November 2016  

MPI WestField Quarterly Newsletter November 2016

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Upcoming Events


  2016 MPI WestField Holiday Party

Join us for networking, eating and drinking and taking holiday selfies with your WestField friends.

There will be holiday cheering, ugly sweater wearing, with great prizes and charity donations too.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

5:30PM - 7:30PM

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Cask Republic South Norwalk
99 Washington Street #2
Norwalk, CT 06854

Join your industry colleagues & guests for holiday cheer, fun, food, drink and prizes.  Show off your UGLIEST Holiday Sweater for laughs and you might win a prize!



MPI WestField February Educational Program

February 16, 2017

5:30 PM - 8:15 PM

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Dolce Norwalk

32 Weed Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06850

We hope you are as excited as we are for the 2016-2017 Educational Year!

Warmest Regards,

Judy Stern, CMP
VP, Education 
Karen Haas
Director, Professional Development    
Cathleen Hartney, CMP
Director, Program Logistics 
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WestField Program Recap

Infusing Meetings & Events With Meaning: Saving the World One Meeting at a Time

Corporate Social Responsibility was the focus of the November Educational meeting at the Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson.

Heather Mason, Founder and President of the Caspian Agency spoke on ways to integrate CSR and social impact programs within meetings and events and how to identify ideas and programs that align with the strengths of your organization.

Following her formal presentation, she led a panel discussion with Lara O'Loan, Senior Specialist, Learning Delivery, McKinsey & Co and Jessica Ahern, Director of Events, Tourism Cares on their experiences and challenges in implementing socially responsible meetings and events within their organizations. 

Special thanks to our program host and AV provider for this program. 

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Meet the Member Spotlight


Bogdan Stefanide

I started working in this industry as an AV technician for PSAV.

One highlight of my career was when the Team leader at the moment from Swank AV with the General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing of the hotel asked me to get the Director of Event Technology’s position.

MPI WestField is there for me to discover.

I would love to travel the world.

Best way to reach me is via email [email protected] or 203-244-0674



Karen Dunn

I was born in…  Massapequa, NY (Long Island)

How I started in the industry…. I went to school to be a teacher!  But my first job out of college was as a Meeting Planner.  After 3 years, I was hooked in the industry.  Started on the hotel side after that in Catering Sales, then Convention Services, and then on to Group Sales, where I still remain!

One highlight of my career….  My current position.  It is so rewarding to have 11 amazing properties to sell.  But on a more “fun” side, my highlight was working at the Renaissance Times Square during New Years Eve of 2000 into 2001.  I was able to step out on to the rooftop with my now husband (boyfriend at the time), and experience the Ball Drop over the crowd of Times Square.  And then back right inside into the warmth!

MPI WestField is…. My local chapter. I live in Northern Westchester, and hope to become active within this chapter.

I would still like….to own a lake/beach house some day.  We currently have a ski house in VT, but ready to turn in the snow for the sand.

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WestField Fun Facts

Top 7....

1. Food and beverage minimums mean this is the minimum amount that a potential client must spend in order to secure the room/listing or event space. Many event spaces which serve food and beverage require a potential client to meet that minimum regardless of whether or not they have the number of people available to meet the per head price. For example, if a venue has a food and beverage minimum of $1500.00 and the per head price is $100.00 it would require 15 people to meet the food and beverage minimum – 15 X $100 = $1500.00. But, if the person if the venue has a food and beverage

2. Inventor David Bushness of Connecticut drew up the original plans for the first submarine in 1776 

3. Connecticut averages roughly 2,400 hours of sunshine every year, the equivalent of 100 days.

4. The Native American name for White Plains was Quarropas, meaning “white marshes.” Historians believe the title may reference the heavy mist that settled over the swampland of the Bronx River or the groves of white balsam that possibly populated the region centuries ago.

5. The birthstones for November are the citrine and the topaz peridot and the sardonyx and the flower is the chrysanthemum 

6. Thanksgiving is ranked as America's second most popular holiday, after Christmas 

7. Happiness is contagious.

It is a proven fact.

Have you ever been watching a TV show or around friends where everyone is laughing uncontrollably and for some strange reason you can’t help but laugh as well. You may not even know why you are laughing. It’s because your body, your soul, your psyche knows that you need to laugh and you need to be “Happy.” Everybody does. We are all connected. How others feel affects our mood. How we feel affects how others feel about us. When you are “Happy” others around you get “Happy” too.

Take some time to smile at the people you meet today. If you make eye contact, I bet they will smile back.


