July 2015  

President's Corner

President's Message

Dear MPI WestField Colleagues, Members and Friends,

I am so thrilled to stand here today as your 27th President of the WestField Chapter of MPI.   It's an honor to be able to serve with our new Board of Directors for 2015-2016. 


Thanks so much! Kerri 

Kerri LaGrutta Otto 
MPI WestField President, 2015-2016 
District Account Executive, CORT Event Furnishings

Click here for Kerri's complete message

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity this past year!

I now head into the next phase of my MPI journey as Immediate Past President. I go there with confidence in our future with Kerri and the rest of the BOD in place and all the possibilities of our future! I go there humbled by all the wonderful days I have enjoyed as your Chapter President this past year. It has been a true honor and a privilege!

Thank you and see you soon! Bon

Bonnie Cunningham 
Immediate Past President MPI WestField Chapter

Click here for Bonnie's complete message

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Upcoming Events

2015 Presidential Reception - August 19, 2015 at Paloma from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Interested in hosting one of these fantastic programs or becoming a Strategic Alliance Partner? Please reach out to Bonnie Cunningham at [email protected]; she will be happy to discuss opportunities that are available in the coming year.

*The above information is subject to change.

We hope you are as excited as we are for the 2015-2016 Educational Year!

Warmest Regards,

Santiago R. Carmona  
VP, Education 
   Anne Baron
   Director, Professional Development    
   Nancy Bookchin
   Director, Program Logistics 
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Meet the Member Spotlight

Molly Blymire, new WestField Member as of June 2015
Birthday: April 23rd
Professional Position: Event Sales Manager - Wyndridge Farm

A Brief Q & A
Q: As a new member, what prompted you to join MPI?
A: I am honored to be a member of MPI and promoting Wyndridge Farm as a premier event destination in hosting future meetings, brewery tours and events!

Q: What would be your dream job, outside of event or meeting planning?
A: Traveling and touring international cultures and destinations! 

Q: Finish the sentence, “when I’m not at work I…
A: When I'm not at work, I am spending time with my husband, Paul, and my wonderful family! I attend my home church, Church of the Open Door, weekly, and also enjoy the outdoors and eating out as much as possible!

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WestField Fun Facts

We want to share some fun facts for your reading pleasure and give you, our members an edge of knowledge:

  • Birthday cake - Many of us must have wondered where the concept of the Birthday Cake actually comes from. They actually came from ancient Greeks. The motive was quite simple, they made a beautiful round shaped cake with candles and offered to Artemis, the Moon Goddess, to satisfy her.
  • CMPs must re-certify on a 5-year cycle. You'll also need to maintain employment in the industry or work as an educator for three of the previous five years. Other requirements include either a bachelor's degree, 25 hours of continuing education, or 15 hours of continuing education. If you meet the 15 hours continuing education requirement, you'll also need to prove that you've participated in industry activities during your certification cycle.
  • Beware of alligators in Chappaqua. In August 2008, a three-foot alligator was found living in Chappaqua pond. The gator set up shop in the Pinecliff Sanctuary, and no one knows how it got there. A day after the critter was seen, a wildlife services company caught it. To the person who let an alligator loose in Westchester County: we have too many deer and our taxes are too high to be worrying about predators lurking in local ponds.
  • Meeting planners plan 1.8 million conferences a year in the United States. That's 150,000 per month or 4,931 per day.
  • Some of the world's most famous cloth is woven in Stafford textile mills.
  • We are visual creatures, as almost 90% of the information we receive about our environment comes from our eyes.
  • Every second Americans collectively eat about 100 pounds of chocolate. There goes another100...and another!
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MPI WestField Member Incentive


MPI WestField wants each and every member to be fulfilled in their experiences! What better way to do that than by rewarding you for every event that you attend, every committee you belong to, every new member referral, or any number of additional ways to Win!

