January 15, 2019
January 2019 Educational Program
The Southern Exchange
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Awards & Recognition



Chair, Shining Star Committee
Carol Hall

Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
Association & Government Sales Manager
Member since 2000


As part of the Grants and Recognition Committee mission, we support and applaud members with Shining Star Awards. Your Grants and Member Recognition Committee recognizes members for making extra-ordinary efforts on behalf of our organization. Please take the time to nominate your fellow deserving members via the nomination form.

Our next Shining Star will be named in late summer so please nominate your fellow members!



Jason Bastow

December 2018

Jason Bastow
Senior Event Planning Manager
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Member since: 2016

Hyatt Regency


Jason Bastow of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta is our December Quarterly Shining Star. Jason did a phenomenal job as the Chair of the 2018 Fall Classic (view photos). He was thorough and persistent to make sure all details were covered. Jason assisted in bringing in sponsors, both in-kind and cash donations, as well as securing raffle items. It was a great event and Jason deserves huge kudos. In fact, Jason received three nominations which is a record.

In his free time, besides being a new dad, Jason enjoys hunting and reading business books.  His colleagues consider him loyal which we can definitely appreciate this characteristic. Some fun facts about Jason: his favorite beverage is Scotch, his least favorite food is pickles, and his favorite restaurant is Superica. Please congratulate Jason on his hard work and dedication as the chair of the 2018 Fall Classic. 



September 2018

Carla Thomas-Carroll
Director of Global Sales
Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Member since: 2015


The Quarterly Shining Star Award represents recognition for the hard work and dedication of one of our volunteer members. Carla was honored at the September luncheon as the latest Shining Star recipient. She will receive a lovely framed certificate of a “star” registered in her name. Here’s a recap from the individual who nominated Carla:

As the co-chair of the 2018 Phoenix Awards, Carla worked tirelessly to produce an exciting, flawless event. She brought in countless sponsors to make the event sizzle, managed the design and printing of all event materials, managed the awards component of the program, and much more. She is a Shining Star and then some.

We asked Carla a few questions to get a better understanding of what makes her tick…

Hobbies: I grew up in the skating rink and still love to roller skate. I enjoy wakeboarding and would love to learn to snowboard.


If you had to pick another profession: I would probably be a child psychologist. I have a passion for children and also a passion to help people work through their issues in life. I think all children should have a judgement-free zone to express their thoughts, ideas, and problems. Children have so much pressure to excel today and being able to talk to someone who is unbiased is important for their development.


How would your co-workers best describe you? I know they would say that I can be loud, but I hope they would describe me as “the life of the party.”

Miranda von Litolff
May 2018
Miranda von Litolff
Independent Meetings and Events Contractor
Member since: 2015

Miranda has been working for months on the 2018 Phoenix Awards. I know every committee member is important, but as the chairperson she is an amazing leader. Miranda picks up the slack and organized – everyone so there is literally no guess work.

Tell us something exciting we would not know about you… besides being newly married? 
I walked by Paul McCartney in a small suburb outside of London called St. Johns Wood. He actually greeted me and said, “Good morning to you.”  I was in total celebrity legend shock and responded back by stuttering “G-g-ood M-morning.”

How would your colleagues describe you?
Diligent, Classy, Funny, and Sweet

What are your favorite weekend activities?
Travel, outdoor adventures, hiking, biking, and attending museums and festivals

Weirdest type of food you have eaten:
Cow’s stomach, blood sausage, piranha

If you had to pick another profession, it would be: 
Travel writer

Previous Award Winners:

January 2018: Amy Hokkanen, Independent Planner

December 2017: Jill Eisel, Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge

July 2017: Dawn Andrews, Georgia Speakers Bureau

May 2017: Megan Perks, Palm House Group

January 2017: Lissette Mathus, Dave & Buster's of Atlanta

October 2016: Tierra Copeland, Building Owners & Managers Association of Georgia

May 2016: Ashley Izydore, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

January 2016: Steven Schumacher, Dunwoody CVB

October 2015: Anna Williams, Juice Studio

September 2015: Tracy Keller, CMP, ASHRAE

May 2015: Tara Brashear, Freeman

March 2015: Arielle Galimidi, CMP, AG Events  

January 2015: Miranda Allen, CMP, Live Event Solutions

September 2014: Carol Hall, August Marriott at the Convention Center

May 2014: Chris Bonnett, Omnience

March 2014: Eileen Roehl, CMP, Murfee Group

February 2014: Kelli Lusk, Destination South Meetings & Events


January 2014: Tracy Stuckrath, CHC, CMM, CSEP, Thrive! Meetings & Events

December 2013: Tess Vismale, CMP, Atlanta Technical College

November 2013: Britney Darby, Hinman Dental Society of Atlanta

October 2013: Laura Pope, Hinman Dental Society

September 2013: Naomi Green, Fox Bros. BBQ

August 2013: Karyn Kotler, Tabernacle, Live Nation

July 2013: Megan Drew, CMP, TMP, Macon-Bibb County CVB

May 2013: Laura Guerin, CMP, SEDC

March 2013: Andy Williams, TMP, CVB of Dunwoody

February 2013: Sara Justice, Starwood Atlanta Metro Market

January 2013: Alice Tarkington, CMP, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

December 2012: Natalie Broadus

November 2012: Marie Turner

October 2012: Kim Maling, CMP, DCMP, InLine Meeting & Site Selection

September 2012: Bobby Hobes, CCTE, CMP, Chenega Corporation

August 2012: Shannon Pike, Classic Party Rentals


Each year, MPI honors its best and brightest chapters and volunteers through the Recognizing Industry Success & Excellence (RISE) Awards.

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Thank you to our Shining Star Award Annual Sponsor