The student planners also made history by selecting two students to participate in the panel discussion. The first was Joe Boyer, a senior at Arizona State University majoring in Tourism Development and Management. The second student participant was senior Anya Raine, who is majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management and is the MPI Student Club President at Northern Arizona University.
The panel also featured two "seasoned professionals," one planner and one supplier. The planner, Karolyn Kiburz, CMP, is a past President of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter (1998-99). She is a Certified Meeting Planner and the owner of Meeting and Concierge Source. The supplier was James Eggimann, CMP. He is currently the Senior Sales Manager with The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix. He has been a member of MPI since 1994 and is also a Certified Meeting Planner as well as a Certified Speaking Ambassador on behalf of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
As the panel identified and articulated the generational differences in values, attitudes and ethics in the workplace, the student planners wanted to engage the members of the audience. To accomplish this task they allowed the audience to text questions that were projected onto a screen and asked by the facilitator. The student organizers also provided note-cards at each table for those who do not text to include every generation in the discussion.
The Arizona Sunbelt Chapter would like to thank our Property Sponsor, the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Joya Spa, and our Program Sponsor, the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, for there generosity in sponsoring this historic event. This event would not be possible without our Program Chair, The Vice President of Education Jennifer Castro and our Property Chair Laurel Laurel Zakula who mentored the students throughout the planning process.
The program was recorded and sent to all 80 chapters around the world (Click here to watch a video segment). The next student run program for the MPI Sunbelt Chapter will be April 2010. Our President Deborah Gardner states, "We are so proud of this historical event as the first recorded student-run program for all MPI chapters worldwide. With the best member attendance in a long time, it really told us this was a popular and necessary idea. This meeting made a huge impact on the students. The feedback has been phenomenal with their excitement to get started in our hospitality industry. A successful result that our professionals have been thriving for in order to close that generational gap."
Since this event was successful, the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter hopes that chapters around the world will play a role in mentoring local students by involving them in a student-run monthly educational meeting, just at the Sunbelt Chapter has.
Written by By Briana Einarsen, ASU
Photos Courtesy of SuperHero Productions