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ISES Pages November-December 2012

ISES Pages November-December 2012

The latest news from ISES: Continuing event education, Eventworld sponsor salute and more.

Advancing the Industry with Continuing Education

This fall, Duke University in Durham, N.C., held its first class of the Event Development Certificate Program. Two ISES members — Sally Webb Berry, CSEP, and ISES Pages Volunteer Editor Caroline Sewell — were among the program's inaugural instructors.

“I had to fly around the country over the course of years for the education these students will gain all in one comprehensive program,” says Sewell, who is teaching a class on event design in addition to presenting a three-hour workshop on starting a small business.

Led by experts in the event management field, the Event Development Certificate Program at Duke University was established to equip event professionals with the skills and knowledge to achieve success — even in a challenging economy. The program, which was spearheaded by Whitney Murphy, program manager of Professional Certificate Programs at Duke University Office of Continuing Studies, is offered as a sequential eight-course program that meets on Fridays and Saturdays every other weekend.

“I am so honored to be an integral part of starting this exciting new program for Duke Continuing Studies,” Murphy says. “We are incredibly proud of the group of instructors that we've hired for our inaugural class and are confident that our students are going to leave this class ready to plan an event of their own.”

Duke University's Event Development Certificate Program has been designed for industry veterans as well as new college graduates or those with little or no event experience. The program offers 104 course hours of instruction composed of both a core curriculum (96 hours) and elective courses (eight required hours).

The fall 2012 term began on Sept. 21, with Berry teaching the first course. The term concludes on Jan. 26, 2013.

“The class is just great,” Berry says. “The students are really engaged, enthusiastic and ready to soak up information.”

Registration for the spring term opens Nov. 1, 2012, and classes are slated to begin March 8, 2013.

“I'm thrilled about the program,” Sewell says. “Sharing the experiences that I've encountered with the students and seeing them so excited about the industry is fun for me.”

To learn more about the Duke University Event Development Certificate Program, visit

Duke University's Event Development Certificate Program: The Takeaways

According to the program's website, upon completion of the Event Development Certificate Program, graduates will know how to:

  • Develop a strategic plan for an event

  • Assess and manage the entire financial process

  • Select an appropriate site and design scheme

  • Recognize and market the event to the target audience

  • Engage volunteers and staff in the success of the event

  • Identify, analyze and manage risks and security issues

  • Incorporate sustainability practices into the event planning process

  • Utilize different types of event management software

  • Design an event from start to finish

Name: Sally Webb Berry, CSEP
Company: The Special Event Company
Address: 23 St. Elmos Road
Surrey Quays
London SE16 6SA
United Kingdom

68 TW Alexander Drive
P.O. Box 12696; Durham, NC 27709
Phone: 919/248-4709
E-mail: [email protected]

Name: Caroline Sewell
Company: Encore Events Inc.
Address: P.O. Box 580
Cary, NC 27512
Phone: 919/468-0108
E-mail: [email protected]

Next Page: Saluting our ISES Eventworld 2012 Sponsors

ISES Thanks All of its ISES Evenworld 2012 Sponsors

ISES Eventworld would not be possible without the commitment and strong support of many wonderful individuals and companies. Thanks to each of you for your ongoing support of ISES!

click the PDF link to see all the Eventworld 2012 sponsors!

Next Page: Kristjan Gavin, CMP, Explains What the ISES Mettle Award Means

What the Mettle Attitude Award Means to the ISES Membership

An Open Letter to the ISES Membership

It is with great humility that I accept the ISES Spirit of Excellence Mettle Attitude Award from you.

Due to my emotional state at the time — it was awarded during the 2012 ISES Association General Meeting in Dallas — I was unable to give an appropriate “acceptance speech.” Thus, I would like to take just a bit of your time to let all of you know what this truly means to me and to each of you.

First, it is appropriate to define the Mettle Attitude Award within the confines of the ISES Spirit of Excellence program. The ISES Spirit of Excellence Mettle Attitude Award is “given to a volunteer who is always willing to help and who gets the job done even under trying circumstances.”

We all experience many trying circumstances during the course of our career(s) and life. The old adage “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger” rings true in each of our individual experiences.

If you will indulge me further, I would like to reflect on what I believe this means to you, the ISES membership.

Below is my personal definition of the Mettle Attitude Award in three parts:

Commitment: An individual and ongoing commitment to better the membership experience and the ISES brand against all odds, some known and others to yet be realized. An individual who, with a singular focus, works to better the organization for all current and future association members.

