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When we meet,
We change the world.
​The Future is Bright!
Join Experts for an Enlightening Discussion on Human Resources

August 18, 2016
11:00AM - 1:30PM
Civic Theatre

During the evolution of the events industry, we have seen many of our roles shift from logistics to strategic management and the level of responsibility has expanded to include advanced knowledge and skills in areas of technology, legal, and regulatory mandates. This is true in human resources where our knowledge now extends to three major areas: recruitment of staff and volunteers, training of staff and volunteers, and management of workforce relations.

Join us for our August Educational Meeting and learn best practices from a panel of industry experts in Human Resources to include: Tom Jones, Area Director of Human Resources, Starwood Hotels; Carla Major, Assistant Vice Chancellor, HR & Professional Development, Delgado, Keith Schmitt, Director of Human Resources for the New Orleans Marriott, and Laura Russett, Director of Human Resources, New Orleans Metropolitan CVB.

Take Aways: 
Avenues for successfully recruiting staff and volunteers
The importance of clearly defined policies and procedures
Tips for resolving conflict on a team 
Attributes of a Team Leader

Located in the heart of Downtown New Orleans, the Civic Theatre is an exquisitely renovated concert and private events venue. Juxtaposing innovative technology with historic architecture, the Civic is a unique choice for corporate and social events alike. Our state of the art audiovisual capabilities, experienced sales and bar staff, and dedication to customer service create a uniquely New Orleans experience with a modern twist.
Equipped with cutting-edge modular flooring, the Civic has the ability to transform from tiered theatre-style seating to a banquet in moments. Our flexible seating plan can be configured in almost limitless ways to support your unique event needs, from groups of 100 to 1,000. The historic white patina is a beautiful backdrop to showcase your brand with our fully integrated audiovisual infrastructure and projection mapping capabilities.
Consider the Civic as a fresh and modern option for all your event needs. At the Civic live music, private parties, corporate events, fundraisers, film premieres, weddings, debutante parties and more are right at home.

For over thirty years, Ralph Brennan and his dedicated Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group team have catered the meals and events that celebrate the moments of your life. Ralph Brennan Catering & Events is proud to be included in the portfolio which includes Brennan’s, Red Fish Grill, Napoleon House, Ralph’s on the Park, Cafe NOMA, Cafe B, Heritage Grill and Jazz Kitchen in Anaheim, California.

Providing full-service custom catering for events large and small, we tailor our services to enhance your palate, theme and budget. Our passion for quality ingredients, innovative cuisine and exceptional service sets us apart and ensures your event shines. We are dedicated to servicing a seamless, professional and above all memorable experience.

Event Rental is the largest Event Rental company with the most diverse inventory in the tri-state area. Our team of designers can create a complete look for your event. Whether it is creating a custom feel to match your selected theme or helping you conceptualize the event from scratch, our team can produce a stunning experience. You will be working with designers from creative backgrounds that have access to over 10 years of design experience in the special event industry, as well as limitless resources at their fingertips. The design process includes, but is not limited to: theme development, color palette selection, décor recommendations, custom layouts, and event set up. We will specifically tailor your event to accommodate your budget and vision. When necessary, designers will meet with you at the venue to discuss event specifics and take measurements. If we do not have what you are looking for in stock, speak with a member of our design team about custom pieces. We have the resources to design and produce unique linens, décor, props, photo backdrops, etc. We look forward to working with you to turn your dream event into a reality. Contact us soon to get a jump on your next big event.


Thomas J. Jones, III, is the Area Director of Human Resources for Starwood Hotels and oversees the human resources functions for hotels at the Westin Charlotte, Westin Hilton Head, Westin Savannah, and Le Meridien New Orleans, Sheraton New Orleans and W French Quarter hotel. He has worked for Hyatt Corporation as Director of Human Resources in New Orleans and in San Diego. Thomas also has worked in the gaming industry as a Corporate Training Manager, Director of Human Resources and a Regional Training Manager. He received a B.A. in Communications from Southern University and a M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. He was also an adjunct professor at Kendall College School of Hospitality Management where he taught Human Resources Management and Organizational Culture.  

