Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

May 04 2016

GMC PCMA Partners With Inspiration Café

Wendy Carranza, CMP
GMC PCMA has selected Inspiration Corporation as its charity organization to support for 2016-2017. On March 24, 2016, members of the committee came together for the first partnership by lending a hand at Inspiration Corporation's Inspiration Café.

Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing.

Inspiration Corporation's Meals program creates unique, supportive communities to serve participants high-quality healthy and nutritious meals in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Inspiration Café serves nearly 25,000 meals annually in a restaurant-style setting to provide socialization opportunities and improve the health and wellness of participants.

Meals are prepared and served by volunteers five mornings and four nights a week. The menu varies each day, accommodating individual dietary restrictions and preferences. Meals include fresh produce and other healthy options. While food is the key element of this program, opportunities to connect with others and strengthen social support networks are equally important steps toward recovery and self-sufficiency.

Ten committee members helped make the first partnership a smashing success. Two members, Kris Marinelli Jebson from MGM Resorts International and Antoinette Gonzales of Aries Charter Transportation, provided spring-themed centerpieces to grace the tables. Eight members helped onsite: Troy Karnoff from Visit Phoenix, Tina Mosley from the American Medical Association, Laura Pabst from Smith Bucklin, Kelly Jena from Association Management Center, Kari Messenger from Association Management Center, Anne Lilly from 360 Destination Group, Chicago, Andrea Carlson Hilton Chicago & Palmer House Hilton Sales, Catherine McKenna, and Wendy Carranza from the American Medical Association. Some prepared food in the kitchen while others took orders and served meals and beverages. One onsite member arranged for a jazz duo to provide music that gave the evening lots of pep and style.

The success and enthusiasm of the evening sets the tone for future partnerships. In May the Committee will be partnering with Inspiration Corporation to assist in a mock interview day for recent graduates of their workforce development programs. On June 25, GMC will be walking on behalf of Inspiration Corporation for the Annual Hunger Walk put on by the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

About the Author
Wendy Carranza, CMP, is a Meeting Manager with the American Medical Association, and a proud member of the PCMA's Greater Midwest Chapter Community Services Committee.