by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 26, 2016

Meeting Professionals International has begun a reorganization, aiming for long-term strategic growth. New leadership positions have been created, management responsibilities are being realigned, and staff roles and teams are being restructured. As part of the process, MPI eliminated 15 positions and created four new roles, which resulted in a net reduction of 11 positions.  

"We have made so much positive progress transforming our association over the past few years, and our membership satisfaction scores, market feedback, and community and revenue growth confirm we're on the right track," said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. "Our focus has been to increase member value and grow our community with the introduction of the MPI Academy and new educational offerings, the launch of our new membership and chapter infrastructure models, the acquisition of Plan Your Meetings and other strategic initiatives. We also have an obligation to our membership to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. By improving our organization, we can better serve our members and our community." 

Two people have been hired for leadership positions and two have been promoted. Marianne Strobel, who will become MPI's senior vice president of marketing and community on Oct. 3, will manage the organization's membership, chapter operations, creative services, brand marketing and communications teams. Her 25 years of experience in strategic marketing, sales and communications included positions at Alorica, AT&T and Sprint. Strobel comes on board after serving as a consultant for MPI for the past few months.

Matthew Marcial, CAE, CMP, the new vice president of education and events, has been promoted from the position of senior director of events and has been with the association since 2014. He will oversee MPI's global events portfolio and the MPI Academy educational products, experiences and professional certificate programs.

Previously the senior director of business development, Evan Casey has been promoted to vice president of sales. He was with Plan Your Meetings for 16 years before MPI acquired that company last November. Casey now leads the association's business development team's global sales efforts. 

Bernard Schraer, the former publisher of Meetings & Conventions and a consultant to MPI for the past 18 months, has been hired as the group's vice president of revenue and channel development. He will manage MPI's strategic alliances, Plan Your Meeting audience development and publishing teams.

"We are confident the realignment as well as the additional appointments we made will position MPI very well for long-term financial sustainability," said Van Deventer. "The decision to restructure our organization was not made lightly, but we believe it will strengthen our team so we can better serve our members and the industry."

Diane Hawkins, MPI's vice president of people, performance and administrative services is now in charge of the volunteer-experience team, which manages board relations and governance. Jodi Ann LaFreniere Ray, MPI's vice president of membership and volunteer experience, has taken a position as executive director and CEO of the Texas Society of CPAs and will leave MPI in November.