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Golden State Chapter

Society of Government Meeting Professionals

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President's Message

SGMP President’s Message
for 2023-2025 Board

As a supplier member of SGMP, I never imagined myself in the role of President Trustee. I have been in and out of this wonderful Association for 20 years, spent six years as 2nd Vice President from 2015-2021 and then returned to the Board as a Supplier Director last year. I love this chapter, and have blood, sweat & tears invested in its history, particularly around the conception and execution of converting the Sacramento Chapter to the statewide Golden State Chapter in 2017-2018 when the Bay Area an SoCal Chapters were no longer able to sustain.

As President Trustee, I feel a huge sense of obligation to continue the task of rebuilding our great Golden State Chapter after COVID.  I also feel an immense amount of gratitude to the National Board for entrusting me with this interim position and I am committed to making a difference while I am here.   

The pandemic decimated our industry and associations like us.  Now that it is behind us, Chapter leaders are tasked with rebuilding our organization – of identifying the new planners, locating the new suppliers and bringing these individuals into SGMP. We are tasked with educating our Government planners and suppliers on the continuing importance of SGMP and how we exist to benefit both planners and suppliers.   And we need to remind our existing members of the value of their membership. 

We used to talk about ROI, return on investment, and what one gets for membership dollars. Anyone can have a checkbook membership but the return on investment comes from engagement. 
We will talk a lot about ROE, return on engagement, over the next two years and encourage our members to participate!  We will remind our members that the value they find in their membership is directly related to their engagement in chapter activities.   
Though we lost members during COVID, our Golden State Chapter remains the 3rd largest in SGMP. We continue to remain one of the most innovative chapters.  We intend to keep that status!

To that end, our focus will be:
Our commitment to providing no less than six relevant educational programs that meet SGMP’s Core Competencies each fiscal year, in addition to social and networking events.  These programs and events will be designed to be of value both planners and suppliers! 

We will be returning to monthly Board of Directors meetings, with a reminder that all members are welcome to attend, either in person or virtually.  We want and need our member input!  Our commitment to provide relevant programming and events that our members will attend and enjoy requires input from you, our members.

We will be reaching out and asking you to engage in committee volunteerism.  Some require as little as an hour a month – some more. These opportunities are listed in detail on the About Us/Committees page of this website. We want and need your talents! These volunteer opportunities contribute to making our chapter vibrant and viable!  It takes more than your five Board of Directors to make it happen.

We conceptualized and created the innovative Chapter Alliance Program and formed the Western Region Alliance –  a sub group made up of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Rocky Mountain, Arizona and Golden State chapters.  Each Chapter hosts one educational session a year open virtually to all 5 chapters and any SGMP member. Alliance Chapter leaders also meet monthly and work together on common chapter challenges. There are now similar Alliances forming around the country.

We are excited to engage in the SGMP Satellite Chapter program whereby small interested geographic groups that don’t qualify to be a chapter are placed under the wing of an established chapter for guidance and inclusion until they attain the minimum of 35 members. 

In summary, it is our intent to return this chapter to being as relevant and exciting as possible to meet your needs and expectations of being a member. To make that happen we need your honest and open input, and even more, your participation! 

This is YOUR chapter!  Help us create that return on not only your investment, but in your engagement!  Feel free to reach out to me any time!

Thank you!

Marie Ford Cicogni

President Trustee

Contact Us

Society of Government Meeting Professionals

Golden State Chapter

P.O. Box 188204

Sacramento, CA 95814

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