Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 20 2014

PCMA Heartland 2014 Board Installation

Maria Arnone

The 2014 PCMA Heartland Chapter Board Installation, Awards Dinner and Silent Auction was a sparkling evening, held at the Hotel Sorella on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, on Thursday, February 6.


From the dramatic hotel lobby, to the beautiful room and the fabulous tables, with party favors supplied by Visit Louisville and Catch Des Moines, it was a night to remember—and give to one of PCMA Heartland’s favorite charities, Operation Breakthrough.


“The evening was an enormous success,” said Belinda ("B") Waldo, past-president, and Director of Sales at ALHI, who coordinated the festivities. “We raised $8,500 through our silent and live auctions for Operation Breakthrough—a record-breaking amount.” And B was impressed by the hotel’s facilities and accommodation. “The Hotel Sorella sets a new bar on the Plaza. What a wonderful way for our Chapter planners to experience its luxury.”


The evening’s highlights included presentations from sponsors, Louisville CVB, Greater Des Moines CVB, Travel Alberta and Hotel Sorella. The crowd warmly welcomed outgoing President, Vicki Comegys of Des Moines CVB. The evening’s events and Silent and Live Auction announcements were expertly emceed by Brad Plumb, CMP, of the Overland Park CVB. Operation Breakthrough officers warmly thanked attendees for making a huge difference in lives of children in need. The passing of the gavel to incoming Chapter President, Amy Harper, CMP, Meetings and Events Program Manager with NAIC, was a feature of the evening. Amy’s address to the crowd (including her fiancé whom she will marry in April,) was positive and forward-looking. Chris Wehking, Chairman of the Board of PCMA installed the new 2014 Officers.


The menu was delicious and featured a mustard bruléed black cod. The dessert was an interesting blood orange olive oil cake that confirmed the restaurant’s goal of bringing the flavors of Italy to Kansas City. The evening’s entertainment was accented, thanks to Visit Louisville, by one of Churchill Downs’ famous buglers.


Awards given included:

  • Distinguished Meeting Professional of the Year: Cheri Jones, CMP, for her planning and execution of the 2013 NW Arkansas program and encouraging her company, Vista Productions, to supply a speaker and equipment for the 2013 State of the Industry event.
  • Distinguished Supplier Partner of the Year: Elizabeth Huston, for exceptional volunteerism on committees and now the Board.
  • Emerging Leader of the Year: Judy Kirchmann, for rallying representatives from each state for the Membership Committee, and using innovative and creative ways to get them involved.
  • Distinguished Member of the Year: Vicki Comegys, for her 2013 presidency, and the passion, humor, and mentorship she brings to the Chapter.
  • President’s Award: Sherie Howell, CMP, for her outstanding volunteerism and service to Vicki during her presidency. 


To see a list of our 2014 Officers, click here. To volunteer for one of our many committees, please click here. Your support and volunteerism is needed to make 2014 a great year for our Chapter!

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