M. Theresa Breining

Nominated by Meeting Professional International (MPI)

Inducted in 2010

Shaping the Industry

In 1988 Theresa (Terri) Breining founded Concepts Worldwide, a meeting management firm headquartered in San Diego County where she currently serves as its president/CEO. Concepts Worldwide is a recognized international leader in providing return on investment (ROI) measurement, consulting services, and full service strategic meeting management. Involved in the meeting planning industry since 1976, Terri has been responsible for producing meetings around the globe.

Considered by many to be a thought leader, Terri is an activist working tirelessly for the continuous advancement of professionalism in the meetings industry, and has served as an adjunct faculty member for meeting planning programs at universities throughout Southern California for over 20 years. Additionally, she is a highly sought after speaker, presenting educational workshops for a variety of business entities.

During Terri’s 30 plus years in the industry, she has worked consistently to elevate the role of the meeting professionals in business. As Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) chairperson (2003-2004), her main theme was to empower meeting professionals to work more strategically and gain a seat at the C-level table. She is a pioneer in her work as the chairperson of the APEX Commission on standards and practices within our industry. Terri always seems to be ahead of the curve, early on, she recognized the importance of ROI and meeting measurement, even creating the Concepts Worldwide C.A.R.E.S. program, years before Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) became part of the mainstream.

Single Most Important Contribution

Terri’s biggest impact on the industry has been her approach to elevating the profession. Her professional “life’s work” has shaped the way meeting professionals are viewed from within the industry and by the business community in general—as a strategic business function which drives successful business throughout the world. And continuing to drive that growth, Terri helped prepare the next generation of meeting professionals at San Diego State University. For nearly 20 years, she had been actively involved in developing and teaching courses for new and experienced meeting professionals, both at the university level as well as for MPI and other industry organizations. As a planner, supplier, educator, and owner of a successful business, Terri has a broad perspective that guides her knowledge base and provides avenues for contributing to the industry. She is committed to ongoing education and membership within the industry, working on the Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) program, teaching at MPI institutes, and speaking to groups at conferences and in classrooms on an ongoing basis. She was recognized in 2002 for Outstanding Achievement for Instructional Excellence by San Diego State University.

Expansive Influence

Terri’s contributions that span multiple industry segments are in three main areas: APEX, Strategic meetings management, and Return on Investment (ROI).

Terri has demonstrated a commitment to the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative to develop and implement voluntary, industry-wide accepted best practices, by serving as an APEX Commissioner from 2000-2003 and 2005-2006; in 2007, she returned as its chair. .

Terri has supported the development of multiple educational programs including Strategic Meetings Management, a management style created by MPI’s Global Corporate Circle of Excellence (GCCOE) to explore the role of a strategic meeting professional as a collaborative, knowledgeable entity who capitalizes on partnerships within and without the organization for the benefit of the organization as a whole.

Co-author of Return on Investment in Meetings and Events: Tools and Techniques to measure the success of all Types of Meetings and Events with Jack J. Phillips, PhD, published in 2007, Terri’s commitment to the concepts and implementation of ROI measurements is also well known.

Distinguished Achievements of Lasting Value

Terri has been recognized for her individual professional accomplishments, as well as her recognition for her leadership of Concepts Worldwide, which was acknowledged as a “Best Company to Work for in San Diego.” Within the meetings industry, Terri was lauded as International Planner of the Year in 2000, and has been included on the lists of “Most Influential People in the Meeting Industry” by both Meeting News and Smart Meetings Magazine multiple times.

Known for her commitment to high professional standards and excellence, Terri has attained designations, as a Certified Meeting Professional, a Certified Meeting Manager, and ROI Certification.

Outstanding Service to Industry Organizations

Terri has established herself as a positive role model for both women and men in the industry, has been instrumental in advancing the industry, and continues to have a positive impact on all who work with her. As an active member of MPI, Terri has served at both the local and international level, including as MPI’s Chairwoman of the Board in 2003-04. She has spoken at conferences for MPI, Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Pharmaceutical Planners, Financial and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), and Affordable Meetings, among others.. Several organizations have recognized Terri for her continuous achievement, naming her to TK lists like Smart Meetings Magazine’s “Most Influential People in the Meeting Industry,” by Meeting News’ “One of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meeting Industry” and inaugural “Industry Professional of the Year” by the Global Meetings and Events Expo (EIBTM).

Contributions to Society

Well before Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was widely embraced, Terri’s company, Concepts Worldwide, held as a fundamental belief that they can and should contribute to their community, their industry and preserve the natural resources of the earth. In order to make that belief more substantive and to provide focus, they have put together a committee named C.A.R.E.S. (Concepts Acting Responsibility for the Environment and Society) to review all possible areas of action where Concepts Worldwide can pursue and maintain their mission towards social responsibility.

Through Concepts Worldwide, Terri and her company have contributed significantly to society via directing or involving in multiple social beneficial projects, including C.A.R.E.S. program (promoting environmentally-friendliness by implementing recycling and energy reservation office policies and encouraging their clients to participate in charitable works.), Mama’s Kitchen (delivering food to those with critical illness ), The National Multiple Sclerosis Society – MS Walk (supporting research and education on finding ad implementing cures for Multiple Sclerosis; reaching out to 18,000 people affected by Multiple Sclerosis and their family to reduce the effects of the disease ), The Special Olympics (facilitating athletic events for the Special Olympics, which reaches 2 million athletes worldwide), American Cancer Society & Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation (has helped raised millions of dollars for the organizations), and The We Deliver Dreams Foundation (help minority children achieve a better life).