The LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (LGBT MPA), a professional MICE organization based in Philadelphia, announced its newly elected 2022 Board of Directors this week.
Led by Jim Clapes, Director of Meetings at M3 Meet, the organization’s Nominating Committee convened virtually in October to determine the slate of the 2022 board officers and directors for open positions. The final board was elected in November and began their positions Jan. 1.
LGBT MPA is the first and only organization solely committed to connecting, advancing and empowering the LGBT+ meeting professional community, providing the opportunity for LGBT voices to be uplifted and represented, and educating the industry on a broad range of topics pertaining to inclusion and diversity.

Chair Derrick Johnson

Statistically, there are an estimated 100,000 meetings professionals currently practicing in the U.S. LGBT MPA estimates that 8,000 to 12,000 of professionals working in this field are members of the LGBT community. Globally, the current estimate is 18,000 to 23,000.

“As the world and our industry continue to evolve, LGBT MPA’s north star remains to create a global event industry where all are equal, included and welcome,” said current Chair Derrick Johnson, II, CMP, DES. “The 2022 BOD will continue helping our industry achieve this vision and leverage our over 2,000 members to impact and strengthen global communities.”

Johnson who is President/CEO at the Organization for Social Empact, will be joined by other Executive Officers: Vice Chair Ann Garvey, CEO at blueskies marketing and Secretary/Treasurer, and Gary Murakami, Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations at Teneo Hospitality Group. In addition, Jim Clapes, Director of Meetings at M3 Meet will stay on as the Immediate Past Chair.

The following are LGBT MPA’s 2022 Board of Directors.
Charles Bello, CDS, Vice President/Team Director, ConferenceDirect
Avery Chase Bender,Event Manager,University of Florida, Conference Department
Ted Bradpiece,Explorer Travel Services,President/Owner
Michelle Burton, Sr. Operations Manager,Computer Science Teachers Association
Scott Clay, DES, CTA,Director of Catering Sales,AC Hotel by Marriott Columbus
Kyle Jordan,Director of Meetings
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
Chemain Kellogg, Sales Director, Visit Knoxville
Alan Kleinfeld,Director, Arrive Management Group
David Kliman, President, The Kliman Group
Kerry Kurowski, CMP, Director of Meetings and Member Services, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
Lipian Mtandabari.Operations Head, Ntsako Travel Africa
Brent Ries, Global Marketing Events Manager, CAS
Gustavo Rivas-Solis, Vice President, Enroute Communications
Larry Sieg, President & CEO, MeetAC
Glenn Stress, Senior Director of B2B Marketing and Events,Marriott International
Trey Weaver, Meetings Manager, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Thomas Whelan, Jr., Director of Banquets at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center Levy Restaurants,

The LGBT Meeting Professionals Association ( is the first and only organization solely committed to the professional advancement of LGBT meetings professionals. The LGBT MPA Board of Directors have years of experience and are devoted to networking, educating and mentoring to develop successful business leaders who continue the work of promoting the essential elements of inclusivity and diversity throughout the profession.

David Jefferys, President and CEO of the Altus Agency, a Philadelphia-based marketing enterprise firm specializing in LGBT travel, founded the LGBT MPA in August 2016. The LGBT MPA is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Philadelphia.
Membership for LGBT Meeting Professionals is free. To join the organization, visit our site

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