Chapter News

December 2021 Message from the President

Happy Holidays! For my last video of the year, I’m going to just speak to you all versus doing a full recap, so please watch if you are so inclined. I’ve really appreciated those of you who have watched or given me supportive comments about them, it’s meant more than you know. Being your President of PCMA GMC has been one of the most challenging but rewarding tasks in my entire career so thank you for the opportunity.

For my written address, I wanted to highlight the work of our chapter, committees, and our volunteers in 2021.  It has not been a small feat and since we aren’t having our traditional annual update and sparing us one more zoom meeting, here we go!

As a chapter, we successfully navigated the transition to a new committee structure from our bylaw update in 2020. This was crucial to our agility during the past year to make the changes we needed to. We also remained financially stable despite our revenue streams being extremely strained and the SBA loan we applied for not actualizing. This was a challenge and required every committee to operate as efficiently and diligently as possible now and moving forward. Although we did need to move funds from our reserves, the reserves are still relatively healthy and growing. We also updated several operational processes, which will give an opportunity for more members to move into leadership and ensure efficiency in the future. We also stepped into advocacy for the first time, something that we plan to continue as a region in support of our entire hospitality community.

Our executive committee was crucial in the sustainability of our chapter in 2021. So, to Rachael Riggs, Kristi Casale, Kelly Jena, and Jennifer Sommers, I send a big thank you for your collaboration and leadership.

Awards Committee led by Patty Olejnik and Barb Thavis with board liaison Bob Kobosky: The shifting of the Awards program from March to June to September, afforded this group to recognize our 2020 winners more than ever before via video and engagement leading up to the Awards. They also successfully marketed and executed the 2021 Awards process in the same timeline while continuing to improve the submission process.

Community Service led by Wendy Carranza and Aileen Laracuente with board liaison Tamara Jones: This group got creative and found ways to serve throughout the year. They supported Lakeview Food Pantry and the Southside Center of Hope through their ongoing coat drive. They provided lunches and notes of encouragement to Sarah’s Circle and created fun chapter digital sessions when we couldn’t meet in person. We also began to engage the high school audience in programs to show them ways they could get into our industry.  Thank you for your heart CS!

Digital led by Cindy Sabin: In March, we signed on for a year with Social27 to provide a regional networking platform and host for our digital content. Although we didn’t get everything we wanted done with this group, I am proud of our volunteers that participated, live streaming of the Awards Celebration and creating new opportunities to connect. We will continue to experiment with delivery methods to better include all our regions in GMC!

Inclusion, Diversity and Equity led by Yolanda Battle Simmons with board liaison Tamara Jones: This group has continued to move our chapter forward to an even more inclusive and informed chapter. They were bold and brave, creating educational sessions on everything from accessibility and racial awareness. They highlighted a different perspective through their articles and acknowledgment of different holidays and issues affecting our members. You make our chapter better and I am grateful.

Marketing led by Alli Shebek and Julianne Touhy with board liaison Mia Friel: If you follow us on social media (which I hope you do), you will see we have certainly stepped up our game on Instagram, Facebook, and all our social media channels! We had fun with our marketing to get the word out to our membership on things like the Mark Henry scholarship, Awards, and our events! This group also continued to evolve our marketing practices to set us further up for success in the future. #awesomework

Membership Engagement led by Lindsay Williams with board liaison Kris Marinelli Jebson: This group had the biggest consolidation committee effort, moving student membership, chapter relations and membership engagement under one umbrella. We continued to be a chapter leader in student programming and mentorship. We worked to engage our regional members through digital programming and got creative on our outreach and membership recognition. They worked hard to keep everyone engaged during a really challenging 2021. Members are why we do what we do and thanks to this crew!

Professional Development led by Sherry Vale with board liaison Christine Melendes: This group worked hard to produce digital, hybrid and live events for our chapter. I don’t have to tell any of you that lived it how hard it was to figure out what to do where and when safely on a budget. Events, Education and Professional Development are so important to our chapter so thank you to this group for their flexibility and creativity always and especially in 2021.

Sponsorship led by Roz Stuttley with board liaison Norma Taylor: Ingenuity and empathy were the name of the game for sponsorship in 2021. This group worked so hard to drive ROI to our supplier community and help us stay financially stable with a smile on their face. An additional thanks to Tradeshow Logic and specifically Chris Gowe for their strategic partnership over the past few years, it’s been invaluable.

Thank you to our management company liaisons from PCMA HQ, Jacky Meracle and Claire Murray, for always keeping us on task and their unwavering support!

And that is our year in review! We started with a digital disco reception for Convening Leaders all the way to our first Holiday Mixer collaboration with Association Forum which will be on December 13th. We thrived and survived, and I couldn’t be prouder to be your President.

Molly Witges, CMP, DES
2021 GMC PCMA President
Maritz Global Events


Congrats and to all our members celebrating an anniversary this month!

5 Year:
Sherry Gendel
Veronica Cunningham
Julie Ferry
Roberta Tisdul
Jordana Money
Roxanne Wenzel
Anthony Maggiore 

10 Year:
KariAnn DeServi
Kris Finger

15 Year:
Julie Savage
Sandy Reynolds
Lisa McClanahan

Jacky ListonDecember 2021 Message from the President