MCI USA’s Strategic Events, Meetings & Incentives (SEM&I) division (formerly Wyndham Jade) specializes in convention housing and registration, meeting management, incentive programs, business travel management and site selection. As an industry leader for more than 30 years, we enable associations and corporations to engage & grow audiences, enhance speed to market, manage risk and optimize financial results of their event portfolios.
MCI USA currently employs more than 300 full time talents, with our SEM&I division headquartered in Plano, Texas, and satellite offices in Virginia, Arizona, Iowa, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Florida. Backed by innovation, we offer a complete technology solution by combining housing and registration into one integrated platform.
In August 2017, Wyndham Jade aligned with the global organization MCI to become part of MCI USA, marking a milestone in the growth and evolution of both organizations.
Shawn Pierce, President, Strategic Events, Meetings & Incentives
As President of MCI USA’s Strategic Events, Meetings & Incentives (SEM&I) business unit, Shawn Pierce leads a 130-person team that delivers strategic solutions to the meetings and events industry. Pierce steers five divisions from the Plano, Texas-based office – Strategic Event Management; Corporate Meetings & Events; Incentive Events; Convention Housing & Registration, Site Selection, Lead Retrieval; and MCI’s Event Incubator.
Pierce’s vision for MCI USA SEM&I is to help associations and corporations engage and grow their audiences while successfully managing risk and optimizing financial results. It’s a holistic approach to the company’s partnerships – taking into account all of a client’s goals and needs, regardless of whether they’re using an MCI solution.
This all-inclusive methodology comes from Pierce’s unique talent for turning around and reinvigorating events, a trait that comes from 25 years of mastering operational excellence and utilizing data-driven insights to growing events in diverse industries. Throughout his career he has maintained a focus on technology-enabled tools that help event organizers become more efficient and allow them to leverage their most valuable asset: their data.
Pierce started on the registration and housing side of the business at Miller Freeman before moving to Hanley Wood Exhibitions, where he helped build the Exhibitions Division by streamlining all operating groups, implementing systems and processes for each of the company’s functional areas and evaluating acquisition targets.
Before joining MCI USA, Pierce was president of Experient, where he oversaw a team of 300+ employees as well as all technological innovation and market development functions. A transformational leader, Pierce helped improve the company’s morale and financial performance and added key clients to the portfolio, setting it up for a successful sale to Maritz in 2012 after a rapid resurgence.
Pierce is a well-known speaker within the meetings and events industry, having spoken at many industry events – from the SISO CEO conference, an exclusive event for the executive leadership of the largest for-profit organizers across the world, to PCMA, which serves the entire spectrum of the event industry.
Pierce attended The University of Texas at Austin and has a family cattle business in Texas. He resides in Frisco, Texas, with his wife and two daughters.
Sue Trizila, Executive Advisor
Sue Trizila joined the company in 1994 and helped us grow t from 15 to 120 employees, supporting our three areas of business: Convention Housing and Registration, Meetings and Incentives, and Corporate Travel. She began her more than 40-year career with Eastern Airlines and has worked for both public and private travel-related companies. Sue is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Her community involvement includes serving on the boards of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America and Sammons Center for the Arts.
Kerry Wages, Executive Vice President, Operations
Kerry Wages joined the company in 1994, and was charged with developing and growing a convention housing and registration services platform. He is a travel industry veteran with P&L accountability and more than 35 years of experience, geared toward large-scale travel industry operations. Kerry began his career in 1973 with Frontier Airlines, where he developed operational expertise serving at the Airlines Executive level, with responsibilities extending to multiple call center operations and yield management. His career path has included senior level positions, serving as VP/GM for CUC International, a large travel and membership organization, and working with National Leisure Group, a cruise and leisure travel product distributor.
Ross Sawai, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Ross Sawai rejoined the team in 2017 as the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. With more than 25 years of leadership experience in technology and event services, Ross brings a wealth of knowledge and business acumen to the company. His diverse background with companies such as Lanyon Mobile (formerly GenieConnect), Searchwide, Blockbuster, and American Airlines provides a unique perspective to the leadership team. Leading a team of experienced professionals, Ross enjoys tackling each new day with energy and a positive outlook. He is actively involved with GBTA, IAEE, MPI, SITE, and PCMA.
Elisa Perodin, CMP, CEM, Senior Vice President, Association Events
Elisa Perodin joined the company in 2007 and leads event management services for all MCI USA’s association clients, as well as oversees the coordination of logistics for conferences, trade shows, workshops, award ceremonies and other education programs. Before joining MCI USA, Perodin served as director of convention operations for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), where among other responsibilities she managed and implemented pre-show, onsite and post-show operational and logistical activities for the annual NAB Show, which draws more than 100,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors. She also served Nielsen Business Media and the Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.
Agnès Canonica, CMP, CMM, HMCC, Global Account Director, Corporate Meetings
Agnès Canonica joined MCI USA in 2017 as Global Account Director to lead the Corporate Meetings & Events division across multiple industry sectors. Her career in the meetings industry started by owning her own incentive company for over a decade, and since 2003, Canonica has been working for third-party CMI top 25 meeting agencies, responsible for implementation, growth, and leading International teams and accounts across the globe, delivering programs in over 52 countries. As a thought leader and subject matter expert in the meetings industry, Canonica is frequently invited as a contributor on SMMP, International, Life Sciences and career growth subjects, in addition to serving as an advisory board member for various global hotel brands and CVBs. She is also an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association and currently serving a three-year term on the CIC CMP Governance Commission.
"Wyndham Jade is very responsive and willing to do whatever needs to be done."
-International Production & Processing Expo
"Wyndham Jade exemplifies a customer service mindset."
"Wyndham Jade helps make a memorable experience for our Consultants."
"Your attention to detail and overall professional demeanor were outstanding."
-The Jewish Federation of North America
"They free up so much valuable time and their sourcing and negotiation expertise make us look like rock stars to our Executive Team."
"Wyndham Jade is always responsive, very willing to do whatever needs to be done, understanding our needs and expectations – I could go on."
-U.S. Poultry and Egg Association