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Press Releases

From the Chapter Chair

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

IAEE DC Chapter Chair ImageGreetings DC Chapter!

It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into 2019! When I was told by the Nominations Committee in 2017 that I had been named the 2018 Vice Chair to Dede Walsh, I was both elated, and anxious. It meant that I’d be sitting in the chair seat, and now that I find myself here, I’m filled with resolve to do my best by the chapter and our board.

There is so much that I would love for us to accomplish this year, but I also want to be realistic about what we are able to do and not commit us to tackling more than we can take on. My biggest themes this year are TRANSPARENCY, COMMUNICATION, and COMPLIANCE. I feel as though I’m already off to a shaky start on the communication part, so I vow to do better for the remainder of the year. I believe some of our new initiatives will be a huge benefit to this in the future.  In regards to transparency and compliance, for 2019, my main goal is to bring the IAEE DC Chapter in full alignment with the chapter requirements set forth by IAEE Headquarters. We will be creating more transparency for the board’s activities regarding the chapter, which will include an annual summarization of chapter financials, initiatives, and goals and opportunities for chapter members to provide even more direct feedback regarding our board. Our Treasurer, Donna Jarvis Miller, has secured a CPA to do an audit of our financials and financial processes, and has been working closely with him to create stronger protocols for the chapter.

Some ways that we plan to bring better communication between the board and the chapter is by reinstating the chapter newsletter. Our Marketing Director, Claudia Maurer, Communications and Outreach Director, Eric Misic, their committees, and our new newsletter sponsor, mdg, have been hard at work creating design and content. I want to acknowledge their hard work on this initiative, and encourage our chapter members to reach out if they’d like to write an article or be featured.

Chapter Programs for 2019 have already been off to a great start. Another initiative our Program Directors, Susan Giambalvo and Necoya Tyson, have taken is to not only select venues for our events and luncheons, but to work with venues on sponsorship initiatives to keep our registration fees from rising. They are working with IAEE HQ to utilize all of their speaker resources as well to provide high quality education and programming. I also wish to acknowledge both of them for their outstanding efforts. In February, our chapter was able to host a sponsored CPR training that our board member Kiki Fox was able to secure through Red Cross. If we are able to secure another sponsor to keep the costs effective, we may look to host another training later in the year. Additionally, the DC Chapter was able to offer the Finance, Budgeting, and Contracts CEM course, thanks to the generous support of Destinations International. Another initiative that we started last year, we’ll be seeking to host several more local CEM programs to make completing the program more accessible to our members.

Lastly, I’d really like to highlight our chapter charities this year. New for 2019, we’ve added the ability to make a donation to our charities through the registration portals for all of our events. While it won’t get you entered into the on-site raffle drawing, it’s a way to make a contribution to two extremely worthy organizations. For 2019, the IAEE DC Chapter will be splitting our charity donations between CEIR and the Meetings Industry Fund. Each of these organization benefits meeting and event industry professionals through industry and event research and resources, and a fund that helps industry professionals in need with grants for medical bills, financial hardship assistance, and other needs. I hope that you will consider making a donation at least once this year.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank our other board members for their continued efforts and hard work to keep our chapter running. Paula Herz and Mark Shadwick, Simone Smith, Jenn Ellek, and Kiki Fox for their dedication and experience, and a warm welcome to Abby Abdala and Joe Tucker to our board.

Our chapter is the largest in IAEE, and we’d love to get more of you directly involved! If you are interested in volunteering, we would love to get you started! Our leadership and committees are as followed:

  • Mary Higham, CEM: Chapter Chair
  • Dede Walsh, CMP, CTS: Past Chair and Chair of Nominations Committee
  • Paula Herz, CEM: Vice Chair
  • Mark Shadwick, CEM: Secretary
  • Donna Jarvis Miller, CMP, CEM: Treasurer
  • Eric Misic: Director of Communities and Outreach and Chair of Communities and Outreach Committee
  • Simone Smith: Director of Community Service and Chair of Community Service Committee
  • Claudia Maurer, CEM: Director of Marketing and Chair of Marketing Committee
  • Abby Abdala: Director of Special Events and Chair of Special Events Committee
  • Joe Tucker, CMP, CEM: Director of Sponsorship and Chair of Sponsorship Committee
  • Susan Giambalvo / Necoya Tyson, CEM, CGMP: Co-Director of Programs and Co-Chair of Program Committee
  • Jenn Ellek: At-Large Director
  • Kiki Fox: At-Large Director
  • Vacant: Director of Young Professionals and Chair of Young Professionals Committee

I hope to see you at some of our IAEE DC Events this year!



Mary Higham, CEM
Chair IAEE DC Chapter 2019

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