@MPISTL May 2018 – New Members & Anniversaries

Welcome New Members!

Misty Easler, Sales Manager, Drury Hotels
Devin Florez, PSAV
Rob Gruebert, Vice President, Experient Sales Network
Shelli Martak, CMP, Sr. Meeting Planner, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Beth Surtin, Sales Manager, PSAV
David Swift, National Account Executive, Conference Technologies, Inc. – Event Solutions
Marissa Wolfard, Express Scripts

Member Anniversaries

16 Years
Erica West, Meeting Planner, Nestle Purina PetCare Company

9 Years
Lauren Bender, CMP, Associate Director, Meetings, Allergan

6 Years
Abby Podkul, CMP, Commodity Classic Manager, American Soybean Association

5 Years
Jennifer Long, CMP, Senior Director, Strategic Customer Engagement, Amerinet, Inc.
Emily Ratliff, Director of Events, Logan University
Barbara Hunsel, Sales Manager, Embassy Suites Hotel St. Charles
Joan Ohlms, Director of Sales, Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau

3 Years
Kaitlin Jakel, CMP, Meeting & Event Planner, Express Scripts

2 Years
Michael Gray, CMP, Meeting & Event  Manager, Experient, A Maritz Travel Company
Ben Daughaday, National Account Executive, Paramount Convention Services, Inc.

1 Year
Lenny Klinger, Speakers Coordinator, Las Vegas Speakers Bureau
Cindy Hodapp, Account Manager, Maritz Global Meetings & Events
Cara McGuire, CMP, Director Event Management, Experient/Maritz Global Events


@MPISTL May 2018 – Get to Know Your Board – Kaitlin Jakel

Get to Know Your Board… Kaitlin Jakel, CMP – Vice President of Education

This month we introduce you to Kaitlin Jakel, CMP. She is Vice President of Education for our chapter. Kaitlin is a Senior Meeting & Event Planner with Express Scripts. She has been in the industry for 11 years, two with her current employer and nine with Experient.

As far back as Kaitlin can remember, she wanted to create events. Around age 7, she started creating a “run of show” for her own birthday parties. She planned all the school dances, arranged for photos at her house before the dance, lined-up the limos and assisted with the after parties. Kaitlin has a degree in Tourism Management from Indiana University. She worked as an intern for a convention center, hotel & CVB. After graduation, Kaitlin landed the first job she applied for.

Kaitlin joined MPI three years ago and quickly got involved with the Communications Committee and from there moved to the Education Committee. She is currently serving as Vice President of Education and will continue to do so for another year – now that is dedication! When asked if she had any words of wisdom for others in the industry, she said, “Get involved! I wish I would have joined MPI much sooner than I did. The knowledge I gained and the friends I’ve made are invaluable.”

Kaitlin spends her free time playing golf (she has been playing since the age of six), she enjoys traveling and her goal is to travel to all 50 states. Her fun time is spent at the karaoke machine, her go-to artists are Pat Benatar and Shania Twain. Her favorite color is pink and she is quoted as saying, “I had a bit of an Elle Woods thing happening for a while where everything I owned and wore was pink, but I think I’m finally growing out of it…maybe!”

Her current TV binge watching is “The OA” on Netflix. She says, “It’s amazing and not many people know about it. The first episode is a little confusing, but stick with it! I also watch the entire series of “The Office” about once a year.”

Maybe one of our After Five Networking Events can be karaoke and we will have a chance to see Kaitlin turn into Pat Benatar.


@MPISTL May 2018 – Rising Star – Brittany Nelson

Brittany Nelson joined the MPI St. Louis Area Chapter in August of 2017 and is rising quickly. She will be joining the Board of Directors this coming July as Director of Member Care.

She is the Corporate Group Sales Manager at The Chase Park Plaza Hotel and she has been in this role for one and a half years and been in the industry over six years.

Brittany is enthusiastic about everything she does and has been a tremendous asset. Brittany jumped right in to take the lead role in planning our After Five events. She immediately took ownership of her new role, learning the ins and outs of this committee position. She excelled in securing venues and planning details for our Networking Events. Brittany is a young professional with ambition and we look forward to her continued involvement with MPI St. Louis. Congratulations, Brittany, on being a Rising Star!


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