Meet Our Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP)

mta certified meeting professionals millertanner.com

As we reflect on the end of a momentous year, Miller Tanner is proud to announce the addition of five newly-certified meeting professionals (CMP) in 2016 – totaling seven within our company!

At MTA, we believe in an environment that fosters continued learning and career advancement for the betterment of our staff resulting in more satisfied clients. We’ve highlighted these outstanding women below in honor of their latest achievement.

What Exactly is the CMP?

The CMP credential is recognized globally as the “badge of excellence” in the meeting, convention, exhibition, and event industry, according to the Convention Industry Council (CIC).  Those with a CMP after their names are regarded with industry-wide trust and respect. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, continued education, and a strenuous exam.

Enlisting the services of an event planning company with CMP certifications will:

  • Promote industry standards, practices, and ethics in the management of your event
  • Offer access to a broad body of knowledge in the events profession
  • Provide expert contract negotiation and management for your benefit
  • Establish and enhance quality relationships with vendors, who recognize and honor the CMP
  • Maximize the ROI of your choice in an event planner

Meet Our Certified Meeting Professionals

Patty Cullim, CMP, Sr. Global Experience Designer 

patty cullim certified meeting professional millertanner.com

Years in the events industry: 20+ years (I stopped counting at 20 because it made me feel far too old!)

Reason for pursuing the CMP: I pursued the CMP for personal growth. I wanted to stay current on trends in the industry and have the opportunity to network with others in the industry.

Most interesting aspect of event industry that you learned through this training/testing: One interesting aspect of the training was identifying the cultural differences regarding international meetings and how they are not so different from USA.

 Favorite study location: My kitchen table in the morning with that first cup of coffee was my favorite spot.

Estimated caffeine intake (in any metric you see fit!): 100 – total cups of “study” coffee; miles driven to Starbucks for that study coffee; excuses used to start studying by needing that Starbucks fix in order to start studying; new Barista friends made while driving to Starbucks for that special study coffee!!

Jenny Decker, CMP, Global Experience Designer

jenny decker certified meeting professional millertanner.com

Years in the events industry: 10 years

Reason for pursuing the CMP: I received my certification in 2014. Education has always been important to me.  There is always more to learn regardless of the industry. I know that the value of a CMP designation extends far beyond passing a test—it encourages and provides continuing education throughout one’s career.  Earning my CMP has been empowering; I feel that it enables vendors, hoteliers and our clients to have a level of confidence and trust in my role as a planner and in my decision-making process.

Most interesting aspect of event industry that you learned through this training/testing: I am not a great test-taker, nor have I perfected the art of studying.  However—learning about international meetings and how the culture impacts your decision-making not only was intriguing but has also helped prepare me for my role with Miller Tanner.

Favorite study location: Hammock

Estimated caffeine intake (in any metric you see fit!):  3 full Olympic-sized swimming pools

Melissa Eggert, CMP, Global Experience Manager

Years in the events industry: 9 years

melissa eggert certified meeting professional millertanner.com

 Reason for pursuing the CMP: My motivation for having a CMP credential was two-fold. First, I wanted to challenge myself and expand my scope of the events world outside of pharmaceutical meetings.

By studying for the CMP, I was able to glean from the knowledge of many event professionals and understand the central backbone of the field.

Secondly, having the CMP credential boosts the confidence of both our clients and vendors in Miller Tanner as a company. It is important to me that I provide our clients with the best service in the industry, and having the CMP aids in achieving that goal.

 Most interesting aspect of event industry that you learned through this training/testing: While learning how to set up trade shows and exhibition booths was exhilarating, I think the most useful piece of information absorbed was less tactical and more theoretical.

I expanded my understanding of the WHY – why do we plan events? What purpose do they serve? What are we looking to achieve with this gathering of people? Setting the end goal before the planning begins is just as, if not more, important than the event itself.

 Favorite study location: I studied for this test in Vancouver, Canada in the summer – which is, hands down, the most gorgeous city in North America! With clear skies and mountain views, it was hard to sit anywhere inside. However, I managed to test out just about every coffee shop in the city that was open after work hours and my favorite? An art gallery-turned-coffee shop with jazz music and a killer lavender latte!

 Estimated caffeine intake (in any metric you see fit!): Coffee. Water. Sugary Treat. Repeat.

Gracie FisherCMP, Global Experience Manager

gracie fisher certified meeting professional millertanner.com


Years in the events industry:
5 years

Reason for pursuing the CMP: New challenges keep me invigorated, invested and connected to our industry. Accepting the challenge of pursuing a CMP gave me a new objective and challenged me to grow beyond the skills I use on a daily basis.

Most interesting aspect of event industry that you learned through this training/testing: I feel as though I connected and related to the domain of event design and the purpose of design and its marriage to functionality. We do not create or design an event without taking the original objective and vision of the event and weaving it through every decision.

Even something as small as the way a lounge area is set up or a piece of furniture chosen should contribute to the event objective as a whole. For me, it reminded me that every decision and element not only contributes to the event meaning and objective but that each decision can be related back to serving your clients holistically.

Favorite study location: Gosh, studying took me back to college! Studying on the rooftop patio of my favorite coffee shop in town was the best location for me. It was quiet, there was fresh air, and about 50 nineteen-year-olds around me.

Estimated caffeine intake (in any metric you see fit!): This question does not apply to me unless it requires me to disclose my ice cream intake or cookie intake. I had to implement a rewards system for myself and there were MANY treats consumed.

Kate SheelenCMP, Global Experience Manager

kate sheelen certified meeting professional millertanner.com

Years in the events industry: 16 years

Reason for pursuing the CMP: Personal goal and professional development were my reasons for pursuing the credential. I also felt a respect for the designation and achievement in the industry.

Most interesting aspect of event industry that you learned through this training/testing: It’s not so much interesting but something I still reference and use for MTA – the banquet calculations, room types, and setups.

Favorite study location: When studying for the exam,  you would find me at my desk, with a fresh cup of coffee, notebook, note cards, and the CIC manual…with perhaps a little country music playing in the background.

Estimated caffeine intake (in any metric you see fit!): Expensive!  Now slowly becoming more budget conscientious and managing 1-2 cups of coffee per day.

Meredith Shottes, CMP, Chief Experience Officer

meredith shottes certified meeting professional millertanner.com


Years in the events industry:
14 years

Reason for pursuing the CMP: While working with our clients it became abundantly clear that this designation was a vital stat for them to share with their internal stakeholders to further validate their decision to choose Miller Tanner Associates. 

By sharing that I, and other members of our team, have been certified by one of the leading industry organizations in our professional planning knowledge, we helped clear a path towards our selection for major alliance partnerships.

Most interesting aspect of event industry that you learned through this training/testing:  I don’t think that it was any one aspect that I found interesting, but rather how in depth the test goes on a large variety of topics with GREAT detail!  From Association stakeholders to individual learning styles to formulas that calculate how much coffee to order in the afternoon if your group is all women – the amount to absorb was endless and all fascinating!

Favorite study location: The Alcove in Los Angeles was my go-to spot for breakfast/lunch/coffee/CAKE! during my cram week before the test!

Estimated caffeine intake (in any metric you see fit!): All I can say is that I had a really BAD caffeine habit from my cram week and had to quit coffee for about a year to return to normal.