psychology of magic.

Nana is a member of Toastmasters International, an organization focused on leadership and communication. His insights and incredible story connect easily with audiences and have earned him the titles of four-time Toastmasters District 53 International Speech Contest Champion and two-time runner up in the World Championship of Public Speaking semi-finals.

Nana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. 


Special thanks to generous Venue Sponsor:



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Community Service

Walk with WestField as we Make Strides Against Breast Cancer

Come out and join us on Sunday, October 19th, as the WestField Chapter of MPI bands together with 190 teams and 927 participants who have raised $125,925, as of October 5th (in the Westport walk alone!) to aid in the fight against breast cancer. WestField will be Making Strides at Sherwood Island in Westport, CT to support those fighting the disease, to honor those who lost the battle and to celebrate with the many survivors, including some of their friends and family members. Our own Jane Doyle, VP of Marketing and Communications, a two-time survivor, will be a guest speaker at the event.

To show your support, you may join our team, donate or just come out and cheer us on!  You don't have to be an MPI-WestField member to join OUR team, so invite your family and friends and come join us!

Click here to view our page, sign up and find more event information.

For more information, contact Jane Doyle, VP of Marketing and Communications at, or Phyllis Shelton, Director of Special Events and Fundraising at

Watch for updates on our website and social media!

We hope to see you there!


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Meet the Member Spotlight

Meaghan Rosenblatt, new WestField member as of March 2014
Professional Position: Director of Sales – Hotel Zero Degrees, Norwalk

Meaghan's Bio:
I am currently employed at the Hotel Zero Degrees in Norwalk, having accepted the position of Director of Catering in February 2013 and then transitioning to Director of Sales in November 2013. I have worked in the hospitality industry for ten years, starting with a conference and events department internship at my alma mater, Merrimack College. As a graduate student at Yale University, I continued to work for Yale Law School in their conference and special events department. Upon graduation, I spent subsequent years as the catering manager at Shorehaven Golf Club in Norwalk, the Hilton Stamford, and the Westport Inn.

A Brief Q & A
Q: As a new member, what prompted you to join MPI and what are your membership expectations?
A: As a hotel sales professional, it is important to have a pulse point on all areas of the extended hotel professional community. Relationships make all of us successful and I look forward to truly connecting with current and future MPI members.

Q: What would be your dream job, outside of event or meeting planning?
A: I always thought I would be a lawyer when I grew up, but really, I would be darling at driving the monorail at Disney.

Q: Finish the sentence, “when I’m not at work I…”
A: Spend time with friends and family as much as possible. Memories are our most important possession.

Contact Meaghan at Hotel Zero Degrees, Norwalk, CT. 


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Chapter Events

November 12th - WestField's exciting and inter-active education event, "Don’t Throw in the Towel--Join Us Ringside for The Main Event: Planners vs. Supplierscomes to the Crowne Plaza Danbury

18 Old Ridgebury Road
Danbury, CT

Calling all Planners!
Are you frustrated and feeling like you no longer have the leverage you once did? Do you want to be able to walk away from a conversation with a supplier confident that your client will receive an unforgettable experience?

Calling all Suppliers!
Are you exasperated and feeling like you just can’t seem to please your planners? Do you want to be able to preserve a strong and positive relationship with your planners while still supporting your company goals?

MPI WestField has a solution!
This unique event will put all your issues on the table…or in the ring….in an open, fun forum. A boxing match! Complete with team development experts that will provide strategies on how to have productive conversations that lead to win/win solutions. Join us for a creative, entertaining and constructive educational event that both planners and suppliers will enjoy!

Learner Objectives:

  • How to uncover/identify underlying Planner/Supplier issues and needs
  • How to polish up your conflict management skills
  • How to create win/win options for Planners and Suppliers

We want to make sure you get the most from this event, so when you register, please provide an issue or frustration you encounter when negotiating with your counterparts. No names will be used so you are safe to share your concerns and frustrations. As long as you know the goal of this event is to make sure you walk away with tools that will help you turn it around…and make all future communication constructive, powerful, and beneficial for everyone!

Registration and Reception: 5:30 - 6:15 pm 
Presentation: 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Dinner Reception: 7:30 - 8:30 pm


David Gilman and Jon Barb of Gilman Performance Systems, Inc. (GPS)

  David Gilman

David Gilman is celebrating 25 years of experience in the field of Training, Development and Organizational Effectiveness. His broad range of accomplishments include development of 75+ programs and 30+ feedback instruments in organizational performance improvement, leadership and professional staff skills training, sales and customer service training, and adventure training for leadership and team effectiveness.