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MPI WestField Member Incentive



September October November

Michael Fiorentino

Jeffrey Nyikos

Bonnie Cunningham

15 Pts

20 pts

20 pts

Received Prize Prize Awarded at November Event Prize Awarded at November Event


Round Two….we received feedback that our Members liked our Member Incentive and this year MPI WestField wants every member to play! Most important for us is that are members are engaged and fulfilled in their experiences! Did you know….we want to reward you for every event that you attend, every committee you belong to, every new member referral, and we have many additional ways to Win!

Beginning July 1st, 2016 and announcing winners at our Annual Event in June 2017, you will have the opportunity to earn “points” by participating in these various Chapter activities and eligible to win the following:

1st place – Complimentary admission to all MPI WestField Education programs in 2017-2018 or a $250 AMEX Gift Certificate

2nd place – Complimentary one year MPI WestField Membership 2017 – 2018 or a $150 AMEX Gift Certificate

3rd place – Complimentary admission to our MPI WestField Meet Now 2018 Event or a $50 AMEX Gift Certificate

 Point breakdown:

5 Points:

  • Attend any MPI WestField Chapter event
  • Bring a guest (meeting planner/supplier) with you to a MPI WestField Chapter event…Supplier gets Double points and a planner gets Triple points.

10 Points:

  • Recruit/refer a new chapter member
  • Submit and article/topic for the Chapter Newsletter
  • Secure a donation for auction/holiday party or reception program

15 points:

  • Confirm a new chapter member
  • Sponsor a Program
  • Purchase MPI WestField Advertising Opportunity

30 points:

  • Become a CMP or CMM
  • Renew your MPI WestField Chapter membership, 60 days prior to expiration date


Four Check In Dates to Highest Points Recipients will receive a Surprise:

3 Months In – September 2016

6 Months In – December 2016

9 Months In – March 2017

11 Months In – May 2017

So….who will get the Prize this year as all our Members of our Chapter are already Winners!!!

Game on…..


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WestField Member News



On Thursday November 13th, Adrienne Sbarbaro, former VP of Finance and Robin Gardner, current Director of Special Events and Fundraising presented a check to Kristen Tomasiewicz, Directo, Community Services of Kids in Crisis ( in the amount of $500.00 from proceeds derived from WestField chapters funraising efforts.

Founded in 1978 Kids in Crisis provides free, round the clock help for Fairfield county, CT children, teens and parents of all socio-economic levels dealing with any type of crisis, including abuse, neglect, family conflict and more.  Last year Kids in Crisis served 6,192 children.  WestField’s support helps enable them to continue doing good and important work for children and families in crisis throughout Fairfield county. Thank you to everyone who participated in WestField’s silent auctions! 


MPI WestField is proud to announce our new VP of Finance...

Phyllis Shelton with iPower Global Solutions

MPI Global Non Memeber Attendance Policy

NEW Meeting Attendance Policy: All Essential Level members or non-members are limited to no more than two events in one fiscal year and must pay the Essential Level/Non-member rate. MPI Preferred or Premier Level members are welcome to attend all chapter events at the Member Price.



