2023 SGMP Top Young Professionals Announced

SGMP is excited to announce the 2023 Top Young Professionals and Emerging Leaders!
The SGMP Top Young Professionals program recognizes Government Meeting Professionals Under 40 who are excelling in their careers and as volunteers for SGMP.

The 2023 Top Young Professionals are:
Christina Bush - National Capital | Claudia Gunter - National Capital | Shannon Jenkins - National Capital | Jackie Ramos - Rocket City Alabama | Stephanie Scharfenberg - Rocky Mountain | Taylor Beard Stanley - Louisiana | Randi Talmage
Top Young Professionals
In celebration of young government meeting talent, SGMP set out on a search for the Top Young Professionals in the government meetings industry. The program recognizes individuals under 40 with proven leadership skills and a dedication to the betterment and sustainability of SGMP. 

Members were nominated by their peers and honorees were selected by a panel of industry professionals. Congratulations to the Top Young Professionals for 2022-2023! These honorees will also be recognized at the SGMP State of Society at NEC in Bloomington, Minnesota to be held June 6-8, 2023. Read on to learn about their stories of accomplishments within the government meetings industry.

Christina Bush | Claudia Gunter | Shannon Jenkins | Jackie Ramos | Stephanie Scharfenberg | Taylor Beard Stanley | Randi Talmage

Christina Bush, CGMP
How would you prepare for the future success of the government meeting industry?
Leaning in on relationships and networking is the pinnacle of success not just for any industry but especially the government market. So often priorities of our government change and so those relationships we consistently build to support each other in ever-changing environments allows us to be consistently more effective in our roles no matter what.
Claudia Gunter, CGMP
Who/What influenced you to become involved in the government meeting industry?
I first started working with the Government/Military market when I was in Tampa, FL. However, it was my experience in Crystal City that made me fall in love with this market. Meeting customers from all different walks of life taught me many things and gave me a deep appreciation for the service they provide. Whether it be within a government agency or a branch of military – it opened my world to something I knew little about.
Shannon Jenkins, CGMP
How would you prepare for the future success of the government meeting industry?
To prepare for the future success of the government meeting industry I would start focusing on the upcoming generation and execute initiatives that appeal to them. Focus on fresh education, incorporating more sustainability into meetings & events, incorporate fun experiences into meetings and find exciting destinations to host the National Education Conference to draw the attendance for fear of FOMO.

Jackie Ramos
Who/What influenced you to become involved in the government meeting industry?
What influenced me to become involved in the government meeting industry is wanting to provide a service to government meeting professionals in the area that is business casual but also able to provide a unique experience. Hyatt Place Huntsville/Research Park is the first Hyatt brand hotel in the Huntsville area and I am happy to represent the Hyatt brand to government meeting professionals in this area.
Stephanie Scharfenberg
Who/What influenced you to become involved in the government meeting industry?
SGMP and my hotel are my main influencers for getting involved in the government meeting industry. Prior to being involved with SGMP, I did not have much experience with the government industry, but after 5 years of being part of this organization, I am grateful for the relationships with the government planners and hoteliers that I have met along the way. If it wasn't for SGMP, I would not have the expertise that I have today in government planning.
Taylor Beard Stanley
Share an accomplishment that you are very proud of …OR…Share your most unique experience as a meeting professional. 
Right now, the accomplishment I am most proud of would have to be completing my TMP (travel marketing professional) certification. I started this program back in 2019 and with all of the hurdles and challenges that have been thrown our way over the last few years, it has been rewarding to see this through. My TMP class started off as one of the largest classes in the history of the program, and when we finished we were by far the smallest. So many people left the travel industry so I am just glad to still be here and have had the opportunity to complete this certification! 
Randi Talmage
Who/What influenced you to become involved in the government meeting industry?
Early in my career, I became determined to learn from the professionals surrounding me and set my sights on the meeting industry. I joined colleagues at a Michigan SGMP monthly meeting as a guest and was immediately welcomed into the SGMP family. I knew the moment I walked in, I found my people and never looked back.  This is exactly where I am meant to be.