We know meetings. We are a meeting and events firm that’s built on passion, expertise and a relentless focus on exceptional results.

More about us


Login to Your Account

Four Questions With a Pro: An Interview with Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP

April 13th, 2015 by

4 Questions With An Association Engagement Expert

Holly Duckworth’s new book, Ctrl+Alt+Believe: Reboot Your Association For Success moves associations through a process to clarify association beliefs, evaluate control, and create new alternate solutions. Her premise is that to innovate and thrive, association executives and boards of directors must balance the desire to honor their history and innovate simultaneously.

1. What is an association belief? How can we identify them and use them in our associations?

A belief is an acceptance of truth for your organization. Often this comes from history, sometimes bylaws and more often than not the stories that have been told year over year. Beliefs have a hidden power that truly inform our leadership experience. If you believe you have troublesome, demanding or hard personalities in your boardroom you will get more of that. If you see, feel and express energy that your boardroom has perfect strategic leaders dedicated to your heart centered vision – that is what you will attract to your organization. It is important to recognize the association’s collective beliefs and when necessary consciously shift them to be positive and flexible.

2. A theme in the book is that Boards unconsciously fear change, causing problems in their organization. “Organizations die of fear,” as you write. Is there something about the structure of boards that encourages this fear? How can we overcome fear?

Fear of change in organizations has a micro and macro component. Micro meaning that each individual board member will naturally have a little tentativeness leading an organization. The macro comes from their collective fear. Being part of a board/organization forces people to look at their strengths, weaknesses and what they contribute, and then ultimately creating an unknown or new future together. Until we embrace that individual and collective fear as a positive catalyst for change we may experience stagnant organizations.

3. You recommend that the organization spend time distilling its mission statement into six words. Why is this valuable and how can it help the board be more strategic?

You can determine the success of any organization by asking its leaders what the vision/mission of the organization is. In most cases nobody in the room can answer that question. Yet, organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars writing vision/mission statements to carve on marble walls or place on stationary that is never used beyond the moment the period is put at the end of the sentence. Most vision/mission statements are paragraphs-long and full of meaningless jargon that does not link anywhere else in the organization.

I use the 6-word model as a guideline to direct leaders to shorten the vision/mission statement to something that inspires. It needs to be a statement you and your leadership can memorize with your heads and with your hearts, meaning you can each articulate what the vision/mission means to them in their own words.

Note, I also choose intentionally to use vision/mission together. We can debate all day long what a vision is, what a mission is and if you need one or both. What I know is 100% true is it doesn’t matter if nobody is reading and using the vision/mission each and every day as a guiding and inspiring principle.

4. One suggestion you have for organizations to shake off the dust is to beta-test new ideas. To make them successful (or identify them as unsuccessful), what kind of structure should a beta test have? Should you set distinct time limits on them? Definitions for success? When do you pull the plug?

I find it fascinating that corporate America uses the term “beta” on projects all the time. Software companies like Microsoft, Apple and other developers intentionally put out products when they are not quite finished to get customer feedback on them. If this concept is good enough for corporate American why can’t associations borrow the concept?

Identify an aspect of your association that needs attention, and define the dollars and volunteer hours to devote to it. As an example, instead of making the decision to retire the annual golf tournament forever, we might “beta test” a mini-golf tournament for a year. At the end of the project, assess if it worked, did it not work, do we do it again.

In a beta project – you set a deadline to “pull the plug” at the beginning rather than the typical association outlook that assumes a project goes on forever. Assume the project has an end and “re-plug” in the beta project only if/when it works in a way that exceeds the needs and desires of your members.

Holly Duckworth, CAE, CMP, Spirit Strategist is CEO of Leadership Solutions International

Follow her @hduckworth and on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/in/hduckworth.   Her book is available at Amazon and www.ctrlaltbelievebook.com Interested in booking Holly to speak or facilitate your next conference or event? Contact Kinsley staff today for booking information.

Kinsley Updates – April 2015

April 13th, 2015 by


In his role as Chairman of Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain, Steve Kinsley was on stage to make brief remarks at the 2015 Colorado Business Hall of Fame dinner. The event provides Junior Achievement and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce with an opportunity to recognize our state’s most respected business leaders for their commitment and investment in the community. Click here to learn more about the event.