Beginning July 1, 2015 and announcing winners at our Annual Event in June of 2016, you’ll earn “points” by participating in these various Chapter activities and be eligible to win the following: 

1st place: Complimentary admission to all MPI WestField Education programs in 2016-2017 or a $250 AMEX Gift Certificate

2nd place: Complimentary one year MPI Membership 2016 – 2017 or a $150 AMEX Gift Certificate

3rd place: Complimentary admission to our MeetNow 2016 program or a $50 AMEX Gift Certificate

Download the full Member Incentive Program and find out how you can start earning points today.

Congratulations to Judy Stern on #Winning the first Member Incentive in June 2015! 


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Most Valuable Member

WestField's Most Valuable Members - April

Eric Domitrovits

Mohonk Mountain House

Donna Browne

Mohonk Mountain House

Laura Gillis

J House

Carolyn Browning, CMP, CMM

MEETing Needs, LLC

WestField's Most Valuable Members - May

Robin Gardner, CMM


Kerry Cambria

Ralph Rood Events

Adrienne Sbarbaro, CMP

Hilton Westchester

Valerie Barrett

Doral Arrowwood

Anne Baron, CMP

Kronos Inc.

Shawn Whiston

Mohegan Sun

WestField's Most Valuable Members - June

Shawn Whiston

Mohegan Sun

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WestField Member News

Membership Monthly Renewal Drawing

Summer Time Renewal Drawing! Renew your MPI membership in July you will be entered into a drawing for one of THREE great prizes. The winner will pick one! Renew today!

  • Half off registration to WEC 2015 in San Francisco (Aug 1-4) or EMEC 2016 in Copenhagen (Feb 7-9)
  • MPI Store shopping Spree: Pick any five items in the MPI Store at no cost. CMP Study Guide excluded from offer.
  • Six month extended membership
MPI WestField Chapter Birthdays

Happy Birthday to all our members!  

May 2015

  • Kim Harvey - May 11
  • Julie Zee - May 20
  • Deborah Gilronan - May 21

June 2015

  • Deana Nelson - June 2
  • Laura Zap - June 2
  • Eileen Milano - June 19
  • Rick Weaver - June 21
  • Jane Doyle - June 28

July 2015

  • Susan Abrams - July 3
  • Emily Milliot - July 3
  • Cameron Toth - July 4
  • Charles Wisniewski - July 20
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Elegant Event Furnishings

CORT Event Furnishings, the nationwide leader in event furniture, lighting and accessories rentals, has unveiled new trendsetting powered products for 2015.  From corporate meetings to conferences, it’s more important than ever for guests to stay charged and connected. CORT offers a seamless solution, while maintaining the stylish look of your program.

Empower your guests with CORT powered furnishings.  Powered furniture that is sleek, stylish, and comfortable, makes searching for a wall outlet to charge your device a thing of the past. Offerings, such as the Powered Banquettes, allow for flexibility and creativity when designing serpentine seating configurations and give guests access to charging outlets within the furniture.


Powered sofas, loveseats, and chairs…the opportunities to give power to the people are endless! Choose from the sleek, black powered Naples loveseat to the classic, white powered Roma sofa there’s an option for every event. CORT’s new powered G30 tables come in three heights and make a great meeting or work table with charging outlets built into the surface of the table.  Electrify you next meeting with CORT’s stylish charging furniture.




To learn more about CORT's event rental collections for your next meeting, contact Kerri LaGrutta your MPI Westfield President at 973-766-3046, [email protected].

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Noteworthy Venues


DORAL ARROWWOOD, The Premier Meeting Destination in the New York, Metropolitan area


Most hotels take a conventional approach to meetings, weddings, and special events. Not so at Doral Arrowwood.

