Monday, July 1, 2013

Convention Highlights

Wow! What a whirlwind week it has been! I am excited to share some of the highlights of the 2013 Close to my Heart Convention in Orlando, Florida with you. First, however, I need to apologize for not posting while I was there. I was having some “technical difficulties” with my camera and my computer and my 9 year old son (otherwise known as my personal IT guy, was no where to be found.)

Anyway, I am home now and soooooo excited to share some of the wonderful highlights from the week including some sneak peeks at a few new products and a special promotion that I will be having to pre-order the new Cricut Collection called Artbooking! (I am so excited about this new cartridge!) I will put that info in a separate post for you after this one.

The Convention started out with our Leadership Day on Wednesday where we heard from a speaker from the Disney Institute. She spoke on branding and it was really interesting to learn some great things that Disney and CTMH have in common. We then had the opportunity to ask questions to the Execs and other Consultants on various expert panels. The first panel was the Corporate Executives. The other panels focused on sales, recruiting, and online/social media. I had the honor of being one of the “experts” on the Online/Social Media panel although I truly felt inadequate to be on this panel. I was actually taking notes from some of the answers from others on the panel. LOL!

Thursday was the actual first day of Convention. It started out with a special breakfast with the Executive Team and the other outgoing Advisory Board Members. What an incredible privilege it was to serve with these gals (and Brain!) I have a new appreciation and love for this company after seeing how hard they work and how much they TRULY care about their Consultants and Customers! We were each given a “thank you” gift that we couldn’t share right away because it was created with one of the new products that wasn’t announced yet.

Here is a photo of all of the outgoing Advisory Board Members before we opened our gift.

And here we are after a few of us opened them...

There will be two SUPER COOL display frames available to order on August 1st when the new Idea Book goes live. Here’s a close up of the frame the Art Department used to create our gift. You may notice a few other new products on here too. (They even used the new Artbooking Cricut cartridge!)

This was the day we received the new Idea Book and all of the AWESOME new products and promotions were announced. We were entertained by some of the Disney performers along with our very own Executive Team. And let me tell you...they did not disappoint. I laughed so hard, my cheeks hurt at the end of the first general session! They managed to introduce (and give away) lots of new products all while entertaining us with so many fun skits, videos, and presentations. The first General Session was incredible. At the end of the show, a massive amount of confetti was popped from the ceiling. It was so cool!

Here I am with my sweet friends Christine Adams, Amy McGrew, and Karen Pedersen posing with our new Idea Books. Since we took the same photo last year, we decided it should be an annual thing. So next year will be our third annual photo. lol

We had lots of fun with the Create and Take projects which I was lucky enough to be able to do ahead of time so that I could walk around and help others if they needed it. (I will take photos and post them soon.) Two of my cute team members, Susan and her daughter Kathy stayed at one of the creative sessions late to finish their projects. Here they are with Christine and me.

Speaking of team members, since my team is spread throughout the country, only a handful were able to make it to Orlando, so I was thrilled to have these great gals join us. Here are my awesome downline sporting our “Paper Trufflez” team shirts.

Thursday night the Directors were treated to an AWESOME dinner at Epcot’s wonderful Living Seas Salon in the Coral Reef Restaurant. WOW! The food was incredible and the aquarium walls were so cool. I sat with some of my favorite CTMH peeps. Below is Jen Patrick, Julie Reynolds, me, and Keeley Kirwan.

And of course my partners in crime Christine Adams and Karen Pedersen.

After dinner we got to go to a special spot to watch the incredible fireworks show and then finished off the evening with a ride on Soarin’. What a fun night! CTMH really does spoil their Directors.

Friday was another great day filled with lots of excitement at the ever popular Extravaganza where many of the most creative Consultants shared hundreds of creative project ideas with us. It was like being exposed to a massive...well...“Extravaganza” of ideas all at once! I loved it!

Friday night was the Awards Banquet which is always fun. Dinner was fantastic, the show was fabulous, and I was so proud of all of my CTMH friends who were recognized for their accomplishments this past year. I was honored to receive an award for placing in the top 10 for Team Building again this year.

The outgoing Advisory Board was recognized and thanked just before they announced the new Board Members. Thank you Brandy Lees, Karen Morris, Kristina Livingstone, and Jillene Moen for making this past year soooo much fun! I couldn’t have asked for better Co-Board Members! Love you guys!! xoxo

Check out my friends Kristina Livingstone, Karen Morris, and Brandy Lees. Don’t they look gorgeous?

My cutie patootie friend Melissa Laverty always makes me smile!

I have been blessed to get to know these Three Amigos much better over the past year. Brian Holman, Monica Wihongi, and Kristine Whidtfeldt are the most dedicated VPs (and COO) that any company could ask for. Not to mention they are all as sweet as can be and sooooo darn funny! I don't think there was an event or conference call that I had with any of them over the past year that at least one of them didn’t make me laugh. I love these guys and am honored to call them friends!

Saturday was another great day! Everyone got to make a fun project with one of our new product lines called Base and Bling. (I am so excited about this line!) Everyone made this fun necklace using some of the new products.

Once everyone was finished making the necklace, my “CTMH BFF” Christine Adams and I presented some other fun ways to use the products in this line to create other types of projects. (These were some of the secret projects that I have been working on.) I promise to share them all here on my blog when the new catalog goes live on August 1st.

One of the highlights of Convention for me was meeting three very special, extremely sweet, new Consultants. As you may have heard Creative Memories is in the midst of doing some restructuring and in the process has discontinued their business in Australia and New Zealand. The CM Consultants over there were left with large teams and no company or product to support them. CTMH has been working with Brian O’Callaghan, former General Manager of Creative Memories Australasia, and Susan Wilmot, Diane Lampert, and Megan Lawrence, former Senior Directors of CM Australasia, to support them as they become affiliated with CTMH as “Close to my Heart Australasia.” I was able to spend some time with these three gals and am so excited for them and their teams to become CTMH Consultants. The Australia Consultants were able to sign up yesterday and those from New Zealand will be able to sign up in a few short weeks! For more information about CTMH Australasia, feel free to visit this link. Pictured below from left to right are: me, Megan Lawrence, Denise Anderson-Turley (my upline), Susan Wilmot, Diane Lampert, and Margi Gilbertson.

This is just a small snippet of my week. I have so much more to share but will save that for another day. I have LOTS of wonderful gifts that I received and gave that I need to photograph and can’t wait to share with you. All in all, I have to say that CTMH continues to amaze me each year at Convention. I always ask myself, “How can they top last year?” And they always do!

I would LOVE for you to join me at Disneyland in Anaheim for next year’s Convention. If you have ever thought about joining CTMH, now is a great time! The New Consultant Kit, jam packed with brand new products, just started shipping today. If you’d like to get your hands on the latest and greatest products before anyone else, think about joining my team. (Consultants get to order new product a month before the Idea Book goes live.) Feel free to visit my New Consultant FAQ page here. For just $49, you can get the new kit and start enjoying the new products sooner than later. *Ü*


  1. Lisa, great memories of convention!

  2. GREAT post! I love the "2nd Annual" photo of us with our Idea Books. I love you even more.