Allison Kinsley is serving on the PSAV Customer Advisory Board.  (more…)

Kinsley By The Numbers

April 13th, 2015 by


Kinsley Updates – December 2014

December 9th, 2014 by


Allison Kinsley, CMM, CMP is serving on the Metro State University of Denver Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events Industry Leadership Council.

Allison Kinsley spoke in October as part of the Timothy C. Russell Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.

Steve Kinsley was a guest last month on the Connect & Collaborate series for ICOSA Radio. Click here to listen – Steve’s segments are #3 and #4.

Devon Binder, CMM, CMP was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) Achievement Awards.

Jill Mendoza, CMP is serving on the 2014-2015 Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Chapter & Membership Advisory Council.

Dani Korth, CMP is serving on the 2015 MPI Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Backpack to Briefcases committee. Backpack to Briefcases, an opportunity for meeting professionals to engage with college students from local hospitality/meetings programs, is scheduled for February 28, 2015 at the Springhill Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown.

Casey Hiner will be serving on the 2015 IAEE Membership Engagement Committee.

New Additions

ShannonKinsley Meetings welcomes Shannon Henry to our staff. Shannon is a senior at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver. Shannon will be completing an internship with us through the winter quarter.

Kinsley Meetings would also like to welcome the following new clients to our team:


American Society of Pharmacognosy


American Society of Crime Lab Directors


Rocky Mountain Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conference
Rocky Mountain Interventional Endoscopy Course


Congratulations to The Meetings Industry Council for yet another successful Serving Up Hope Luncheon. The event collected over 26,161 pounds of food as well as $24,000. All proceeds will go to the Food Bank of the Rockies.

Congratulations to Kathy Reak, Director of Sales with the Colorado Springs CVB for winning the Destination Colorado Peak Performer of the Year for 2014.

Kinsley Appearances

Andrea Brennan, CMP, Dani Korth, CMP, Devon Binder and Erin Parrott in St. Louis, MO December 8-12, 2014

Casey Hiner at IAEE – Expo Expo! in Los Angeles, CA, December 9-11, 2014

Dani Korth in Orlando, FL, January 8-9, 2015

Andrea Brennan, Dani Korth, Joslyn Strock, and Allison Kinsley, January 19-22, 2015 in Ft. Worth Texas.

Devon Binder, January 22-23, 2015 in Stamford, CT.

Devon Binder, Casey Hiner and Erin Parrott, February 2-5, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.

Five Questions With a Pro: An Interview with Dave Mitchell

December 5th, 2014 by

Kinsley: The name of your company is the Leadership Difference and you speak on a variety of leadership topics all over the world. Do you find that there is a correlation between leadership style and the type of wine someone drinks?

Dave_Mitchell_PhotoDave Mitchell: Well, I think being in a leadership role can certainly drive someone one to drink! I actually do a seminar called What is Your Wine Personality that compares a person’s leadership style to a type of wine. The program was inspired by the content of my new book The Power of Understanding People. In the book, I refer to four types of leaders: Romantic, Warriors, Experts and Masterminds. For example, emotionally sensitive leaders – Romantics — tend to be quite attuned to the morale of their team and work hard to make the organization’s culture fun to be in and for the group to have a comfortable unity. I think a sparkling wine, with its effervescence and inherit celebratory nature, is a nice reflection of this style. On the other hand, analytical leaders – Warriors – are direct and results oriented; sometimes even perceived as brusque. A big Cabernet Sauvignon perfectly captures their style with the bold flavor profile and substantial tannins. Having said that, one of the most aggressive leaders I know drinks White Zinfandel. Go figure.

Kinsley: You travel the world doing keynote speeches and seminars. What is your favorite wine region?

Dave: Oh my! That’s like trying to pick your favorite band. Several wine regions have left me with amazing memories. My lovely bride and I were lucky enough to visit Valpolicella and tasted some amazing Amarone de Valpolicella at Le Salette Winery. It was just us and the winemaker. It was incredible. We visited a charming winery outside Madrid, Spain. Unbelievable! We love the Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Columbia Valley region in Washington, too. However, based on the number of visits we make there, I would have to say the Dry Creek AVA in Sonoma is our favorite. They have a huge range of varietals and it is not as crowded as the rest of Sonoma and Napa. It is a beautiful area, lovely people and a real foodie vibe to boot.

Kinsley: During the holidays, do you have specific wine recommendations that pair with the traditional foods?

