Latest Awards/Recognition News & Views...
Experient’s Joy Womack Recognized By PCMA
Joy Womack, CMP, Director, Event Management for Experient, the source for integrated meeting and event solutions, was named the 2014 Distinguished Member of the Year by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). PCMA honors outstanding members each year for their contributions to PCMA and the meetings industry.
Womack has been an active member and volunteer of PCMA since 2000. This past year, she served as Secretary of the Capital Chapter, and worked to help develop a leadership toolkit as part of the chapter’s efforts in succession planning. She is a member of the Advocacy Task Force and leads a workgroup charged with developing tactics to disseminate information and tools to members.
“I am incredibly grateful and honored to receive this recognition from PCMA,” Womack says. “My involvement at a local and national level is something that I value very much in terms of my professional development, as well as the amazing connections that I have made with great business partners, clients and friends over the years.” Womack continues saying, “Being involved in PCMA has become an important part of my professional life that, along with my position at Experient, gives me a sense of fulfillment in my career.”
Womack was recognized with the award for her contributions to PCMA during this past year and for her committee and board involvement, project leadership, community service, and her contributions to furthering the growth of PCMA through the mentoring of students and emerging professionals.
Dee Blakeney, CMP, Vice President, Event Planning at Experient, says Womack is passionate about her involvement with PCMA. “I am so pleased for Joy and proud of her for this recognition so well deserved,” Blakeney said. “She serves as a leader and model for our Experient team members wishing to contribute to our industry.”
PCMA will recognize Womack, along with rest of the Achievement Award winners, at the 59th PCMA Annual Meeting: Convening Leaders, January 11-14, 2015, in Chicago.
2014 Nebraska Travel Industry Award Winners Announced
Nebraska’s tourism industry professionals honored their peers at the Celebrate Nebraska Awards Gala Thursday evening at the Quality Inn & Suites/Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte, Nebraska. The event capped the annual Nebraska Tourism Conference organized by the Nebraska Tourism Commission and hosted by the North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau.
State Senator Schilz and Nebraska Tourism Commission Chair John Chapo announced the following 2014 Nebraska Travel Industry award winners.
The 2014 Henry Fonda Award – the state’s highest tourism award representing leadership, vision and dedication to the tourism industry – went to John Rosenow. John Rosenow has been a big supporter of the Nebraska Tourism Commission and in recent years has been especially helpful and generous in his support of our national media tours. He’s made the media participants feel welcomed in Nebraska City, while also educating them about the Arbor Day Foundation, the Lied Lodge and Conference Center and Arbor Day Farm. More importantly, he educates the participants on the historical and the environmental importance of the history of Arbor Day and J. Sterling Morton.
Rosenow founded The Arbor Day Foundation in 1972, on the 100th anniversary of Arbor Day, and the Foundation now has nearly a million members. In Nebraska City, the Foundation manages Arbor Day Farm as an educational visitor attraction. John oversaw the construction of Lied Lodge and Conference Center, which is dedicated to meetings focusing on trees and conservation. Today the property is home to the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure, featuring the Lied Greenhouse, Woodland Pavilion, Tree House Trail; its Nature's Classroom, Exploratory Trail, and the planned Exploratory building are being developed in collaboration with the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.
“Ours is a competitive industry. We compete with mountains and beaches. Yet more people today are discovering the unexpected beauty of our great state. And thanks to visionary leaders like John Rosenow, more and more Americans are stopping and enjoying Nebraska,” commented Kathy McKillip, Executive Director of the Nebraska Tourism Commission.
The Outstanding Tourism Publication Award was won by the North Platte Visitor Guide (North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau). The North Platte Visitor Guide is a 24 page, 4 x 9 brochure that underwent a complete revamp for the 2014 year. Complete with new graphics, photography and editorial, the brochure has proven to be helpful to visitors of North Platte. One very popular feature was retained in this year’s Visitors Guide – the center fold cartoon map of North Platte that is used to direct visitors to North Platte’s most popular points of interest. 50,000 copies of the North Platte Visitors Guide were originally produced for 2014, however due to its popularity; more than 10,000 copies were reprinted in the late summer.
The Outstanding Website Award went to VisitOmaha.com (Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau). The primary goal of the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau website was to showcase Omaha as a wonderful tourism destination while highlighting specific venues and attractions. With new features such as “Now Serving”, a web-series promoting Omaha’s unique flavor through local restaurants, and the “Omaha Adventure Savings Card,” which has seen a 38% increase of requests online, the site has been able to meet their goal. The user-friendly site has stayed up to date on the latest online trends, while also generating success with a 9% increase of visitors to the site compared to last year. This year alone, the website has had more than 990,000 visits.
Two Brothers Roundhouse Honored with “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” Award
The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) and the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau today announced Two Brothers Roundhouse located in Aurora is a recipient of an “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” award, which honors local food establishments around the state that are beloved destinations for visitors and locals alike. Two Brothers Roundhouse is among a select group of Illinois establishments to receive the unique designation from the tourism bureau. All award winners will receive a certificate from the state and a window cling to inform diners of the state designation.
“From family-owned restaurants with long and storied histories to the hottest new cuisines in the world, Illinois has emerged as a premier culinary destination for both domestic and international visitors,” said Jen Hoelzle, Illinois State Travel Director. “The ‘Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination’ award honors those restaurants that are authentically Illinois, making a trip to the state unforgettable.”
