We are a woman-owned, full-service conference, meeting and event management firm based in New Mexico. We manage events for associations, non-profit organizations, education and government agencies, and the corporate market.

You have responsibilities to handle for your business. Leave the event planning to us. We will work with you every step of the way, from concept to implementation.

Our Services

We offer a full range of services, from basic planning tasks to complete event management.

Planning & Development

  • Board and Planning Committee Meetings/Retreats
  • Client and Customer Appreciation Events
  • Special Events, Receptions and Banquets
  • Guest/Spouse Programs and Incentives
  • Virtual Meetings

Speakers & Exhibitors/Sponsors

  • Programming Support and Speaker Contract/Management
  • Speaker Arrangements
  • Exhibitor/Sponsor Program Management

Budget & Logistics

  • Budget Development and Management including Fiscal Agent Responsibilities
  • Logistics Management, Food & Beverage/Catering Arrangements
  • Technical/Audio Visual Planning
  • Décor and Specialty Arrangements

Housing & Travel

  • Attendee/Guest Housing Arrangements
  • Travel Arrangements

Site/Venue Selection & Negotiation

  • Site/Venue Selection
  • Contract Negotiations (Venue/Vendors)
  • Vendor Management and Negotiation (audio visual, exposition services, printers, mail house, etc.)
  • Entertainment Selection and Negotiation

Marketing & Design

  • Marketing, Promotion and Ad Specialty items
  • Program and Collateral Material Design and Production
  • Professional Signage
  • Name Tags and Event Branding Material
  • Event/Conference App Design
  • Website Maintenance and Email Marketing

Event Management

  • Discount Programs
  • Registration (online and traditional) Processing and Management
  • Attendee Management
  • On-Site Management and Staffing
  • Volunteer Management
  • Evaluation/Survey Development and Reporting
  • Continuing Education Application and Processing

... And More

Meet The Team

Melissa Rael

Melissa G. (Ortega) Rael


Melissa G. Rael has planned and managed events for over 21 years. Her experience in event planning has spanned the non-profit, education, association, government, and corporate markets and includes managing conferences, meetings, trainings, fundraisers, and trade shows.

Melissa opened MgR & Associates, a full-service meeting and event planning firm, in 2006. She has planned events across the Unites States for local, regional, and national clients of which the majority focus on programs that support children, families, education, and diversity. MgR & Associates currently plans events for the National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education, the Western Interstate Child Support Enforcement Council, the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association, Albuquerque Pride, New Mexico Film Office and the New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network.

Melissa began her career as a public relations account executive at a public relations and event management firm in 1996 during her senior year at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In 2000, the firm began specializing primarily in conference and event management. Melissa held many positions within the company and in 2004 she was promoted to Director of Meeting and Event Operations. She was a key staff member involved in planning and executing several national and local conferences, until she left the firm in 2006.

Melissa graduated cum laude from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of Arts degree double major in Journalism and Mass Communications and Spanish.

A native northern New Mexican and Albuquerque resident, Melissa enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, running and spending time outdoors. She and her husband are the proud parents of three sons Jonathan, Elijah and Joshua.

Corrina Smith

Corrina (Burns) Smith, MBA

Senior Associate Planner

Corrina Smith has over seventeen years of marketing, public relations and event planning experience, most of which has been in the travel and tourism industry. Throughout her career, she has held senior level marketing positions with a Hyatt resort, a quasi-public housing authority and a convention and visitors bureau. She is now a Senior Associate Planner with MgR & Associates.

Corrina started her career in 2000 in the event planning industry as the Registration Coordinator for the Southwest Yoga Conference and was on the Onsite Manager for the conference in 2002. In 2001, she managed the public relations and marketing for the opening of Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, where she held the Marketing & Public Relations Director position until 2007. She then worked for a short time as the Public Information Officer for New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority. She returned to the travel and tourism industry in 2008 as Senior Marketing Manager for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she worked until February 2015. Since then, she has been working for MgR & Associates.

Corrina graduated with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree with a marketing concentration in 1999 and a Masters of Business Administration degree with a policy and planning concentration in 2003, both from the University of New Mexico.

Corrina is a native New Mexican who spent a majority of her life in Albuquerque and is now a resident of Las Cruces. She enjoys crafting, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband Chad have two daughters Chloe and Courtney.

Roger Garfield

...and Associates

Our team of onsite associates assist with making your event successful. When you work with us, you will partner with a creative, experienced and professional company that will take your vision and make it a reality.

Our Happy Clients

And more!


Common Questions

Everything you need to know before you get started

How do you charge for your services?

We meet with you to determine your event goals, objectives and the services you require. Based on the outcome, we will provide you with a detailed event management proposal. We charge a flat management fee for our services.

How long have you been planning events?

We have been managing events for over 21 years. MgR & Associates opened in 2006 and we have managed events locally, throughout the state of New Mexico and around the nation.

What size of events do you plan?

We have planned retreats for 10 attendees to conferences for over 1,800. We approach each project with the same enthusiasm, creativity, and strategy for success whether we are planning for a small or large event.

Do you plan weddings or reunions?

Easy answer...no. However, we have a list of preferred vendors and businesses we recommend for many types of services. Whether you need venue suggestions, a printing company, mailing services, marketing items or a group dining spot, we can steer you in the right direction.

Just some of the trusted companies that we love to work with.


Audio Visual

Ad Specialty Products