Prior to establishing GPS, David was a manager in the training departments of Salomon Brothers, Prudential Relocation, and GE Capital. He also held training positions with the SCM Corporation and NYC Transit Authority. GPS clients benefit from his extensive experience in internal corporate training, which enables David to bring this important internal perspective to GPS projects and programs.

David has facilitated over 100 Team Building sessions for company presidents and their staff through intact department and project teams. David has led sessions for numerous groups with over 300 attendees.

Previously, David has served as the Assistant Regional Director for the American Society for Training and Development, and as President of the Society's Westchester Chapter. David holds an MBA in Management and Organizational Behavior and a B.A. in Business and Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

  Jon Barb

Jon Barb has spent over 25 years in the training and development of corporate employees and other professionals. He has taught and designed a variety of courses including general management/leadership, presentation skills, negotiation practices, selling skills, creative problem solving, meeting management, and project management.

As current President of the Connecticut Chapter of The National Speakers Association, he has given numerous presentations across the United States and worldwide on improving the effectiveness of employees, managers, and teams.

Jon has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He also holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Development.

Thank you to our Venue Sponsor:


Thank you to our Program/Content Sponsor:

                 Gilman Performance Systems

Thank you to our AV Sponsor:




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Inspirational Meetings

Your Best Meeting…
Which has been your best? Sales? Management? Project? Departmental/Team Building?

At Gilman Performance Systems, our facilitators are all former Managers of Training/Learning and have served over 150 repeat (!) clients, including: Deloitte, GE, ITT, Nielsen, RBS, Sun Products and UBS.

Our Services:

Team Building

  • 40+ activities, including charity based, customized to your specific needs that can be done virtually anywhere
  • Promotes true team effectiveness
  • Participants learn to collaborate on decision making, strategy, and change

Agenda Design

  • Tell us “what” you need to accomplish and we will give you an engaging design for the “how” to produce real results
  • Create ownership and accountability for actions/next steps
  • Skill Development
  • Leadership, Sales Management, Interpersonal, Problem Solving, Consultative Selling, Change Management


  • Keep sessions focused, positive, and energized
  • Tools and templates ensure your meeting achieves results

Charity-based Team Building Events

  • Team Build-a-Bear for Children in need and under stress
  • Bicycle Building for children to receive new bikes
  • CANnection to help re-stock local food banks

Satisfied GPS Client Testimonial:
"For over 10 years, GPS has provided tremendous value to more than 20 of our conferences, from large group team building and meeting facilitation to agenda planning. GPS’s professionalism and enthusiasm engages our attendees and brings our conferences to a higher level. GPS has been an integral part in the success of EMCVenues meetings." - Jody Wallace, President, EMCVenues

For more information, contact:

David Gilman, Gilman Performance Systems, Inc. - Your Full Service Provider for Individual,Team & Organizational Effectiveness | 203-740-9767 | |

*See David Gilman and Jon Barb at MPI WestField's November 12th education program, "Planners vs. Suppliers," at the Crown Plaza Danbury. Register here!


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WestField Member News

Maximizing your MPI Membership ROI

Throughout my years as an MPI member, many have asked me what the MPI annual fee covers, since we still have to pay for individual chapter programs. I say, start with the MPI website located at Here are a few top pages to help you get started earning some quick ROI:

# 1 - Search the community in the Member Directory

  • Did you know you have access to every MPI member around the world? 
  • That’s almost 19,000 industry contacts!


# 2 - Search for a new job at the Career Portal

  • Post your resume, search openings, or post an opening.


# 3 - Earn CEUs: Track your credits in Professional Development

  • Earn continuing education units towards certifications via webinars and other means.


# 4 - Industry Updates: Find them in Research & Tools

  • Research, Case Studies, White Papers…oh my! 
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and show your net worth!

Start taking advantage of these resources available to you at your fingertips (literally) today!

Mozelle Goodwin, CMP
Immediate Past President
MPI WestField Chapter

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Most Valuable Member

WestField's Most Valuable Member Program

Description of the Program:

The MVM program has been in existence for many years within our Chapter. Our members nominate another member or member committee for making an outstanding contribution to the Chapter. Examples would be members who enhance Chapter operations by sponsoring an event, creating a time or cost saving process, serving on a team or committee, or executing a sensational event. Or, perhaps a co-member has touched your life in a special way and you would like to publicly recognize this within the Chapter.

We pride ourselves on our WestField community. Our successes come from our members and their tireless and generous volunteer efforts. We appreciate them and we also appreciate those who take the time to bring these members to our attention.  

