coffmanRob Coffman, CGMP

SGMP National President

Rob has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality and meeting/events industry. He has held various sales and catering positions with several hotel companies including Holiday Inn, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Hilton and Hospitality Partners. This included a position as Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing for 13 properties in the DC metropolitan area. Since 2003, Rob has worked in the Office of Special Events at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for all events and meetings involving Secretary of the Treasury.

Over the years Rob has been an active member and board member of several industry associations, most notably NACE, SGTP and SGMP. He also served on HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings Planner Advisory Board for two terms. Rob has a passion for history and current events and serves as a docent for the Treasury building and a past board member of the Treasury Historical Association.

Within the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) Rob has served in a variety of positions, both on the chapter and national level. These include chapter treasurer, second vice president and president as well as vice chair of the SLR, chair of the chapter presidents roundtable and national first vice president. He had the opportunity and privilege to participate in the pilot course of the CGMP program, receiving his certification with the 2005 inaugural class. Rob is currently serving his second term as SGMP’s national president. He received the 2014 Sam Gilmer Planner of the Year Award at the May 2014 SGMP National Education Conference.

pattiPatty Barron, CGMP

Patty Barron began working for VT Group, a government contractor, in 1998.  She supports the Cargo Helicopter Project Management Office by providing customer support to the CH-47 Army fleet of helicopters.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management from Saint Leo College.  She has served on the board of directors for the Rocket City – Alabama Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals since the chapter chartered in April 2009. She recently completed four years as Chapter President in June 2014.  She earned her Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) certification in May 2013.  Barron received the 2013-2014 President’s Award from Rob Coffman, SGMP National President at the May 2014 National Education Conference.  She also accepted a Chapter Excellence Award for the Rocket City-Alabama Chapter of SGMP in May 2014 for chapter operations.  Barron is now serving as the Immediate Past President on the chapter board of directors and on the Planning Committee for the 2014 Southeast Regional Education Conference.

 Beaver, Hal_140724Hal Beaver

Mr. Hal Beaver grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina .He attended Western Carolina University where he received his undergraduate degree. He got married to Vicki in college and was trailer park trash for two years before he moved to Georgia. He and Vicki of 42 years have three children and they are “out of this pocket” at least for now.

Hal did his graduate work at the univ. of Georgia and has been a teacher and principal for over 30 years. He is currently the Executive Director for the Georgia Association of Elementary School Principals and
works with the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders in the area of professional development’ Hal works with 1300 elementary school principals and just hopes he is making a difference!

Hal has been a Georgia Distinguished Principal and was Georgia’s National Distinguished. He has been on many Boards of Directors during his tenure and currently serves on the UGA Extension Service/4-H State Board.

Hal lives in Hoschton, Georgia on a golf course and works so much that he doesn’t get to play much, but they do cut his backyard every morning at 6:30 am.

conniebioConnie Bergeron, CMP

Connie Bergeron, a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), is President of Site Selection Solutions, Inc. based in Atlanta, Georgia. Site Selection Solutions, Inc.’s mission is to place international, national and regional trade and nonprofit associations, government and corporate clients in settings that offer the optimum environment at the best price for their meetings and conventions.

Following 22 years in Global Sales and on-property sales with Sheraton and 2 years with Interstate Hotels, followed by 8 years as VP Global Sourcing with a meeting planning company, Bergeron is uniquely qualified to be a resource to clients and the meeting planning community regarding site selection for events and meetings globally. Her team partners with national and regional associations, as well as corporate clients, to negotiate contracts for meeting and convention locations throughout the world.

In 1996, Connie was named International Supplier of the Year by Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She was selected from a field of 7,000 professionals for this coveted award.

In addition, she received the Georgia Society of Association Executives (GSAE) President’s Award in 1997, and the Hayward C. Cox, Jr. CMP Continuing Quality Award in 1998 that honored her 19 years as a volunteer leader for the Georgia Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (GaMPI). In addition, Connie was named GSAE Corporate Member of the Year in 1996 and the first recipient of GaMPI Hall of Fame Award in 2003. In 2003, Connie was named a Life Member of MPI.

