Dragos and Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau sponsored the Meet & Greet Tuesday, July 11, 2017. The constant influx of Members and Industry Partners, along with the good food and refreshments, made for a pleasant evening of mingling with business associates. Wednesday’s speaker, Memphis Jones and his wife, Heather, warmly greeted and joined groups - naturally building enthusiasm for participation in Wednesday’s Lunch and Learn. Tupelo generously gave gifts to winners lucky to have their business card drawn, both Executives and Industry Partners. Thank you Dragos and Tupelo CVB for providing the facilities and ideal atmoshere for a relaxing evening.
MSAE had a slight change of venue Wednesday July 12, 2017. While still at the Hilton Jackson on County Line Road, the luncheon was moved downstairs to the Wellington. Every table on the floor was sat, the room filled with a bustling crowd of seventy five Members, Industry Partners and guests. An adjoining section held a two line buffet of chicken, hamburger and sausage sliders, coleslaw, potato salad, corn, beans, macaroni and cheese, complete with a chocolate or butterscotch cheese cake.
Wednesday’s Lunch and Learn began as usual, with prayer, buffet, introduction of (many) new members or guests, and brief announcements to the group. Then Jan Pannell, Sales Manager of Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, introduced Memphis Jones, International Artist, Minister, Musician, Music Historian, Motivational Speaker, and previous MSAE performer at the Tupelo 2015 Conference Car Museum event. With Jan’s prior working history with Memphis and Heather, She lead her introduction with, “You can’t put Memphis in a box”. Memphis proceeded with: “Commitment to Excellence is Key to Achievement!”
Memphis shared morsels of how his interest and career in music evolved. He told stories of singing Elvis’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”, in the presence of Priscilla Presley, while at the same time - playing his guitar and singing to MSAE Members. He spoke of being a Minister and meeting both his wife, and a good friend and business colleague, at age twelve. Years later... the relationships continue to make resounding impact.
Mark James, a songwriter hall of fame member and the writer of multiple Elvis songs was interjected into the afternoon’s session as the songwriter behind Elvis that probably not one MSAE attendee remembered. Mark James excelled as a song writer that powered Elvis, B.J. Thomas, and Willie Nelson. He was great as a back up guy. One of Memphis’s points included: “Do what we are built to do. Famous doesn’t make us happy!”
As Memphis continued to share inspirational stories, his music filtered through…singing a rendition of Johnny Cash’s, “I Hear that Train A Comin,”and Tony Orlando’s, "Knock Three Times”. The audience laughed at his stories and sang along to his music.
The afternoon wrapped up with the ten Tupelo partners, each offering a gift. Karla Hooten, Peggy Lockhert, Sonya Mullins, Charles Elliott, Dan Gleason, Sarah Link, and Becky Beard were a few of the recipients winning one of: Dwight Yoakam ticket package, Cookbook, Hotel packages, Tupelo Downtown shopping dollars, Lunch & Learn and October Conference registration.
The venue, atmosphere, food, entertainment (thanks Memphis & Heather), Tupelo & Drago's generosity combined for an inspirational meeting shared by new and long time friends and business associates.