Passion for beer, love of food, and appreciation for great architecture flourishes in the walls of this historic 70,000 square foot facility. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Two Brothers Roundhouse is the oldest limestone roundhouse in the United States. As they bring new life to this 155 year old building, enjoy a casual atmosphere in the main dining room gastro-pub, their sports tavern and music venue or their new café and bakery. There is more to do than dinner at the Roundhouse. Enjoy a fine steak or burger. As with the beer and food, the live entertainment has a local flair. Whether it be a wedding, reunion or corporate event, they have a variety of spaces for friends and family to gather. Cheers!
“We are honored to represent such an outstanding establishment as Two Brothers Roundhouse,” says AACVB Interim Director Ellen Mueller. “The Roundhouse is a historic community icon for both local and out-of-town visitors and the dining ambiance lends to an enjoyable dining or banquet experience.”
Many travelers come to Illinois because of the state’s flourishing restaurant scene. According to a 2013 D.K. Shifflet & Associates Study, nearly one third of leisure travelers to Illinois reported participating in a unique “culinary experience” as a key part of their vacation, proving culinary offerings are a key motivator for travel.
To be considered for an award, restaurants must be nominated by a Convention & Visitors Bureau, community member or Enjoy Illinois social media fan. The nominee must be a one-of-a-kind restaurant that is authentic to Illinois and an established part of its community. Only restaurants located in Illinois will be considered for the “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” award, which is chosen by IOT.
For more information about the state’s culinary offerings and “Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination” awards, visit EnjoyIllinois.com or Facebook.com/EnjoyIllinois.
International Special Events Society Announces July and August 2014 CSEPs
The International Special Events Society (ISES) proudly recognizes the 17 event professionals below who earned the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP) designation in July and August 2014.
Meet Minneapolis, Spong Named PR News Digital Finalists
Meet Minneapolis and Spong were named finalists at the PR News Digital Awards in New York Oct. 10. The award, in the category of Twitter Communications, reflects a strong understanding of social strategy and campaign management.
During the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Week, Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, teamed up with PR firm, Spong, and assembled an all-star team to host a social media command center as an expected 160,000 visitors were coming to Minneapolis. For the week surrounding the MLB All-Star Game, visitors used #askMPLS to ask questions and receive responses from Minneapolis tourism experts and Twin Cities social media professionals who recommended nearby places to visit and things to do. Notable guest tweeters including Mayor Betsy Hodges and local television anchor and social-media-extraordinaire Jason DeRusha also took the helm and answered visitors’ questions as @MeetMinneapolis.
“Our goals for the social media command center and #askMPLS were to engage visitors through the entire Minneapolis experience,” said Melvin Tennant, president and CEO, Meet Minneapolis. “It is an honor to be recognized for being a real-time resource to visitors and residents in our great city.”
Spong’s social engagement team built the command center at its headquarters at the center of All-Star action in downtown Minneapolis just across the street from the All-Star Game at Target Field. Spong worked with Meet Minneapolis in recruiting social media professionals from Twin Cities companies to partner with their own social experts to provide timely answers to the thousands of visitors expected to attend All-Star Week events. Meet Minneapolis has made #askMPLS a valuable resource beyond the All-Star Game as well, continuing to provide expertise to those looking for advice while exploring Minneapolis.
Spong is one of the most decorated public relations firms. The firm was named “Creative Agency of the Year” in 2013 by The Holmes Report and is a four-time recipient of the “PR Agency of the Year” award by national trade journals PRWeek, PR News and The Holmes Report. The firm represents a select portfolio of envied brands with staff in Minneapolis and New York. Spong is a division of Carmichael Lynch Inc., which is owned by the Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (NYSE: IPG), New York. Visit www.SpongPR.com for more information.
When attendees or other visitors attending events in the city have questions about where to go, what to do or just need directions, all they need to do is ask by using the Meet Minneapolis hashtag #askMPLS on social media. Staff members are on the ready to respond to questions and assist to ensure a great visitor experience for all who come to Minneapolis.
Find Meet Minneapolis on Facebook, Twitter and online.
MPI-Wisconsin announces MPI Award Winners for 2014
The Wisconsin Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI-WI) is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards gala, held on September 11th at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel & Convention Center in Oshkosh, WI.
Planner of the Year - Jennifer Mell, CMP - Gant Meetings
Supplier of the Year - Anna Anderson, CMP - Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, Appleton
Meeting Industry Advocate - Carmen Smalley, CMP – Milwaukee Area Technical College
Hall of Fame Inductee - Jodi Goldbeck, CMP - Madison Area Technical College
Rising Star - Kristen Salewski, CMP - Rural Mutual Insurance Company
Industry Partner of the Year - Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau
Team of the Year - 2013 Awards Gala
President’s Award - Deana Birmingham-Heinisch, Waukesha & Pewaukee CVB
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting and event industry’s largest and most vibrant global community helps our members thrive by providing human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. MPI membership is comprised of more than 23,000 members belonging to 71 chapters and clubs worldwide. For more information, visit mpiweb.org.
The 281+ member Wisconsin Chapter of MPI, established in 1977, is the premier association in the state dedicated to the growth, development and success of event and meeting professionals. The chapter brings professionals together to learn best practices, build relationships, and create business opportunities that enhance the strategic value of meetings. For more information on MPI-Wisconsin, please visit www.mpiwi.org.
For more information about MPI or MPI-Wisconsin, please contact Carmen Smalley, CMP at 608-212-3125 or email.