How to do this:

Very simple! Please send a simple note via email to Bonnie Cunningham, to tell us about the person or persons you would like to nominate for the MVM monthly award, and provide an explanation of why they deserve this recognition. The nominations will be presented to our Board of Directors each month for review. The recipients of the award will be announced at the Chapter's monthly event as well as in our newsletter and on our website and Facebook page. The winners will receive a special certificate and recognition at our Annual Awards and Board Installation Gala in June!

Thank you for taking the time to recognize your friends and colleagues! If these efforts mean something to YOU – they mean something to all of us!


Bonnie Cunningham
Meeting Professionals International WestField Chapter

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Elevate your meetings

When you need a place with a proven track record for brilliant meetings, the smart choice is Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and The Water Club. Escape, play and engage in an atmosphere where inspiration comes naturally. Whether you’re planning an event for 30 or 3000 attendees, both have the service to accommodate your needs in style. Here top-shelf amenities and superb dining meet sophisticated and technologically rich convention facilities.

Find 70,000 square feet of flexible function space with first-class service and amenities perfect for any type of seminar, from sales and executive meetings to regional conferences, trade shows and grand galas. Hold a large conference at The Event Center, a column-free event space with audiovisual technology, full banquet menu and flexible meeting functionality. Or book The Music Box if you need stage and stadium seating for up to 1000 guests. MIXX, a high-energy nightclub, can hold receptions for up to 550 while mur.mur, an intimate ultra-lounge, offers seating for up to 300.

View Exclusive Offer for WestField Planners Here!

Other unique spaces include four 1200-square-foot studio rooms, two executive boardrooms and eight Tower Studios – featuring plasma TVs and views of the Atlantic for the most intimate meetings. A collection of fine dining partners offers private spaces that seat 20 to 80. At The Water Club, conferences are a pleasure with 18,000 square feet of spacious, contemporary and inventive meeting space loaded with advanced technology. For any venue, take advantage of in-house audiovisual equipment and catering from the best names in the industry.

Your downtime begins with 2,800 well-appointed guest rooms, each a stunning and sumptuous retreat. Between The Water Club at Borgata and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, there are so many ways for some TLC with two spas, five indoor/outdoor pools, and five boutique shopping experiences. There are five signature restaurants for the ultimate dining experience brought to you by world-class chefs Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, Stephen Kalt, Michael Schulson, along with The Water Club’s Culinary Lifestyle Consultant Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian — offering everything from chic Italian, modern Japanese and upscale steaks to contemporary American cuisine. Of course, the excitement never stops at Borgata’s 161,000-square-foot casino.

Close proximity to the Atlantic City International Airport, Rail Terminal and Municipal Bus Terminal makes getting here as effortless as being here or planning the perfect event. Borgata has been recognized for its outstanding work servicing meetings, incentive travel programs, trade shows and conventions, by readers of some of the industry's most highly regarded trade publications. Whether you’re slated for a small or large gathering, our professional staff will assist you with all of your event planning needs.

Connect with a Borgata or Water Club meeting planner to bring your innovative and inspirational gathering to life. Whatever your industry, find all your needs anticipated when you hold a meeting at this fully-integrated resort. Contact: and also view a video about this uniquie experience here!


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Professional Development

Monthly Renewal Drawing: October 2014
Fall Renewal Incentive: Is your MPI membership up for renewal this month? Don't let it lapse--increase your ROI and and get in on a valuable drawing at the same time! Renew during the month of October and you will be entered into a drawing for one of two great prizes:

  • ½ off registration to WEC 2015 in San Francisco (Aug 1-4) or EMEC 2015 in Poland (Feb 1-3) 
  • 1 year extended membership

Renew today!

Who is eligible? Current members of MPI who are up for renewal in the given month.
The winner will pick one of the two prizes! 

Enhance your Career with MPI CareerConnections!

As Immediate Past President, Mozelle Goodwin, CMP, mentioned in another article, the MPI CareerConnections job resource offers our member community industry-specific employment connections:

  • It is free for employer and job-seeking members to use. 
  • MPI members get a 15-day sneak peek at new jobs postings. 
  • MPI members can post resumes and search available jobs. 
  • Internships for our student community are available.

Go to CareerConnections (Please Note: You must be logged in to the MPI website to see this content!)

Member Spotlights
Be on the lookout for our Member Spotlight features! Our members will be featured in a variety of communications throughout the year -- new member introductions, member milestones and other highlights that showcase what a fulfilling and enriching chapter our members are a part of.


