February 01, 2000
> Meetings & Conventions: PeopleFebruary 2000 Current Issue
February 2000 people


  Coffee WITH... Pat Stemple, CMP

Pat Stemple

Pat Stemple, CMP, is manager, meeting planning and travel services, for Kellogg Co. in Battle Creek, Mich. She currently is serving as president of the Society of Corporate Meeting Professionals and has worked in the meetings industry for nearly 22 years.

When you became a planner, what surprised you most about the job?
The fact that in order to be a great meeting professional, you need to know how to be a poor one. A planner has to anticipate everything that could go wrong. The measure of a meeting’s success is how you recover from mistakes and whether they were transparent to the attendees.

What are the benefits of joining a small association?
Belonging to a small organization like SCMP offers an easier opportunity for networking. The real value, however, comes from the fact that planners have a chance to network with their partners in hotel convention services. Our members are anxious to share their knowledge with industry peers and always demonstrate a sense of pride in the fact that they are part of the meetings industry.

What are your least favorite things about traveling?
I always have to have choices when I travel, so I inevitably take too many clothes. Despite this, I still seem to pack the wrong ones. Not being able to take my pets along worries me. I have two cats, Tips and Smokey, and a dog, Mocha. All three, plus my husband, Tim, want to sleep with me. So, on the road, a king-size bed feels very empty.

What destination would be your vacation choice?
Any island, mountain or oceanside destination. I need peaceful surroundings no clocks, no deadlines and few schedules to renew my energy. Time spent quietly, bringing balance back into my life, is a rare and precious commodity.

What’s your favorite cereal?
I fell for the commercials about thin ankles, so I ate Special K. Now, I’ve fallen for the idea that it doesn’t matter, so I still eat Special K. I tend to stay with products that promote health and add vitamins and minerals to my diet. A meeting professional’s diet needs all the fortification it can get.


Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Stephen H. Alter is the new meetings manager for the American Symphony Orchestra League, based in New York City. Before joining the organization, Alter was a meeting planner for the Institute for International Research, also in New York City.

Beckie Biedebach, a 16-year veteran of Hilton Hotels Corp.’s Los Angeles national sales office, has joined ConferenceDirect, a Los Angeles-based meeting planning firm, as assistant vice president of sales.

Conferon, a meeting planning firm based in Twinsburg, Ohio, has appointed Rick Binford, CMP, managing director of sales. Binford previously served as an independent business development consultant for the meetings industry, and as president and CEO of the Detroit Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Micki Mack has joined PlanNet, a McLean, Va.-based full- service meetings management corporation, as associate director of meetings and conference solutions. Mack comes to PlanNet after more than two years as conference planning manager for Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va.


  • Joseph Gaeta has been promoted to director of conference services at The Garden City (N.Y.) Hotel.
  • Christie Hicks has been named vice president, global salesNorth America for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, based in White Plains, N.Y.
  • Nancy Lyonhas been appointed director of conference services and catering, and Bruce Seigel has been named director of sales and marketing for the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis.
  • Ann H. Walker has been appointed executive director of sales for The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
  • If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Amy Drew Teitler, Senior Editor, M&C, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094; fax: (201) 319-1796; e-mail:

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