On November 20, 1989, the Greater Oregon chapter became the 17th chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP). With 44 members in attendance, at the Days Inn Hotel in Portland, former Supreme Court Justice Betty Roberts administered the oath of office to the first officers of the chapter:
President: Marian Milligan
Vice President Planner: Marguerite Irwin
Vice President Supplier: Sal Piazza
Secretary: Ardella Devan
Treasurer: Les McNary
Members at Large
Karleen Boskofsky (planner)
Doreen Fillman (planner)
Cheryl Kilday (supplier)
The formation of the chapter began two years prior, in 1987, when Marian Milligan joined the Seattle Chapter (now Pacific Northwest chapter) and saw the value of having a forum to meet and connect with other government meeting planners and suppliers. After attending the 1988 SGMP National Education Conference in Chicago and the Seattle/Pacific Northwest chapter's winter conference in 1989, Marian was inspired to start an Oregon chapter.
Over the next several months, Marian led the formation of the chapter, with the assistance of Ernie Oakes and a steering committee comprised of planners, suppliers and National Board Member Gary Francis. The first formation meeting was held in May 1989 at the Westin Benson Hotel in Portland with over 50 people in attendance. SGMP Past President Ron Claussen attended the meeting and presented the advantages of forming a chapter and of joining SGMP. Additional meetings were scheduled over the next 12 months across the state of Oregon.
On November 20, 2009, GOSGMP celebrated its 20th anniversary with a dinner banquet held at the Benson Hotel in Portland. SGMP Past President Melody Kebe , and Executive Director Charles Sadler, attended the event, along with 40 GOSGMP members. Since 1989, GOSGMP membership has steadily increased and now has 96 members as of July, 2011.
Marian Milligan's vision continues, as meeting planners and suppliers come together at GOSGMP's monthly meetings.
For the National SGMP history visit www.sgmp.org.