Thank you to our July/August Renewals:
Pia Carpenter, Ani Chaghatzbanian, Michael J. Fiorentino, Mozelle Goodwin, Allison M. Hansen, Melissa Hollander, Janelle Hyatt-Palmer, Stephen Light, Jerry Longo, Angela Mingrone, Jayme Silver, Rick Weaver and Anne Wolf.


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Distinctive Meetings

A Culinary Showpiece offers interesting options for meetings, social events and gatherings.

On November 18, 2010, following the success of their restaurant, Tarry Lodge, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich made another distinctive mark in the culinary culture of Port Chester, New York, opening the doors to an artisanal food store. Located at 179 North Main Street, just across the Byram Bridge from Greenwich, Tarry Market features the finest European and local artisanal products, uniquely blending a contemporary, handcrafted food focus with an old-time, industrial aesthetic. Find fresh hand-made pasta, cured meats from Salumi (Mario Batali’s family’s renowned outpost in Seattle), in addition to Italian imported salumi, and sausage made in-house. The market also provides a selection of daily-baked breads, focaccia and pastry; assorted international and local formaggi; a cutting-edge rotisserie; Bastianich house wines and a precise mix of European-import and local specialty goods. Tarry Market espresso bar is also the perfect meeting destination for our neighborhood regulars (including Joe Bastianich himself) who drop in for a macchiato and a chat.

Tarry Market also offers two function areas for private parties ranging from 40 to 150 guests*. The market floor itself is a unique space which allows for a standing reception in a relaxed environment, surrounded by the culinary bounty of the market. The loft above the market accommodates 40-60 guests for private seated events.

Tarry Market Loft set for a wedding reception.

Located adjacent to the market, Tarry Wine specializes in European wines, with a strong focus on the wines of Italy. The selection is carefully curated by Joe Bastianich to represent each region of the Italian Peninsula. Wine Director Morgan Pruitt and Sommelier Peter Hoyt will ensure that the perfect pairing is made for any taste and palate. The rustic architecture features a large window onto the cheese cave at Tarry Market.

Executive Chef Patrick Lacey, a Syracuse native, grew up in the kitchen. Pat’s large Irish-Italian family sparked a passion for cooking that led him directly to the New England Culinary Institute for formal training after high school. After graduating, Pat jumped headfirst into the New York restaurant scene, accepting a position at Craftbar. After five years under Executive Chef Akhtar Nawab’s tutelage, Pat did a brief stint at Batali & Bastianich’s Del Posto before he relocated to Venice Beach, CA to work at The Tasting Kitchen. A New Yorker at heart, Pat soon moved back to the East Coast to join the team at Eataly. Since 2012, Pat has overseen the kitchen at Tarry Market. It is not uncommon for him to engage in conversations with customers about the succulent rib eye sliced to order in the lunchtime sandwich, or the perfect crackling and flavor of the porchetta.

With endless culinary delights on offer, Tarry Market provides home and corporate catering as well as venues for events ranging from family occasions and fundraisers to corporate meetings and wine classes.

During Fall 2014, Tarry Market will add additional parking facilities, giving customers even greater ease of access. With the holiday season around the corner, we look forward to a new look and exciting changes.

For information, contact:
Leonora Nye (Leo)

Tarry Market – Event Sales
179 North Main Street
Port Chester, NY 10573
914-253-5680 (Ext. 102)

 *Experience Tarry Market and Tarry Lodge for yourself at WestField's October 21st Education Program, "Creating Messages that Stick."  Register here!

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Sponsor Spotlight

Planners are our friends! So, it is my pleasure to offer the Westfield MPI chapter our complimentary services to enhance the productivity of your event. WestField’s November program, produced in conjunction with our hospitality partner, the Crowne Plaza Danbury, will be awesome!

While we are Connecticut based, we travel frequently to national destinations, supporting high level events for our corporate clients. Some of our recent guest speakers include: Paula Abdul, Mike Ditka, Emmit Smith, Gina Davis, Magic Johnson, Scott Hamilton, Hillary Swank, Dion Sanders, and many more.

Our goal, as the in-house Audio Visual Technology provider at the Crowne Plaza Danbury, is to bring creative, cost effective solutions that exceed the requirements of our corporate meeting planner clients.

If there is anything I can do to make this program the best ever please do not hesitate to ask.

I look forward to working with you.

Best regards,

John Dawson
4 AV Now
860 674 9094

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Venue Spotlight
























The Crowne Plaza Danbury will host WestField's November 12 education program.  We thank the venue for being our sponsor, and look forward to welcoming members from the Danbury region! Read more about the program and register here!

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