As a 31-year veteran of the industry, Heidi Longton has spent 27 years in meeting management, where she is best known for her work in associations, excellence in strategy and operations of association conventions and exhibitions and her love of finance and budgeting. During that time she has served as a director of convention & meetings, director of client operations, team lead and co-created M3 – Manage, Mentor, Motivate© - a curriculum designed for mid-level hospitality managers. Heidi has served as adjunct faculty for area colleges and universities. Prior to that, she was employed in the supply side of the industry, in a variety of food and beverage positions in resorts, hotels, and banquet operations.
Heidi has been an engaged member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) in the Upstate New York Chapter (MPI-UNY), formerly Northeastern New York (NENY), since its inception in 2004. She led the chapter’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) study group initiative, which boasted a 100% success rate, for seven years. Her passion for continuing education within the meeting profession is exemplified by a scholarship established in her name toward the CMP designation. In her relentless effort to define meeting management as a recognized, respected profession and help planners become more successful and evolve into positions of strategic influence, she has addressed student groups at SUNY Delhi and Johnson & Wales, facilitated forums for entry-level planners and mentored mid-level/senior planners. She is a past president of MPI-NENY.
Heidi was named by MPI as one of three members globally to be a founding core leader and member of its new Association Planners Advisory Board (2019). She is a Certified MPI Facilitator (2017) trained to facilitate chapter board retreats. Heidi participates in the LOGIC Network (2013) and with GCG Event Partners – elite member only organizations of certified onsite event professionals experienced in the pharmaceutical and medical education markets. She is an MPI Accredited Trainer (2010) – a distinction and recognition bestowed on thought leaders in the Meetings and Business Events industry. Heidi holds a Certification in Meeting Management (CMM) (2009) for completion of an intensive study program delivering a global standard of excellence in strategic meeting management and the CMP designation (2002) – a globally recognized badge of excellence in the meeting, convention, exhibition and event industry. She holds graduate and Bachelor degrees from the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Heidi is the recipient of three MPI chapter awards; the Industry Leader Award (2019) and two President’s Awards – the first being the inaugural award (2014, 2010). She is a frequent speaker and panel facilitator at industry events.