Best Practices Summit 2021

May 10-11, 2021
Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center

Event Speakers

Linda SwindlingLinda Swindling
JD, CSP, Negotiation Speaker, Author and Expert

Linda learned first-hand how to negotiate results from her experiences in the courtroom and the boardroom. During her 10 years practicing law, Linda became a partner, had several successes negotiating multimillion-dollar deals, and resolved cases that “couldn’t be settled.” She also became a respected mediator in the Texas legal community. In addition to earning her law degree, Linda received advanced negotiation training through the Attorney-Mediators Institute, Harvard/MIT’s Program on Negotiation, and The University of Houston’s A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center. Linda also spent five years with Vistage, the world’s largest CEO development organization. During her role as a Chair at Vistage, she advised and coached CEOs and key executives both in one-to-one settings and in peer groups.
Linda is certified in the COREMAP assessment, the RAMP method and as a ToPS facilitator. She is also a Board Certified Coach and Certified Speaking Professional.
Linda’s clients include the Fortune 500, companies from a wide variety of industries, governmental entities and many international associations. Linda has worked with Ericsson, Texas Instruments, AstraZeneca, Pepsico, ThyssenKrupp, Marriott, UT Southwestern, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and more.
Linda is the author/co-author of more than 20 books, including her best-selling Ask Outrageously! The Secret to Getting What You Really Want and Stop Complainers and Energy Drainers: How to Negotiate Work Drama to Get More Done. She is a TEDx speaker and frequent media guest who has appeared on or been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider, Entrepreneur Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Fox Business, The Huffington Post, and more.

Melissa Van DykeMelissa Van Dyke
Vice President of Design and Insights Creative Group

At Creative Group, Melissa is responsible for running a center of excellence for data-driven experience design.

Prior to joining Creative Group, she was President of the Incentive Research Foundation for almost 10 years, during which time she proudly helped triple the organization’s research and education footprint.

She came to the IRF from her position as Managing Consultant of the Employee Engagement Practice at Maritz. Prior to this, Melissa held leadership positions in Product Development and Solution Management at Maritz. Before joining Maritz, Van Dyke worked as a Senior Business Process and Technology Consultant for Ernst & Young LLP.
Melissa was selected as BizBash top 100 for two years running; Incentive magazine’s 2007 “Rising Star in the Incentive Industry”; and authored the chapter on “Nonmonetary Awards: Experiential, Tangible, and Cash Equivalent Awards” in the sixth edition of the Compensation Handbook.

MSR Katie MuckKatie Muck
Senior Director, Global Meeting Services
Meeting Sites Resource

Katie Muck is Senior Director, Global Meeting Services at Meeting Sites Resource. She has been with MSR since 2010 and is responsible for strategically partnering with customers on all facets of global site research, custom hotel contract negotiations, and meeting support services.
Katie has been working in the hospitality industry for over 16 years, starting her career in operations with Hyatt Hotels World Wide then transitioning to a sales and customer service role with the Hyatt National Sales Office. She has many accomplishments and awards including multi-year recipient of the prestigious Hyatt Masters Sales and Outstanding Production Achievement Awards.

Katie graduated from the University of Nebraska, Omaha with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, minor in marketing.

Committed and passionate about this industry, she is engaged and contributes by presenting workshops and webinars on topics such as Strategic Meeting Management, Hotel Contracts Negotiation Strategies and How to Demonstrate Real Meeting Value to Senior Management. Additionally, she has contributed to article publications on similar topics.
Katie has served on the MPI Heartland Chapter – Board of Directors as President in 2015 – 2016 and was responsible for overseeing the operations of a 12-member Board and 100-member Chapter. She has served in numerous MPI Heartland Board positions including President-Elect, Vice President of Membership, and Social Event/Networking Chair.

Desi WhitneyDesi Whitney
CEO & Co-founder Emergency Concierge International

Desi Whitney brings almost 20 years of meetings industry expertise to Emergency Concierge International (ECI). She Co-Founded ECI after identifying a great need in the industry for expert emergency planning & management. Together, Desi and the team at ECI bridge the gap between emergency speak and the meetings industry.

Desi’s role within the organization focuses on strategic growth. She is dedicated to promoting the brand through marketing efforts, sponsorships and brand experience. Desi’s focus on industry partner support and relationships are a hallmark of the experience ECI provides.

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