President's Letter

Dear Members and Soon-to-be-Members,

pres16SGMP is a non-profit national organization headquartered in the Washington, DC area which brings together government (local, regional, federal) meeting professionals and others who provide services for government meetings (hoteliers, food service, transportation, etc.).  Our local chapter, Central Florida, was chartered in 1998 and has been responding to the needs of Central Florida members continuously since then.

Please take a moment to look over our website.  If you are considering becoming a member, please contact our Membership Committee chairs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will be glad to assist you.  Planner membership fees are $55 yearly and supplier fees are $400 yearly.

Please consider coming to one of our meetings, luncheon or evening, as a guest.  Meeting information is located on our home page under Upcoming Meetings and a yearly calendar (July to June) shows past and future meetings.  Planners may attend 2 free meetings per year; suppliers may attend 1 free meeting—more than enough time to see if our chapter is right for you!

Our members come from all areas of central Florida but many are right here in Gainesville where we hold many of our meetings. Our meetings are always fun and informative, earning Contact Hours for industry certifications.

I invite you to come see what central Florida meeting professionals are doing to promote their industry and provide education in a friendly, informal atmosphere.


Virginia Hessels, CMP


President, Central Florida Chapter




Past Letters

Dear Members,

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Central Florida Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals’ (SGMP) website. 

We are a professional organization that caters to both planners and suppliers.  If you are already a member, I hope you are taking advantage of the networking opportunities available with some of the industry’s finest professionals and the timely and informative educational sessions provided each month.

For those who are not currently members, I invite you to attend one of our monthly meetings so you can see for yourself the invaluable opportunity of being a member of this nationally recognized organization.  It is my hope that you are looking for an organization where you feel comfortable contributing your knowledge and experience to further the outreach of the society.

Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) tag line is, “When we meet, we change the world.” 

I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.  In fact, I will take it one step further and state that meeting professionals create the meetings that change the world.  What do I mean by that?  Without our knowledge and expertise in planning, coordinating, negotiating, and entertaining, meetings would not be the dynamic, highly interactive networking events they have become over the last ten years.  If you are interested in learning how to become a world changer or just need to hone your skills, come join us! 

We are here for you!

Andrew Campbell, CMP

President, SGMP Central Florida Chapter


Dear Members,

colleenflageThank you for your support!

It is an honor and a privilege to be the new SGMP Central Florida Chapter President.Since our charter date, November 19, 1998, this chapter has advanced to become one of the leading chapters in the nation. I am very proud of our board and our committees for the hard work they do each month. This organization runs fully on volunteered time and I appreciate everyone's efforts to make SGMP an excellent organization in our industry.

Thank you for your participation!

The Central Florida Chapter has consistently maintained a higher planner to supplier ratio for the past 3 years than other chapters of equal size. As of the start of my presidency, we have a 53.2% planner/supplier ratio. This is a strong benefit to our planner member interactions with each other and gives the supplier member s an opportunity to interact with new planner contacts. Our chapter membership stretches from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Cocoa Beach, St. Augustine, Naples, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Orlando, Jacksonville to Gainesville. Each monthly education meeting strives to incorporate quality training and relationship building-opportunities for both membership groups. We have a strong board and committees, but are constantly looking to improve. For those of you who are interested in participating but are not sure where you may fit best, my recommendation is to reach out to the committee chair and sit in on their meetings. Not only would your ideas and questions be welcomed, but you may bring something new and innovative to our chapter.

Thank you for your leadership!

As mentioned earlier, this is a nonprofit professional organization that is built solely on the time, talent, and treasure of our membership. Those who volunteer are not only strong leaders, but well-balanced professionals. My gratitude goes out to those who spend time each week, in addition to their own busy schedules, to help our chapter advance. Looking forward, I am excited to be part of such a strong organization, confident in our membership's leadership, and humbled to be your president. I wish everyone the best in 2013, and look forward to seeing you soon.



Colleen Flage CMP

President, SGMPCentral Florida Chapter