June 2020 Print

President's Report

SGMP Statement on Racial Equity and Inclusion
The United States is at a crossroads. Recent examples of police brutality and widespread protests have renewed a national conversation about uncomfortable truths in our society that have become even more visible due to technology. Institutional racism, discrimination and injustice continue to exist for people of color and other marginalized segments of our country.  
The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) has always stood for equity, nondiscrimination, diversity and inclusion. We have built these principles into our organization with our core competency education, CGMP certification, and in the training and programming we provide our members. However, there are inequities in the workplace and injustices within our country.  This is unacceptable to us, and we are committed to ensuring every government meeting professional – both planners and suppliers - has the connections, leadership opportunities and education available for them to succeed.
Nevertheless, there is still more SGMP can do and more we can learn to make this a reality for all. As meeting professionals striving for the highest levels of professionalism and ethics, we recognize that we do not have all the answers. However, we take up the challenge to listen to all perspectives and commit to looking internally for more ways to be problem solvers and part of the solution. 
The following are actions SGMP will take up to begin this journey:
  • A new webinar, “Recognizing the Impact of Unconscious and Implicit Bias” with Sharon Delvisco, will be offered to members on July 30 at 1:00 pm ET.
  • In August, we will rebroadcast a webinar, “Inclusive Meeting Design” with Antwone Stigall, CMP, DES, and hold a discussion session afterwards.
  • We will continue to share programs educating our members about inclusivity, diversity, bias and non-discrimination. 
  • We will re-evaluate our core educational competencies, ethics statements and overall policies to ensure SGMP is inclusive, non-discriminatory and supports efforts against social injustice.
  • We will create a working group to determine ways for SGMP to actively increase diversity amongst our national and chapter leadership positions.
Please contact SGMP Executive Director Pamela Valenzuela, CAE, [email protected], and SGMP National Board President Michelle A. Milligan, MSW, LMSW, CGMP, [email protected], with feedback or ideas you have as we strive for a more inclusive society within SGMP and our country. 


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Save the Date...

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 11am to 1:00 pm

Program:  Virtual and Blended Conference Strategies During and Post COVID-19

Presenter:   Dave Ryder, MBA, Veer Consulting

Who would think an international pandemic would derail global economies and industries in such short order in the 21st Century?  Out of the ashes will rise more efficient and effective strategies for conference management that disseminate information through virtual environments in the immediate and blended strategies of virtual and on-site programs for the long-term. 

Organizations that were experiencing shell shock from having to send workers home to quarantine have discovered that technology can expand engagement exponentially and reduce per occurrence costs.  The same organizations have also discovered the importance of on-site and in-person conferences that enhance the social component critical to productivity and general well-being.

 We will explore the shift from devastation to creative strategy that ultimately blends on-site conferences with the virtual environment to result in higher output, efficient performance and productivity by using the some of the technology we have possessed since long before the pandemic. Let’s take advantage of the work disruption to make plans for 2021 and beyond.  React. Rebuild. Relaunch.

5 skills/take-aways:  Please provide 5 skills or take-aways that attendees will learn from your session.


  1. Learn how clients are re-evaluating their on-site conference protocols with greater commitment.
  2. Learn how the virtual platform can enhance on-site conferences for year-long calendars of events and activities for greater engagement.
  3. Learn how to create a library of webinars for future training use and for customer engagement.
  4. Learn how the post-pandemic protocols will impact our conference site evaluations and meeting structure.
  5. Identify questions to ask planners and clients before building the program in the virtual environment.

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Save the Date - Monthly Meeting Calendar





11:00 – 1:00 pm

Zoom Meeting

Topic:        Virtual and Blended Conference Strategies

                   During and Post COVID-19

Speaker:    Dave Ryder, MBA , Veer Consulting Mgmt.

Email:         [email protected]


           Sip and Paint

8/20/ 2020

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Venue:     Residence Inn Downtown

Address:  132 S. Central Ave. Phx 85004

Rep:         Ashley Sears, Assistant Director of Sales

Email:      [email protected]

Topic:       Sip and Paint

Painter:    Kathie Kelly, Master Painter



          SGMPAZ 33rd Anniversary Celebration

                 Education & Programming


11:00am – 1:00pm

Venue:     Courtyard Phoenix North/Happy Valley

Address:  2029 W Whispering Wind Dr, Phx, AZ 85085

Rep:          Kristine Demlong, Sales Manager

Email:       [email protected]