Nestled just outside of White Plains, in the charming town of Rye Brooke Village, in Westchester County, the resort offers a picturesque conference center and well-appointed lodging, in a stunning and inspiring setting. Let us start you off with far more than a blank canvas. Our expert amenities, and services, complemented by a striking New York location and a quarter century of expertise, provide the perfect palette to make any event a masterpiece.
•Nestled amid 114 wooded acres in Rye Brook village in Westchester County, New York 
•Just 45 minutes from midtown Manhattan 
•Easily accessible to major highways and airports 
•Only three miles from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y.


Discover a picturesque retreat of Doral Arrowwood - an enchanting enclave in Rye Brook, New York - where great things begin.

For information and assistance:
Valerie Barrett
[email protected]

Crestview Conference Center at West Nyack is the Ideal Meetings Space

If you are looking for a terrific venue to hold your next business meeting, look no further than the Crestview Conference Center at West Nyack. This spacious, full service meeting facility is ideally located in the heart of Rockland County, NY, 24 miles north of Manhattan and minutes from the New York Thruway and Palisades Interstate Parkway. 

Crestview Conference Center features a beautiful 12,000 sq. ft. multifunctional space, with an outdoor balcony, and designed to accommodate a wide spectrum of budgets and meetings, from five to 200 guests.

Crestview offers a comfortable, state-of-the-art environment with pre-conference planning assistance, A/V support, free Wi-Fi, covered reserved parking, private entrance, and breakfast refreshment breaks and lunch menus are available. 

John Hodgson, Major, Director of Crestview Conference Center, boasts that the flexible space is perfect for business meetings, seminars, training sessions, networking, lectures, and luncheons. 

"Our intention is to make meetings easy by providing turnkey services and a conference environment like no other in Lower Hudson Valley that is solely focused on meetings," Major Hodgson said. "We operate the Center as a nonprofit entity which enables us to provide a very attractive pricing structure that is well suited for the area's nonprofits and businesses and organizations of all size."

Crestview Conference Center at West Nyack provides pre-meeting planning assistance, the most current, built-in AV equipment in all meeting rooms with onsite AV support, unlimited business center use, complimentary Wi-Fi, free covered parking, private entrance, and breakfast refreshment breaks and lunch menus are available.

Several area businesses, groups and nonprofits have already taken advantage of the Crestview Conference Center for their meetings and gatherings. These include Better Homes and Gardens/RAND Realty, McLaren Engineering Group, United Water, Hudson Gateway MLS, Rockland Business Association, Rockland Economic Development Corporation, United Hospice of Rockland and Institute for Non-Profits. 

Joseph rand, Managing Partner, Better Homes and Gardens/RAND Realty, said of Crestview, "Our team meetings are essential to our company's success. We take care of the content and Crestview takes care of the rest. They make it easy for us to get the most of our meetings. It's truly a pleasure working with a group that operates with similar core values of professionalism, service and integrity."

In addition to Major Hodgson, the staff includes Gina Vanderweele, Operations Manager, and Jasmine Larrinaga-Johnson, Food Service Manager. Crestview Conference Center is operated by The Salvation Army, and located at 440 West Nyack Road in West Nyack, NY. For more information call 877-315-0239 or 845-620-7207, email: [email protected] or visit

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WestField Program Recap

2015 MPI WestField Golf Classic and Annual Awards Event

Congratulations to all of our Award Recipients for the 2014-2015 year at MPI WestField:

  • Tarry Lodge and Market
  • The Loading Dock by Abigail Kirsch
  • Pia Carpenter - Rising Star
  • Adrienne Sbarbaro - Supplier of the Year
  • Jane Doyle - Planner of the Year
  • Margaret Moynihan - Lifetime Achievement Award 
  • Jerry Longo & Bryan Lavin - President's Award
  • Bonnie Cunningham - Chapter Leader

A huge thank you to Doral Arrowwood, Cort Event Furnishings, Marie Rossi, Simon Pearce, Lumi, all of our tournament sponsors, and our volunteers.

We are so proud of all of our accomplishments and appreciate the dedication and the friendships!

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Industry Events

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