Donna Marie Browne - September 1

Audrey Hagan - September 10

Jennifer L. Jacobson - September 12

Anne DiPrimio Baron - September 26

Meaghan Rosenblatt - September 30  

Robert Zartarian - October 7

Cathleen A. Hartney - October 8

Mark Muse - October 12 

Pia Carpenter - October 15

Robin Gardner - October 27

Adrienne Sbarbaro - November 2

Heather Hansen O'Neill - November 3

Carrie Mahoney - November 10

Maria M Salas - November 12

Anissa Williams - November 17

Marina Aslanidou - November 24

Carolyn Browning - November 26

Laura Gillis - November 27  

Thank you to our members who have been part of our chapter for 2 years

Karen Alcaraz

Marina Aslanidou

Molly E Blymire

Wendy Chard

Allen Chen

Alissa L Cotroneo-Brown

Tim Crean

Brenda Crocker-Pierce

Vera DeFilippo

Jennifer Devereaux

Jennifer Doyle

Karen Dunn

Kelly Fischer

Kaitlyn Fritz

J P Galli

Deborah J Gilronan

Brandon Glen

Karen Haas

Kevin Haggerty

Laura Hutcheon

Polly Irving

Robin D Kocot

Anissa L Ladd

Marc Lanzarotto

Candice Lewis-Joseph

Keith D Lindelow

Carrie Lucas

Carol M Lynch

Jacqueline Mackey

Caitlin A Marron

Jessica Martinez

Nicole Massari

Jaime McAuley

Mark Muse

Indira Naidu

Lara O'Loan

Susan Pica

Michelle Powers

Felicia Puccino

Suzanne Shaw

Tara V Shea

Phyllis M Shelton

Bogdan Stefanide

Jessie Succoso

Jose Tejedor

Keryn Veripapa

April Wennerstrom

Robert Zartarian


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Noteworthy Venues


The Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson, located just 25 miles north of New York City, is a historic estates that blends its classic charm with modern amenities to create a one of kind lodging experience. With two historic 19th century mansions – King Mansion and Biddle Mansion – residing on 26-acres overlooking the Hudson River Valley, the Tarrytown House Estate features many impressive amenities to facilitate numerous events, such as corporate retreats, galas, bar and bat mitzvahs, and weddings.

As The Nation's first Conference Center, Tarrytown House is able to call upon over 50 years of experience to help you create programs that garner results for your executive retreat, conference or meeting. Our flexible Westchester, New York meeting space brings you the ability to provide a superior value for your bottom line, with unmatched result-driven outcomes for your meeting. From conference facilities focused on a distraction free, dedicated and inspiring meeting environment, to our expert planning staff and our unmatched technological capabilities with nearly limitless internet bandwidth, our conference center in the Hudson Valley continues its tradition of creating the most meaningful meetings in the area.

This landmark hotel and conference center features extensive leisure and recreational facilities such as a fitness club, indoor and out swimming pools and tennis courts. Located in the heart of Westchester County the Tarrytown House Estate offers visitor’s many dining, entertainment and shopping, and travel options within close proximity of the hotel.



Morton's Private Dining
We are proud to offer our guests a classic alternative to a banquet hall or conference room. For whatever reason, business or pleasure...breakfast, lunch or dinner...Morton's private dining rooms will leave a lasting impression. Whether it is for your closest friends or esteemed colleagues, rest assured your private dining experience will be something they will remember.

9 Maple Avenue

White Plains, NY 10605




Fairmont- Chateau Frontenac and Queen Elizabeth Montreal


Fairmont recently announced a substantial revitalization project for Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, in Montreal,  that will include guestrooms, lobby, restaurants, terrace, creation of a business campus and expansion of meeting room space.  The Fairmont will be closed for 1 year, starting June 19, 2016 and with the completion of our hotel’s $140 million transformation scheduled to wrap up by early June 2017.




A video on our projected transformation is available by clicking : Renovation Project - Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth




In 2014, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, in Quebec City  invested 75 Million dollars in revitalization and modernization of our  majestic hotel. The renovation of Quebec City's landmark hotel has strengthened its positioning amongst the best hotels in the world. The revitalization and transformation of the Chateau Frontenac included the renovation of guestrooms, renovation and expansion of the Fairmont Gold floors, transformation of the main lobby, expansion of the banquet areas, and introduction of three new restaurant concepts and addition of an urban spa. Ideally, we are  located within the walls of the Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and we are also only 20 minutes away from the Jean-Lesage Québec City International Airport and 5 minutes from the Québec City Train Station. Click here to see our virtual tour. 

Please take advantage of the exchange rate from US to Canadian dollars, as of today, it is roughly 30% in the US favor! Please know additionally, as an international group, you are eligible for 100% of the government occupancy tax rebate of 5% to all guestrooms going to the master account, and a tax rebate of  2.5% of the government  food tax of all catering events going to the master account.


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Connections Campaign

Connecting is Effecting … your business, relationships, ideas, development, and collaborations! 

* Applicant agrees to share connection information, except the dollar amount on the website.

Year-to-date Connections...

Number of Connections Year-to-Date: TBD
Value of Connections Year-to-Date:  TBD

Our vision and mission as a member-centric organization are focused on building those personal and business connections for you, connecting you to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. It’s about supporting each other, and helping each other to BUY MPI. 

Some of us are aware of the business that is exchanged within the chapter but is everyone?  This is the chance to share and connect with your peers.  Whether your connection is planner to planner, planner to supplier, supplier to planner, or supplier to supplier- we want to hear about it!

You can choose to remain anonymous if preferred, but please submit your connections using the link above. If you have any questions, contact our VP of Communications, Greg Rolenz, at [email protected].

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WestField Partners

Thank you to all our MPI WestField Partners!



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Get Involved!


There is no “I” in Team but there is a “u” in volunteer!
Do “u” have some extra time and want to help make a difference within our industry.
Please email us at [email protected] for further information or to become part of a
committee today.


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