The Northern California chapter of MPI (MPINCC) is demonstrating exciting new ideas under the leadership of Joey Nevin, who took on the role of chapter president for the 2015-16 term. Nevin Played MC at an event held this morning at the campus of Genentech, a biotechnology corporation in South San Francisco. The session was part of the MPINCC Professional Breakfast Program.

“We’re really excited about this program as a chapter. Genentech is a leader in multiple industries. They do a lot in the meetings and events world, and to have something on their campus, we get to see how their employees go about their day and we can learn from [Genentech’s] leadership. It’s exciting and hopefully a new trend that we can create in terms of working with leaders in the Bay Area,” Nevin said.

The session began with the presentation of the chapter’s Meetings Professional of the Quarter award. Elise Sandoval-Wong, CMP, HMCC, and Mason Foster, co-chairs of the Volunteer Development Committee for MPINCC, split the award for their work in ensuring anyone who wants to volunteer for the association has a place, and that their roles remain engaging and fulfilling.

“Each person that wants to volunteer, a person will contact them and talk to them about what they want to do—if they want to help with a specific event, if they want to be involved in logistical aspects, in-person or behind the scenes—then we’ll introduce them to the committee,” Sandoval-Wong said.

The meat of the session was a talk by Len Kanavy, senior vice president of commercial business operations at Genentech. Engaging, down to Earth and quite humorous, Kanavy outlined the green initiatives put forth by Genentech, including reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent by cutting onsite energy use and using efficient transportation, and reducing landfill waste by 80 percent per employee. Appropriately, those leading the initiatives are known as the “green genes team,” and the MPINCC session was held in their LEED Gold Certified building 35, the newest building on campus.

Kanavy also stressed the importance of meetings and the people who drive the meetings and events industry—and gave insight as to how Genentech’s meetings strategies can be effective across the industry. “It’s clearly energizing,” Kanavy said. “I’m a big believe in something we call empowering partners. We have a model we call TK squared, which is build a relationship, ask good questions, align and then advance. The very first thing is building a relationship, that’s how you become empowered partners, and face-to-face is how you build a relationship—and it’s a positive return on investment.”

If the response by the planners and other meetings professionals in attendance—including Nevin—is any gauge, Kanavy’s insights hit home, and MPINCC will be planning many more events like this one.