We’d like to send out a huge round of congratulations to our very own Cathy Clifton and Erica Allen, both of whom won awards from the Arizona Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (AZMPI).
Cathy, Socious’s Senior Director of Global Meetings and Events, and Erica, a Socious Event Manager, were honored at AZMPI’s Annual Gala on Friday, June 3. The awards came as a surprise to both.
Cathy Clifton Named Planner of the Year
Planner of the Year recognizes an active AZMPI member who has demonstrated leadership, made significant contributions, and delivers exceptional meetings. At the gala, Cathy was presented with the award for the second time in her career, being honored the first time in 1997. She is the first meeting professional in AZMPI history to win the award twice.
Cathy has been nominated for the award several times, and was described in the announcement speech as a “true MPI success story.” Starting as a student, she has worked her way up through the ranks to become a successful global planner with over 20 years of experience in the industry.
She’s active in MPI, and most recently Cathy served on the panel for AZMPI’s May meeting, representing the meeting planner perspective. She’s also a past president of MPI’s Arizona Chapter, and has actively encouraged her coworkers at Socious to join and volunteer with MPI as part of their ongoing professional development.
Here at Socious, Cathy works primarily with the Higher Education User Group (HEUG). The HEUG is a Socious client with over 30,000 members, and has numerous national and international events throughout the year. She travels frequently to support the HEUG’s events, and is known for her expertise in contract negotiation.
Erica Allen is Awarded the Rising Star
It was Cathy who encouraged and motivated Erica to join and volunteer with AZMPI, starting shortly after Erica joined Socious in 2013.
In AZMPI, Erica quickly established herself a knowledgeable volunteer and leader by becoming co-chair of an annual chapter event. In February of this year, she was honored as AZMPI’s Member of the Month, and at the Annual Gala in June she was presented with the Rising Star award.
The Rising Star honors a new MPI member who has shown strong commitment and made extraordinary contributions to the association and the entire meetings industry. As a new member who recently earned her Certified Meeting Planner designation and jumped headfirst into a leadership role, Erica fit the category perfectly. The chapter event she’s co-chairing is forecast to be a huge success, and she’s already shown herself to be a great role model.
At the Socious office, we often hear Erica described as a leader and quiet soul who doesn’t say much, but when she speaks, you listen and learn. Like Cathy, Erica focuses her time here at Socious planning international and US regional events for the HEUG. Some of Erica’s daily tasks include researching and booking event venues, hotels, and speakers.
Both Erica and Cathy travel in the US and internationally to support the HEUG’s events, and contribute to MPI in their free time.
Meeting Professionals International
MPI’s mission is to provide members, chapters, and the global meeting and event community with continuing professional education, networking opportunities, and promote growth in the industry.
The Arizona Sunbelt Chapter was established in 1979, and promotes excellence in the meeting industry through professional development, certification, and business growth opportunities.
Once again, we’d like to congratulate Erica and Cathy on their awards, and thank them for their excellent work and standout performance with Socious and MPI!