Connie is also a popular writer and speaker. Her articles have appeared in the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Southeast Association Executive, Meeting News, Convention South, the GaMPI newsletter and the GSAE newsletter.

She frequently addresses professional organizations including MPI International, the Society of Government Meeting Professionals, the Georgia Speakers Association, GSAE and GaMPI. Connie has served GaMPI as board member, treasurer, president, vice president of education, and chair of the MPI Georgia CMP study group.

Connie teaches for the University of Georgia (UGA) on site selection, contract negotiation and professional development. In 2000, she served on the Advisory Board that created UGA’s first course in the Event and Meeting Planning Certificate program, and continues on the Board today.

Connie was designated an MPI International Platinum Series presenter on the CMP Process and named to the Convention Industry Council’s Project Attrition Task Force. In 2009,Connie’s commitment to sustainability led her to be Atlanta’s APEX Green Meetings Standards City Discussion Group Leader. July 1, Bergeron assumes the Presidency of Green Meeting Industry Council Global, following two years on the GMIC Global board incliding one year Treasurer, and she is GMIC Global’s representative to the CMP Board, a two year term 2014-2016.

As a volunteer, Connie has helped coordinate the building of 20 Habitat for Humanity homes in Georgia where she works with outreach ministries to help the poor and homeless, and in April 2012 was named to the Board of Directors for Hands on Atlanta.

abrownAmy Naomi Brown, CGMP

Amy Naomi Brown is an Environmental Manger for the Chemical Residue Laboratory, Food Safety Division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Florida State University. She is a Certified Public Manager and has been a public servant for 23+ years. She is also a Certified Government Meeting Professional and annually helps plan the North American Pesticide Residue Workshop which is the only Pesticide Residue Conference held in North America.

She is the Past President of the Florida Capital Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. She is also the Past President of the Southern Section of the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists (AOAC INTERNATIONAL) and annually plans the section meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Her other passions include gardening, running 5K races, and spending time with her family.


Jackie Cassarly, CMP

Jackie has been the President of the Planning Connection, Gainesville, Florida, since May 1998.  The Planning Connection assists associations in planning meetings and conferences starting with site selection and contract negotiation, continuing with arranging details, being on-site for conference management and ending with post reports. Her client list includes Pediatric Administrators of Medical Schools, Pediatric Chairmen, Pediatric Cardiologists, Veterinary Lab Diagnosticians and others.  For twelve years, the Planning Connection created and produced the Meeting Planners’ Expo featuring a seminar, trade show, and silent auction for planners in the north central Florida area.

Jackie has been a member of SGMP since 1999; she is also a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) since 2001 and received her CMP certification in 2004.

Jackie has held numerous SGMP board positions: Membership Chair (1999-2002), Second Vice President (2002-2004), Planner Director (2006), and Treasurer 2012-present.  She served as Co-chair of the 2002 SREC, Chair of the 2003 SREC, and on the Program Committee, 2004-2006.  Recently, Jackie was on the 2013 Education Day Committee and was the 2014 Education Day Chair.

In her spare time, she’s an avid reader, reading books for self-improvement and books that have a good story. Jackie and husband Tom enjoy visiting and exploring national parks out west.

Patrick Gaines, MBA

During the tenure of my graduate studies, I became involved in aiding my government organization to win new contract bid extensions. It was at this time in my career and studies that I really began to understand the power of harnessing and leveraging key relationships. That moment in time, I also began to understand and apply LinkedIn to my daily life not only as a professional, but also by using myself as a branding tool for my organization. I have since worked with a number of small organizations teaching employees/managers alike to increase all facets of productivity (sales, improved hiring, branding) using LinkedIn.