Topic:        Google Meetings and Tips

Speaker:    Ken Roundtree, ADOA Google Pro




                  Silent Auction & Education


11:00am – 1:30pm
Lunch & Silent Auction

Venue:    Sheraton Crescent Hotel  

Address:  2620 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021

Rep:         Lori Lee, Director of Group Sales


Topic:      MICE

Speaker:  Lynne Wellish, CMP, CHSE, CHO

Email:       [email protected]





11:00am – 1:00pm

Venue:    Great Wolf Lodge Scottsdale

Rep:         Michelle Huebner, Director of Sales

Email:      [email protected]

Topic:       3 P’s to Career Success

Speaker:  Marla Harr

Email:      [email protected]



                   Adopt a Family Program & Programming

11:00am – 1:00pm
Lunch & Holiday Program

Venue:     Available 





Topic:        CVB – How May I Help You?  

Speaker:    Heather Lukach, UArizona

Email:        [email protected]



 June 24,2020

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Meeting Hosts

We will host another Coffee Chat at 9:30 am Soon

Coffee & Conversation- SGMP Western Region
Wednesday, July 19:30 – 10:30am
We hope you enjoyed seeing your board members and friends online on July 1.  We will post another hour long chat soon.  

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Membership Special

In these challenging and changing times, SGMPAZ wants to make sure that they continue to provide access to the tools and resources that you need to stay connected with our industry. If your SGMPAZ membership was set to expire between February and the end of May 2020, SGMPAZ WILL KEEP YOUR MEMBERSHIP ACTIVE THROUGH AUGUST 15, 2020. You will still have member access to the SGMPAZ website so you can… 

· Stay informed about COVID-19 resources here

· Keep up with industry specific news and presentations here

· Connect to other members via the member search at

Please reach out to Melissa Kim, Director of Membership for SGMPAZ [email protected] or 602-943-9510 x. 403  if you have any questions OR if you would like to find out about membership discounts available to members!



STAY CONNECTED: To insure you continue receiving communication from SGMP, please make sure your profile, including an alternate email address, is up-to-date at Member Login on the website. 

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Newsletters (PDF)

The SGMP Arizona chapter board is committed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our members during this critical and uncertain time.  SGMPAZ is thinking of our members and those in the hospitality, meetings and travel industries who have been furloughed or lost their jobs or may be sick from the coronavirus.

We are actively monitoring the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation and taking steps to assure we follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and government recommendations. As such we have cancelled the March and April monthly member meetings in support of maintaining social distancing to limit contact with others. We will be meeting by ZOOM until is safe to meet face-to-face again. 

We genuinely appreciate your loyalty and trust as we navigate the evolving changes in the world around us. On behalf of the SGMP Arizona Board of Directors, we thank you for your confidence. We eagerly await the opportunity to see you (in person) as soon as we are able.

Until then please stay healthy and safe.

Sincerely, Your Chapter President

Kim Phillips



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Upcoming Meetings and Events

 We are excited to host a Sip and Paint reception at the Residence Inn Downtown on August 20 at 5:00 - 7:00.  

Light appetizers, wine and beer and some fun painting and networking time.  We will practice physical distancing, but be in the same room together! (Finally!)

More info to come soon, please RSVP by August 17.


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Welcome New Members

Welcome to Monica Perez at the Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport hotel, who will be replacing 20 year member, Francie Christopher.

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monthly meeting review

Great July 17 presentation by Randy Goruk

Leading With Relationships after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all in many ways. Meetings and events have been cancelled or have been put on hold. Many of us know people who have either lost their jobs or who have experienced significant cutbacks. We are all in this together. 

As meeting professionals, the relationships we have with everyone we touch in the meeting and hospitality industries are an important part of our success. However, Social distancing and working from home have disrupted our normal routine of building and strengthening our relationships.

Waiting to work on our relationships after the pandemic dissipates is not a good strategy. A good strategy is to hit the road running now by implementing new strategies and actions to achieve even greater relationship success after the pandemic.

Webinar participants learned:
• 5 - new strategies for building and strengthening relationships.
• Implementable actions to take now for even greater relationship success.

The hangouts are available and the Zoom video will be posted soon. 

Randy Goruk is the founder and President of, a leadership development firm focused on maximizing personal and professional achievement.

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Special Report

 Due to COVID-19 we are working from home, from other email addresses and in home offices.  Please send us your personal email address, so we can stay CONNECTED. 

Membership Assistance During COVID-19 

The National Board has approved a membership grace period extension of 90 days. If you are unable to pay your dues by your membership renewal date, your membership will go into a grace period of 90 days. 

However, if you are still able to do so, we ask that you continue to renew your membership before your expiration date. If you have questions on your renewal dates or payment options, please contact us at [email protected]


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