Thomas community citizenship work includes serving on the Starwood Cares committee, former Chair and current Jefferson Parish Workforce Investment Opportunity Act Board member; former Orleans Parish Workforce Investment Board member; and former chair of the Warren Easton Hospitality Advisory Board. He was also former Vice Regional Director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Gulf Coast Region. 

He currently resides in New Orleans with his wife of 21 years Kimberly and an annoying (which is her favorite word) 17 year-old teenage daughter Kamryn is a senior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.  

Carla L. Major, PHR is presently the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Professional Development for Delgado Community College in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is responsible for employees at all Delgado’s sites which is approximately 1500 people.
Carla has been working in Human Resources as a professional for over 25 years. Prior to working at Delgado; Carla worked as the Human Resources Director for the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans, Chicago and the corporate office. Carla worked at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel in New Orleans as Vice President of HR for approximately thirteen years before working at the Intercontinental Hotel. She was responsible for 2400 employees 24 hours a day. Carla began her professional career working for Bellsouth, now ATT after graduating in management from the University of New Orleans.
Carla has been very active in her community serving on numerous boards and committees such as a network of charter schools, the Downtown Development District and the Louisiana Workforce Commission to name a few. Carla has received quite a few awards such as, Woman of the Year, Role Model, Top Ten Outstanding People and Woman in Business.
In her spare time she teaches HR classes at Tulane University, shop at outlet stores and spoil her grandkids. Carla is the founder/faculty advisor to the Student Chapter of SHRM at Tulane University. Carla is married to Rudy Major and is the mother of Keesha and Kyle Major. She is Mimi to Kyle, Jr. and Chloe Major.

Laura H. Russett is the Director of Administration– New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
Specializing in human resources and employment management, Laura Russett is the Director of Administration for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana, where she develops and oversees the human resources functions and operational policies, as well as company administration including shipping and receiving, purchasing and reception. Laura has more than 20 years of multi-level human resources experience with respected companies, such as the New Orleans Saints & Pelicans, Kencoil & Scott Armature Companies and the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. Laura currently serves as a board member and business engagement co-chair (hospitality committee) for the New Orleans Workforce Commission Development Board, is a partner member to the Network for Economic Opportunity Anchor Collaborative team and member of the Society for Human Resources Management New Orleans Chapter.

Keith Schmitt is a highly accomplished, results-oriented HR professional with 25+ years of experience in Strategic Human Resources Management and Execution for Marriott Hotels and Resorts. Keith’s experiences include the management of both single property and multi-property units in complex markets and business units. Keith has worked as a strategic HR business partner with senior leadership teams for over 20 years in both a large corporate environment and with a small start-up hospitality company. Keith possesses strong analytical and business acumen skills in the areas of recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits design and implementation, labor and cost management, associate relations, training and development and organizational design. Keith has been recognized numerous times though out his career most notably receiving the 2015 HR Leadership Award for Marriott. During his free time Keith enjoys spending time with family and friends, hunting and fishing. 

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Save the date for our educational brunch cruise on September 15th from 9:30 until 12:30 on the Creole Queen! Our focus will be on CMP Domain J/Professionalism with an emphasis on Growing Your Personal Brand. With a great speaker, free headshots provided by Pat Garin and the Creole Queen providing a fabulous brunch… this is an MPI Gulf States meeting that you won’t want to miss! Registration will be launched soon.
 October Wine Raffle

Bring 1 bottle of wine to donate

Receive an entry into our prize drawing on August 18th!

 Hyatt Place New Orleans - 1 night stay with beverage for 2
National World War II Museum - 2 tickets for Museum & Beyond All Boundaries
Barcadia - $25 gift certificate