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Board of Director's Connection featuring Kevin Beckman January 2014

This month Kevin Beckman, CHRM, Director of Strategic Accounts at the Crowne Plaza Louisville provides some history on the people behind the names of some of KBC MPI's annual awards.

Gene Metzler Supplier of the Year Award

The Supplier of the Year Award was named after Gene Metzler, a founding member of our chapter. Gene was my uncle and the reason I became a member of MPI.  Gene was the Director of Sales for the Executive West Hotel.  He helped organize and start our chapter, along with several local hospitality leaders - Faith Lyles, Grace Kleine-Kracht, Jim and Linda Keith and Russell Anderson. Gene died in 1990 of cancer.  At the time of his death he was the Treasurer of our chapter (a second term for him) and I took it over after his passing.

Gene loved attending not only the local meetings but attended all of the nationals as well......a proud promoter of our chapter.Prior to Gene's hotel tenure, Gene spent 30 years as the Sales Manager for the Falls City Brewing Company.  While at Falls City he also spent a 1 year term as the president of the local Knights of Columbus.  He was an avid "joiner" and active in whatever organization he represented.  Our chapter felt that his contribution to the chapter should be remembered, thus naming our most coveted Supplier Award in his honor.

Don Harrington/Dorothy Penner Planner of the Year Award

This award was named after 2 of our loyal members, both deceased now. They both contributed so much to our chapter and in many ways we can thank them for who we are today.Dorothy was a meeting planner for the Paul Schultz Company, a publishing and advertising company. She worked with many of the local hotels and the convention center (KICC) in planning meetings and reserving rooms for out of town clients that came in for photo shoots.  Paul Shultz would use many expensive props for their photo shoots which may have included clocks, jewelry boxes, chairs and a host of other items.  Dorothy was able to donate many of these items to our Silent auction thus giving us a wide variety for us to auction.In her other life, Dorothy was a single mother of 4 girls, one set of twins.  Her passion was being a wedding planner of which she did a fantastic job. The ABC (Association of Bridal Consultants) recently ran a story on her in regards to the scholarship they still award each year in her name. She loved to travel and even took a safari in Africa.

Don was a meeting planner for GE and a big supporter of our local MPI chapter.  Back in the day, he planned so many meeting/events, both locally and nationally that he was a true road warrior.  He had a meeting at my hotel at 7am one morning and I met him at 6:30 to review the setup. At 12 midnite that same night I passed the bar and he was in there entertaining the group......the meeting was 3 days long and he had to do this day in and day out.  With Don's many national connections, he too was able to secure many great hotel and resort packages for our silent auction. Don was referred to, by his own admission, as the Fighting Irishman...a true Notre Dame fan and always wore flashy pants (his trademark).  He also found time to be a baseball umpire, for high school and college.  Don was a family man and could always tell a good joke.   

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