Drive: A consistent drive to build a better ISES family that keeps the flame of the “ISES spirit” burning bright. We are a family of individuals who work toward common goals within the hospitality/special events industry — this was noticeable everywhere at Eventworld 2012 in Dallas. I hope that those of you in attendance felt it envelop you. This award embodies that camaraderie and “ISES spirit.” As one of only three awards given truly on behalf of the membership and not “slated” or “submitted” for, it is an award that defines the “heartbeat” of ISES.

Dedication: A singular dedication to building a better future and to bringing heart, value and recognition to our goals and objectives within ISES and the greater hospitality/events and meetings industry.

It is having given this definition that I accept the award recognizing the work I do on behalf of each and every one of you every day. Sometimes the work came with spectacular success and sometimes with epic failure, but it was always with you, the ISES member, at the forefront. After all, if you don't try, you can't succeed.

In closing, I offer out this challenge: Get involved! If you share a passion for our industry and want to make a difference, step up, be heard, be thought-provoking, ask to be involved, and ask again. We need each and every one of you to help us take ISES and our industry into the future. Please, join us!

Name: Kristjan Gavin, CMP
Company: In Good Company Meetings & Events
Address: 111 Deerwood Road, Suite 200 San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone: 925/855-3255
E-mail: [email protected]


Kudos and accolades are still coming in for the educational program presented at ISES Eventworld 2012. Heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the entire planning team for a job well done!
Overall ISES Eventworld Education Chair and Business of Events: Kristjan Gavin, CMP
Bootcamp for Emerging Professionals: Rebecca Coons, CMP, and Sue Werb, CSEP
Catering and Rentals: Michael Brock Alexander and Kate Kovalick Patay Design/Decor and Graphics: Nick Nevares, CMP, and Marla Watson, CSEP, CTA
Emerging Event Technologies: Sara Altier and J. Damany Daniel Entertainment and AV: Hyacinth Belcher, CSEP, and Debbie Meyers, CSEP Sales, Marketing and Branding: Jennifer Trethewey
Site Selection and Contracts: Gwendolyn McNutt, CSEP, and Mary Baird Wilcock

Next Page: What a Chance ISES Meeting has Meant to One Member

A Chance Meeting

How one young member’s first ISES experience helped shape her event management career


“Hey, Mom, I have been thinking about checking out this event group in Columbus. They are having a meeting in February. I am about to register and thought I would call you to see if you'd like to go with me to check it out. Any thoughts?”

It was a phone call that changed my life. I was a third-year college student and had no idea what I really wanted to do with the education I was receiving. I was working toward a degree in American Studies, but I really needed to decide on a focus in … something, anything.

Growing up, I had always been in some sort of planning-type of group, planning social traditions like proms, pep rallies and fundraisers, and I loved the idea that these types of events truly celebrate something special in people's lives. So, that's why I considered event planning as a career.

I will never forget my first ISES experience. There I was, mingling among a diverse group of people. I had no idea what to say, whom to approach or what to do. I really didn't know anything about the industry. So, I just started talking — and introducing my parents.

It was at that meeting that I first had an actual education about the special event industry, and I met some wonderful people. I became one of two student members of the ISES Columbus Chapter at that time. Monthly ISES chapter meetings were on my schedule as if they were a class — the two-hour commute once a month was worth it.

Today, I sit on the board for my local chapter, the Columbus Chapter, and I cannot be more proud of representing such an organization. After my first ISES experience, I determined that my degree focus would be in special events and their cultural significance. Though I wanted to be an event planner, my school offered no such hospitality program. Fortunately, my ISES education and programs have helped me further my knowledge in this incredible industry.

I am beyond lucky to belong to such a warm, embracing and talented ISES chapter that serves as an inspiration as I develop my career. But regardless what chapter you belong to, we are all lucky to be part of ISES.

Name: Elissa Butler
Company: Creative Cuisine
Address: 839 Busch Court
Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614/436-4949

Next Page: The Credits

The Credits

Caroline Sewell
Volunteer Editor
Encore Events Inc.
Greater Triangle N.C.
[email protected]

Christina Currie
Christina Currie Events Inc.

Carol Roleder
Craig's Crew Inc.
Los Angeles

Kelly Rehan
Managing Editor
[email protected]

Kevin Hacke
Executive Director
[email protected]

Kristin Prine
Operations Manager
[email protected]

Lauren Rini
Senior Coordinator of Specialty Programs
[email protected]

Tom McCurrie
Chapter Services Sr. Associate
[email protected]

Caitlin Cusack
Membership Services Associate
[email protected]

330 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611 USA

T: 800/688-4737 T: 312/321-6853

F: 312/673-6953

E: [email protected]


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