About The Meetings Industry Fund

A helping hand for meetings professionals when they need help the most, The Meetings Industry Fund was founded to provide financial assistance during times of crisis like a disaster, medical illness, or an emergency.

Everyone can help make a difference for those in crisis!

Board of Directors

Gary Schirmacher

Gary Schirmacher

Senior Vice President, Industry Presence and Strategic Development | Experient

“The Meetings Industry Fund gives back, providing emergency assistance to those who provide service of all types to the meetings industry that touches my heart every time a grant is given.”
Jo Ann Hoffman

Jo Ann Hoffman

Regional Director of Sales | ConventionPlanit.com

“After my almost lifelong service to the meetings and hospitality industry, I feel I should give back to a wonderful life experience. Many of our industry members have been affected by crisis during their tenure.  There is no better way to support those in need.”
Karen Gonzales, CMP

Karen Gonzales, CMP

Treasurer | IAEE

“I have been in the meetings industry and have given back by volunteering, mentoring, etc.  The Meetings Industry Fund offers a way in which I can support those who are in our industry and in crisis – this is when they need assistance most!”
Karin Fitzgerald

Karin Fitzgerald

Chief Operating Officer | USGIF

“I hope no one ever needs the assistance, but MIF is ready for those that have exhausted resources and are in crisis. It’s an easy way for us ALL to give back.”

Jack Chiasson

Jack Chiasson

Association Management, Convention and Tradeshow Consulting

“In an industry that spends its time making sure we take care of our customers, also taking care of each other when necessary is more than just a good idea – it’s the right thing to do.”

David Giger

David Giger

Retired - Hilton Senior Director of Sales & Industry Relations

“It’s my time to give back to industry that has given me tremendous opportunities.”
Gay Holden

Gay Holden

Regional Director of Sales | DMI Hotels

“During a long career in hospitality & meetings, I am pleased to be able to work to help those in need during an emergency.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for assistance?

Individuals who are directly involved in the planning, execution, delivery and support of meetings.

How do I apply? 

Applying is easy. Simply fill out this form. We will contact you within 24 hours and provide an answer shortly thereafter. 

How much can I ask for? 

Funds granted will be assessed and based on each individual situation and available resources.

What kinds of things are covered? 

A situation that is causing you a financial crisis involving basic living necessities. We will generally approve requests that involve your ability to put food on your table and a roof over your head. Read some of our grant stories.

Who approves an application?

The Board of The Meetings Industry Fund reviews and judges each application based on the criteria established in our bylaws.

Do I have to pay the fund back? 

There is no requirement to pay the Fund back. However the Fund’s ability to help others depends on having the resources to do that. If and when you are able to do so, a donation back to the Fund of any amount would be greatly appreciated.

Is my information kept private? 

Your information will be kept in the strictest confidence. No one other than the members of The Meetings Industry Fund Board of Directors will see your application. Also, if you prefer that a particular board member NOT see your information, please email The Meetings Industry Fund with your request, which will be honored.

What types of  of resources are available?

An emergency situation causing you an unforeseen financial crisis involving basic living necessities. The MIF will generally approve requests that enable you to put food on your table and have a roof over your head. Read some of our grant stories.