The Louisiana Chapter began as a simple gathering of several government employees, convention visitor's bureaus, and hotels with a vision of learning more about how they could work together to plan and implement successful government meetings. On Thursday, June 29, 2006, at the Louisiana Department of Transportation a Development Training facility in Baton Rouge, the group held an "SGMP Awareness". The goal of the meeting was to discuss how essential the SGMP organization could be in helping to improve government meetings in Louisiana. Ruth Harris, SGMP 1st Vice President at the time, was invited to speak and presented on the topic "What SGMP Can Do For You." After the awareness meeting, a committee was formed to see how many government planners and industry suppliers would be interested in forming a Louisiana Chapter of SGMP and joining as a member.
The Early Years
On August 24, 2006, the formation committee had their first gathering to become an official chapter of SGMP. The meeting was held at the Livingston Building in Capital Park of downtown Baton Rouge. Twenty potential members were in attendance. The committee reviewed key aspects involved in chartering a chapter of SGMP including membership specific requirements, chapter structure, and membership dues. Libby Noto created the initial chapter logo and it was approved by the committee.
The committee went on to have several meetings throughout the remainder of 2006 as they worked to charter the chapter. Both government meeting planners and industry suppliers worked jointly on the application. By the end of 2006 the application to charter a Louisiana chapter of SGMP was submitted to SGMP National office.
Through tremendous amounts of team work and support from the industry, the Louisiana Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals was officially chartered on March 15, 2007 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in New Orleans with 59 members. The chapter installed their first Chapter Board which included:
|1st Vice President||Sandy Romero|
|2nd Vice President||Carolyn Barrett|
|Director - Program Chair||Geraldine Boredelon|
|Director - Membership Chair||Amanda Millet|
|Director - Finance Chair||Nina Samsiani|
By the second year of being a chapter, membership had grown to 65 members. The first SGMP-LA Educational Tradeshow was held on September 11, 2008 with Partner Showcase in Baton Rouge and was a great success. The chapter continued to focus on their goals of developing education and training for all members. In 2008 the first chapter website was created.
The group continued their work to advance the chapter and achieved a major milestone when the Louisiana Department of Administration - State Travel agreed to identify the chapter on the State's website. This simple act helped to solidify the validity of the organization with those in local State government.
10 Year Anniversary
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards recognized with Proclamation the Louisiana Society of Government Meeting Professional’s 10th anniversary celebration. On March 9 2017, the chapter hosted the celebration for members and additional government planners at the Capital Park Welcome Center in downtown Baton Rouge. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser welcomed the group and paid homage to the importance of government meetings in the business economy of Louisiana and the importance of training to make planners compliant in all government dealings.
Evolution of the Logo