Dave: While I have some favorite pairings, I have found that everyone’s palette is unique. My motto is, “if you like it, drink it. If you don’t like it, drink it fast!” Here are the four wines I recommended in my November newsletter for Thanksgiving and I would feel comfortable serving them all through the holidays. Again, I broke the selections down to reflect the style of the person and I focused on my favorite region (with a bow to the Willamette Valley).

No celebration can begin without popping the cork on some sparkling wine. A lovely brut rose works great for the holidays. I love J Brut Rose for its floral and raspberry flavors and elegant bottle. At $38, it’s at a moderate price point for high end sparkly and worth it to start the party off with class. It is wine in the style of the Romantics: fun and effervescent

For the Experts, I recommend one of the great food wines in the world; Riesling. The combination of acidity and full mouth feel makes it perfect as an insurance policy against overcooked white meat.   The best version I tasted this year was the Trisaetum 2013 Estates Reserve Dry Riesling at $32 (Trisaetum also offers less expensive Rieslings that are wonderful, too). It is the Experts version of wine; traditional, safe and exceptional quality.

For those Masterminds out there, I found an exceptionally unique wine in the Dry Creek appellation of Sonoma County at Preston Vineyards. It is the Preston Vineyard 2012 Marsanne. Marsanne is rarely made into a varietal wine and even more unusual to find in this wine region. It is definitely unusual on the palate, but the first time I tasted it I was overwhelmed with holiday flavors. This one is a love/hate wine. You will have an opinion, but you won’t be bored; much like talking to a Mastermind. $30 and probably only available through the winery: www.prestonvineyards.com.

Finally, for those Warriors, we need a red wine. I don’t like big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon with the traditional holiday fare. For my money, I pick Zinfandel. Zinfandel is made in a variety of styles ranging from huge fruit bombs to delicate food wines. Porter Creek makes an old vine version that strikes just the right balance. ThePorter Creek 2011 Zinfandel Old Vine Sonoma County is priced at $34 and is bold enough to satisfy any red wine fan while not overpowering the food.

Kinsley: What is your favorite wine and why?

Dave: You’re killing me.  I almost said, “whatever is open,” but you are probably looking for a more thoughtful answer. Well, I am fond of saying that the appreciation of wine is 90% context. It is more about who you are with, what you are doing, where you drink it and how you feel at that moment. So, given that, my favorite wine right now is the Red Car 2009 Sonoma County Syrah. We bought a case of it and got a crazy, great deal at the winery. When we tasted it in Sonoma we were having a great day in wine country and now it is our Friday night pizza wine. Friday night pizza and wine is my favorite thing, so the current wine pairing would stand to reason as being my favorite wine. I reserve the right to change that answer on Saturday.

Kinsley: Are there any life lessons you have learned that relate to your training as a sommelier?

Dave: I really wish I could provide a pithy remark to go out with, but the truth is that my love and appreciation for wine has taught me to pay more attention to the simple joys that surround us all the time. I think it is easy to keep looking forward to something big in our lives while missing the fantastic details that are happening now. Is there anything so amazing in life than a glass of wine and a moment in time? Oh, wow; that was pretty pithy.


About Dave Mitchell, Founder/President, the Leadership Difference, Inc.


Since founding the Leadership Difference in 1995, over 250,000 people have attended Dave’s “enter-TRAIN-ment” seminars on topics that include leadership, customer service, selling skills, and personal performance enhancement. His clients include Allstate Insurance, Bank of America, Universal Studios, Hilton Worldwide, Sub-Zero Wolf Appliances, Electrolux Appliances, Trek Bikes, Walt Disney World and the CIA.   Dave has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois and designated as a Certified Advanced Wine Sommelier by the International Wine Guild.

Dave is the author of the book Live and Learn or Die Stupid! The book focuses on personal contentment and performance excellence. His second book, The Power of Understanding People, was released in December 2013 and was immediately named Best Business Book of the Month by Amazon.

“Dave’s ability to keep people engaged and laughing and truly teach something is incredibly powerful.” — Kimberly Janson, Vice President of Global Leadership of H.J. Heinz

“Investing in Dave Mitchell has been the best business decision I have ever made. He is the mos
t entertaining speaker I have ever heard, which is why he is so effective getting his message across to the audience.”
— Willis Chrans, Chairman, Avitus Group