The Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (AzMPI) recognized its members who went above and beyond to distinguish themselves for the chapter. Here’s a look at some of those recent winners:


Bill Babin

Drummer, producer, and agent

Big Zephyr Music

Recent MPI honor: Rising Star

Interest in industry: “Naturally, live music does not exist without an audience. I knew that for my business to grow, I had to position myself with professionals in the event industry, those organizing and executing professional events.”

Impact of MPI: “MPI puts me in direct contact with those who can use the services of my company, live music. I can’t emphasize how special that opportunity is. From a networking perspective, there is no better way to connect with the event industry. And MPI also helps me to grow personally by offering leadership opportunities.”


McKenzie Kaufeld Counts

Manager of making it happen

Wildly Different

Recent MPI honor: Rising Star

Interest in industry: “My first glimpse of the industry was in high school as a student manager of an a cappella singing group. Managing the logistics of their tour and coordinating with the multiple venues sparked my passion. Now, I’m creating custom team-building events for our clients all over the world.”

Impact of MPI: “My continual involvement with MPI has greatly influenced my professional development. From volunteering and attending endless educational events, I’m constantly learning and expanding my knowledge. More importantly, the meaningful connections I’ve made by networking within the MPI community have made a profound impact on my career.”


Tiffany Higgins

Owner and event planner

The Tiffany Event

Recent MPI honor: Planner of the Year

Interest in industry: “I discovered my love for events several years ago while working in a local mall management office. I assisted the marketing department in putting on a Super Bowl event and immediately loved the rush, the controlled chaos and the reactions from those in attendance. I worked that event with an actual 102-degree fever and caught the fever for events.”

Impact of MPI: “MPI has enhanced my career through education, leadership skills and networking. The relationships I’ve established through MPI have created opportunities, have provided an interchange of ideas and provided a pool of professionals to employ in creating successful events.”


Katie Dreifus

Event coordinator

Plexus Worldwide

Recent MPI honor: Supplier of the Year

Interest in industry: “Everything! We have such a unique and fun industry. I love when people ask me, ‘How do I get that job?’ Most of all, though, I live to create unforgettable experiences that last a lifetime.”

Impact of MPI: “MPI has led me to meet so many amazing people since I joined five and a half years ago. I have been able to learn so much about our industry, attend IMEX, WEC (World Education Congress) and work towards my CMP (Certified Meeting Professional designation) because of my involvement.”


Bobette Gorden

Vice president, marketing

Influence at Work

Recent MPI honor: Sponsor of the Year, Influence at Work

Interest in industry: “I was attracted to the meeting and event industry because I knew the decision makers for educational programs were involved there. The meeting and event industry is fascinating and involves forward thinking people who thrive on new information, marketing, social contacts, networking, travel, education, innovation, and business, business, business.”

Impact of MPI: “MPI has helped me professionally by providing opportunities to volunteer in areas my clients were already experiencing. This gave me much greater insight into their challenges, their timelines and their priorities. MPI helped me by providing experiences that allowed me to be able to better understand my clients. Priceless.”


Jacqi Marth

Director of sales and details

Destinations & Details

Recent MPI honor: President’s Achievement Award

Interest in industry: “I have always been an extremely social person. When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to go to college, but did not know what I wanted to do. My dad told me to try travel and tourism, so I did. I have been hooked, creating amazing experiences ever since. I love what I do.”

Impact of MPI: “MPI has given me the tools, skills and confidence to enhance my daily responsibilities personally, professionally and spiritually. The experiences I have had with MPI have made me the successful leader that I am today.”