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MPI Announces WEC 2015 Education Program

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has announced that James Curleigh, executive vice-president of Levi Strauss & Co. and president of the Levi’s® brand, will deliver the opening keynote at its 2015 World Education Congress (WEC). The association also revealed program details about the conference on its website, including session descriptions, speaker bios, pre-conference programming, networking events and more. WEC is scheduled for August 1 – 4, 2015, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

“Our theme for WEC 2015 is all about finding your professional edge, so we will deliver a variety of learning experiences designed to give attendees a competitive advantage when planning meetings,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI. “We want to encourage attendees to sharpen their minds, push boundaries, and rediscover the unique edge that live meetings and events give to business and to society.”

Curleigh’s opening keynote is titled “The Edge of the Modern Frontier.” In it he will discuss the essential balance between leveraging authenticity and at the same time creating excitement with new innovative solutions for today’s lifestyle. Attendees will be challenged to think about what is next for the modern frontier and to re-envision their world by chasing and changing the landscape.

Flash Point speakers slated for the conference include:

  • Evelyne White, co-founder and CEO of the global social dining community, BookaLokal
  • Pamela Meyer, author of the national best-seller, Liespotting
  • Liz Murray, an international bestselling author who went from being homeless to a Harvard graduate
  • Kai Kight, a multi-talented violinist, composer and inspirational speaker

The education sessions will feature WEC newcomers such as Yigit Pura, season one winner of the Bravo television show, “Top Chef Just Desserts,” and Judith Holler, personal branding expert, professional improviser and president-elect of the MPI Chicago Area Chapter as well as high-demand, returning WEC speakers Tyra Hilliard, Corbin Ball, Joanne Dennison and Brandt Krueger.

In addition, MPI is taking a fresh approach with the opening general session by hosting a brunch, which is quite a popular pastime in San Francisco, for all attendees. The association also plans to redesign the WEC 2015 Career & Learning Central with its own take on the creative “San Fran” workspace, incorporating new break room and brainstorm areas as well as pop up meeting rooms.

“Hosting MPI’s WEC is a tremendous opportunity for San Francisco and we intend to make the most of it,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association and co-chair of the 2015 MPI WEC Host Committee. “We are looking forward to showing off what’s new and different in our city, as well as sharing those experiences that keep people – and meetings – coming back. As we say, for great ideas and great gatherings, it begins here.”

Other program highlights include:

  • MPI RISE Awards Luncheon
  • MarketSquare business-to-business marketplace
  • MPI Hosted Buyer Program, which has already accepted some 200 planners

The MPI Foundation will present its signature networking event Rendezvous as well as the Not-So-Silent Auction and The Big Deal – an official World Series of Poker satellite tournament. These fundraisers will directly benefit the foundation’s education endowment, which provides chapter grants and scholarships to MPI members around the world.

To learn more or register for WEC 2015, visit


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