SREC 2014_Goldberg, James_140624_PB.James M. Goldberg

James M. Goldberg is a principal in the Washington, DC law firm of Goldberg & Associates, PLLC. His practice focuses on the representation of trade associations and professional societies, as well as independent meeting and event planners and other providers of services to the association and event communities. In his law practice, Mr.Goldberg routinely reviews and negotiates client contracts with hotels, convention centers and other service providers. He estimates that he reviews more than 100 such agreements each year.

Mr. Goldberg is the author of “The Meeting Planner’s Legal Handbook,” which he developed for a course on “Meeting and Exhibition Law and Ethics” at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, VA. He also teaches in the event and meetings management certificate programs at The George Washington University and the University of Georgia.

Mr. Goldberg is a charter member and has served on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys. He was a member of the Legal Advisory Council and Contracts Panel of the Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative.

SREC 2014_Hart, Tommy_140624_PBTommy Hart

Quite simply, Tommy is a tech guy that loves the meetings and events industry. After 4 1/2 years at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), he started his career 9 years ago, working as an audio visual technician for a national audio visual company (American Audio Visual). He learned first-hand what it’s like to work in the wonderful world of meeting planners and event professionals. From there, he quickly advanced to a project manager and eventually to the Director of Sales, earning his CMP in April of 2012. His former role as “Veep” with EproMeetingApps, as well as his current role as a Digital Media Specialist with Hibu (pronounced High-Boo) help to satisfy his two professional passions: technology and helping people. In his off time, he can be found playing trucks with his 2 year-old son, playing diaper-change-a-roo with his 6 month old son, and cruising tech blogs on his iPad, reading up on the latest and greatest in all things technology. Lastly, he really does not like boring bios like this and hopes you have stayed awake long enough to hear how awesome and modest he is :-) He appreciates everyone here, and thanks you for your time.

colirvinCol. Marshall S. Irvin, Jr.

Col. Marshall S. Irvin, Jr. is the commander of the 94th Mission Support Group, Dobbins Air Reserve Base,  GA. He leads a team of 1080 military and civilian personnel, overseeing all base support organizations, to include aerial port, communications, contracting, civil engineering, logistics readiness, force support and security forces.
Colonel Irvin received his commission in 1984 as a graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He entered the Air Force Reserve in 1996 at the 88th Aerial Port Squadron, 514th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, NJ.Colonel Irvin has commanded the 514th Airlift Control Flight, 514th AMW, McGuire AFB, NJ, 80th Aerial Port Squadron, Dobbins ARB, GA, and served as Deputy Chief of Aerial Port Operations Branch, Headquarters 22nd Air Force, Dobbins ARB, managing 24 squadrons and 2,800 Reservists. He has also served as the 403rd Wing Mission Support Group Commander, Keesler Air Force Base, MS.

tracyspeakTracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC

Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC is a certified event planner and meetings manager. She is also one of 15 million Americans with food allergies. Combining her more than 20 years of event planning experience and food allergies, Tracy founded Thrive! Meetings & Events to “make the world healthier one event at a time” by educating the hospitality industry on how to successfully accommodate dietary needs at events.

Prior to opening Thrive!, Tracy spent her career in corporate America creating and managing events for two Olympic Games, consumer and trade magazines, an auto auction company and two trade associations.

She was named a 2014 Meetings Trendsetter for her advocacy and practical work for making F&B more inclusive of attendee needs at meetings and events.

LinkedIn                      @tstuckrath



LinkedIn                      Thrive Meetings & Events

Rose M. Wiley

Rose Wiley is a Protocol Specialist with the United States Army Security Assistance Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. She has spent the past 30 years working for the Department of Defense. A lifelong learner, Ms. Wiley has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is a proud graduate of the Protocol School of Washington, earning her Protocol Officer Certification in 2012, Protocol Training at the Air Force Institute of Technology in 2003, and has attended several JMAR Protocol Courses, Orlando Florida. Ms. Wiley is affiliated with the Protocol Officers Association and a member of the Rocket City-Alabama Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals. Her mantra is to allow a person to recognize you by your smile or a subtle touch, as opposed to the tone of your voice.


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