SGMP Names 2020 Distinguished Award Winners


Sam Gilmer Award Winners and Chapter Honors Announced

The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP), the premier national organization for the government meetings industry, announced Kathleen Ryan, CGMP as the 2020 Sam Gilmer Planner of the Year and Chris McLaughlin, CGMP, as the 2020 Sam Gilmer Supplier of the Year at its 2020 Virtual National Education Conference (NEC). Recognized as the government meeting planning industry’s highest distinction, the Sam Gilmer Award celebrates excellence in government meeting planning and the advancement of education and professionalism across the industry.

The Sam Gilmer Planner of the Year was presented to Kathleen Ryan, CGMP, who serves on the National Capital Chapter board of directors and is the customer engagement Eastern region team lead for The Boeing Company. She has shared her protocol expertise at trainings on the local and national level, and at National Education Conference (NEC) for many years.

The Sam Gilmer Supplier of the Year was presented to Chris McLaughlin, CGMP, who currently serves as the SGMP National Board Treasurer and NEC co-sponsorship chair. He is director, Global Government Sales, for RLH Corporation.

SGMP President Michelle Milligan, MSW, LMSW, CGMP, presented the President’s Award to Melissa Woodruff, CMP, for her leadership and dedication to advancing and strengthening the National Capital Chapter, its membership, events and activities. Melissa serves as the president of the SGMP National Capital Chapter and is a meeting and event planner for DCG Communications.

Sam Gilmer provided the motivating force, vision and leadership toward the founding of SGMP in 1981. The award is presented in recognition of service over a period of time, especially at the national level, that has significantly contributed to the Society’s growth and development and enhanced the professionalism of the industry. SGMP members nominate potential recipients who are then selected by a panel of former Sam Gilmer Award winners.