GBTA and MPI Recognize New Class of CMM Recipients

Industry Leaders First to Receive Designation for Enhanced Program Redesigned for Both Meeting and Travel Professionals

ALEXANDRIA, VA and DALLAS, TX – June 19, 2015 – The GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced today that they recently presented the distinguished Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) to 46 meeting and travel professionals. This inaugural class marks the first group to successfully complete the updated CMM program developed jointly by GBTA and MPI and delivered by the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and thus they have earned the premier CMM designation – the business standard of excellence for meeting and travel professionals.

The first updated CMM program was delivered this past November with an immersion program in Riviera Maya, Mexico, and received high satisfaction scores from participants for overall programming, onsite support, and educational material. Moreover, an overwhelming, majority of participants – approximately 97 percent – said they would recommend the program to others.

“The teams at GBTA and MPI could not be more pleased with the positive feedback we’ve received from this first class of participants on the redesigned CMM program,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “We commend each of these leaders on this milestone achievement and wish them unlimited success in the future.”

In December 2013, MPI and GBTA first announced that they joined forces to develop the updated CMM program, which is a three-phased comprehensive business education program designed for both meeting and travel professionals. It includes a 3.5 day on-site immersion program comprised of rigorous business education courses delivered in a participatory learning format by professors from the renowned Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia; a virtual boot camp with on-demand offerings focused in both meeting management and business travel management; and the development and evaluation of an independent work-based, business project.

Earlier this week, MPI and GBTA launched the first CMM class of 2015 with an immersion program held in Puebla, Mexico, that began May 31 and ended June 3. Following are upcoming program dates and locations.

• August 27-30, 2015 in Denver, Colorado
• October 1 – 4, 2015 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
• October 22-25, 2015 in Mexico (City TBD)
• November 12-15 in Anaheim, California

“With MPI, we designed the updated CMM program to help meeting and travel professionals bolster their business management skills and advance their careers,” said Daphne Bryant, GBTA Foundation Executive director. “These 46 leaders did just that through the intensive study program we’ve developed that will leave them poised to drive business success in their companies.”

MPI and GBTA congratulate the following professionals who recently obtained the CMM designation, increasing the total number of CMM holders worldwide to 996.

Laura Bell Way, Autodesk, Inc.
Elizabeth Best, Niagara Region
Kelly Bishop, Liberty Mutual
Heather Borneman, Teleflex
Jerome Bruce, Association of Government Accountants
Susan Burruss-Gibson, JBS & Associates
Carol Cassano, Cleveland Event Solutions
Nicola Chiappa, PartnerRe
Matthew Derner, MD Events
Sandra Dewberry, Merz North America, Inc
Deborah Dickerson, American Express
Jorgelina Diez De Doeyo , Xtreme @Microsoft
Virginia Dodge, VA Productions, Inc.
Cristy Donaldson, Baxter Healthcare
Dave Eckberg, Bishop-McCann
Charlene Forde, Canadian Finance & Leasing Association
Debbie Friedman-Hueller, Laureate Online Education
Margaret Garcia, Farmers Group, Inc.
Betsy Gonzalez, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.
Kaaren Hamilton, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Michelle Heller, McVeigh Associates
Kyle Hillman, NASW IL
Shinhye Hwang, International Meeting Partners
Paulette Jensen, ACTAVIS
Anthony Kalyk, Telluride Conference Center
Laura Kesselman, Kesselman-Jones, Inc.
Sandra Khoury, LIUNA
Barrie Lynch, SCMABC
Michelle Manire, Coast to Coast Conferences & Events
Diana Marinos, Boston Scientific
Teresa Matamoros, Meetings Partner LLC
Elly McCloud, LIGHTFAIR International
Julie Nack Locke, HelmsBriscoe
Natalie Norris, Meetings and More, Inc.
Lynnette Offen Gerber, HelmsBriscoe
Joanna Oliver, EmCare
Tamara Olson, DJO Global
Elizabeth Peeler, D-P Planning Meetings & Events
Dawn Perrone, Sanofi Pasteur
Jennifer Scigliano, Inn at Laurel Point
Whitney Smith, Rice University’s Baker Institute
Kim Stanley
Joyce Watson, Events DC/ Washington DC Convention Center
Vittoria Wikston, Niagara Falls Tourism
Lisa Wilson, NCH Marketing Services, Inc.
Crystal Zawilinski, Fox Premier Meetings and Incentives

Colleen Gallagher, +1 703-236-1133, [email protected]

Sonya Thorpe Cobb, +1 972-702-3098, [email protected]

About MPI
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest and most vibrant global meeting and event industry association. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI membership is comprised of approximately 18,500 members belonging to more than 80 chapters and clubs in 22 countries. For additional information or to join, visit

About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see and

About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth,