July of this year marked the beginning of Mike Stawiarki’s one-year term as president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. With this role comes great responsibility, but Stawiarski is up for the challenge.

As president, Stawiarski leads “a very talented 16-member board of directors who sets our agenda for the year with a business plan to serve our members with monthly educational events, networking opportunities and social events.

“In the end, it’s the leadership team’s mission to inform and educate our chapter and bring them all together to develop our individual businesses,” he adds.

Stawiarski is proud to be this year’s president. As a member of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of MPI since 2003, when he started his own company, he has moved through the ranks in various leadership roles and has enjoyed every moment of the experiences MPI has brought him.

After working for the Marriott for 17 “wonderful years,” Stawiarski says, “I ventured out on my own in 2003 as technical producer/owner of MFS Event Technology. I service events with technical audio/visual and production support to make my clients’ events shine.”

As for the importance of his involvement with MPI and the success of his business, Stawiarski reveals, “MPI without a doubt keeps me on the cutting edge of my industry and the direction it is headed. The old phrase ‘it’s who you know’ certainly applies, since MPI has many of the top minds and professionals that I need to know in my business life.”

He believes some of the most beneficial aspects of his MPI membership and involvement are networking and continual education.

“Certainly making business connections is a key benefit, and being educated at our local and national events about all facets of our meetings industry is truly valuable, as it enhances my career and makes me a better, more informed producer,” he says. “Serving my fellow chapter members and giving back to the industry that had been so good to me is the main benefit that I am proud of.”

Perhaps this education comes at no better time than when the economy has suffered such a slump.
“Our industry and my business are both facing challenges in this economy right now like everyone else,” Stawiarski says.

However, Stawiarski is not going to let a little thing like an economic crisis get him down.

“I am an eternal optimist and feel we’ve hit the bottom and are slowly on our way back up,” he says. “More than ever, this is a crucial time to belong to groups such as MPI to keep your client and business partnerships alive and vibrant. This is not the time to be passive, but (it’s the time to be) active in your industry. Meeting Professionals International is a positive force to keep you connected.”