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SMG-Managed Facilities in Port Huron Name General Manager Kimberly Appel to Oversee McMorran Place & Blue Water Convention Center
Kimberly Appel has been named general manager of the SMG-managed facilities in Port Huron, Mich., including McMorran Place Sports and Entertainment Center in downtown Port Huron and the under-construction Blue Water Convention Center located on the St. Clair River.
Appel brings to her new position more than 15 years of experience serving in event and venue management, including a number of years working in a mid-sized convention center as well as university/collegiate community settings. Most recently, she served as the director of event services at the Century Center Convention Center in South Bend, IN. The Century Center is currently managed by SMG.
“We are pleased to have Kimberly on board,” said Richard MacKeigan, Regional General Manager for SMG with oversight of the Port Huron venues. “Kimberly’s experience in similar markets will benefit the staff, buildings and ultimately, the community.”
SMG, the world’s largest venue management company, began working in Port Huron on July 1, 2014.
Appel was selected after an extensive nationwide search which included participation from representatives of the McMorran Civic Center Authority; St. Clair County staff and representatives from the board commissioners; the City of Port Huron staff and city council representatives; and staff from the Blue Water Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“We are looking forward to tapping into the many entertainment resources now available to McMorran through our relationship with SMG and Kimberly will obviously be our link to those resources,” said Patti Samar, chair of the McMorran Civic Center Authority.
“This opportunity required a unique process with SMG, the county, the city and the McMorran Authority all having a keen interest,” said Bill Kauffman, St. Clair County Administrator/Controller. “The collaborative efforts of those involved allowed a strong candidate to surface. We welcome Kimberly to Port Huron.”
In addition to her years of experience, Appel earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the University of Phoenix in 2003 and is currently a member of the International Association of Venue Managers. “The opportunity in Port Huron was very interesting to me, but to then meet the people involved and see the facilities and community, it became a job I really wanted,” Appel said. “I look forward to making Port Huron home and getting to know the community.” Appel’s first day in Port Huron will be August 18, 2014.
Additionally, Robert Churchill has been promoted to assistant general manager of both Port Huron SMG facilities. Churchill has been with McMorran place since 2009 as facilities manager and more recently as the general manager. As an electrical engineer, he brings a wealth of experience in sales, promotion and facilities management. Since coming to McMorran in 2009, Churchill has helped to improve the quality of the buildings, including replacing the roofs, updating equipment with more energy efficient solutions, and most recently, the installation of a new digital marquee.
McMorran Place Sports and Entertainment Center, opened in 1960, is an entertainment complex located in the center of downtown Port Huron, MI that includes a 4,500 seat arena; a 1,100-plus seat theater; a multi-use pavilion; a meeting room; and a banquet hall. In addition to being the home of the Continental Indoor Football League’s Port Huron Patriots and several other professional sports teams over the years, McMorran Place has also been host to numerous entertainment headliners, including Trace Adkins, Montgomery Gentry, Willie Nelson, Liberace, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Bob Seger, Journey, Ozzy Osborne, and many more, as well as several notable speakers, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, President Ford, Heloise, Gregory Hines, Betty Ford, Henry Kissinger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Julie and David Eisenhower, Larry King, and others.
The Blue Water Convention Center will be a 43,000-square foot facility with an event hall, meeting rooms, and ballroom. The convention center will join a riverfront development that includes the refurbished DoubleTree by Hilton, Freighters Taproom and Eatery, and the Baker College Culinary Institute. Plans for the complex were introduced in 2011. Construction of the building began this past May and is expected to be completed by Spring of 2015. In addition to attracting thousands of new visitors each year, the facility is anticipated to generate an economic boost to the community with nearly $20 million in private investment and approximately 200 jobs.
Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 240 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 14.4 million square feet of exhibition space and over 1.75 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s Reliant Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing more than 130 accounts worldwide. For more information visit www.smgworld.com
Holly Lammert Joins the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (SLCVC) has hired Holly Lammert as its Executive Meeting Sales Manager. Lammert will be responsible for producing sales leads for St. Louis with emphasis on 149 and under peak room nights.
Prior to joining the SLCVC, Lammert was the Regional Sales Manager at Lodging Hospitality Management.
Lammert has a BS degree in hospitality administration/management from Missouri State University.
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission is the official destination marketing organization for St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The CVC also manages and operates the America's Center® convention complex and Edward Jones Domes.
Beth Marchetti Appointed Executive Director at DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau
At their summer meeting the morning of July 17, the board of directors ratified the selection of Beth Marchetti as the new Executive Director for the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) in DuPage County, IL.
Marchetti was chosen after an extensive nationwide search which began last January and drew over eighty applicants. Candidates were vetted by an independent third party. Five finalists were interviewed multiple times by the executive board before a selection was made.
Mike Feigenbaum, chairman of the board of directors for the DuPage CVB and general manager of the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center stated that Beth was the perfect candidate. “After an extensive search, she was the ideal choice as the next executive director. I was very impressed with the strong relationships she has nurtured with our 36 communities, exemplary leadership skills she has shown over the past 20 year career period, and her knowledge of convention bureau strategy and structure within Illinois. She has also shared a future vision that will enable the bureau to continue to serve all stakeholders. Beth will be instrumental in the continued growth of the DuPage CVB that will showcase DuPage as an ideal meetings and visitor destination.”
Effective August 1, she will replace Skip Strittmatter, who is retiring this month after over 20 years in the position. Marchetti has worked for the DuPage CVB since December 1999, when she handled both marketing and membership. She transitioned to marketing director, and was appointed to director of development in 2008. She has been deputy director at the bureau since last January.
Prior to joining the DuPage CVB, Marchetti served as senior account manager for Ivy Integrated Marketing in Downers Grove, and as marketing manager for the Chicago Office of Tourism.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was a member of the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity.
Marchetti has served as secretary of the Chicago Plus Tourism Office, as well as a guest instructor for the Hospitality Management Program at the College of DuPage, which also recognized her service to the industry with their Women in Travel and Tourism award.
She is a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), where she is completing her coursework for her Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) accreditation.
“Representing the hospitality industry is a passion of mine. I am thankful for this opportunity and honored to be leading the charge for the DuPage CVB. I look forward to forging new partnerships and alliances to help DuPage County remain second only to Chicago in tourism revenue for the state of Illinois.”
You can reach Beth Marchetti through the DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau at (630) 575-8070, extension 219, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About DuPage County
DuPage County is the second most populous county in Illinois after Cook County, which borders it to the north and east. Together, the two counties account for half of the state’s population. One of the nation’s wealthiest counties, DuPage is rich in many types of commerce and is second only to Cook in tourism revenue. With its well-developed highway and mass transit system, DuPage is easily accessible from O’Hare and Midway Airports, as well as the City of Chicago.
About DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau
The DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau was established through the efforts of a coalition of DuPage area hotel executives and business representatives in 1987, and was formally certified in 1989 by the State of Illinois. It remains the official agency for promoting the county’s multibillion dollar tourism industry and market DuPage County as an enticing destination for leisure and business travelers, meeting planners, groups and conventions, in order to enhance the economic development of the area.
Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) Names New Small Meetings Manager
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) has named Stacy Yerby small meetings manager in its sales department.
In her new role at the DMCVB, Yerby will manage meetings for corporate, government and union groups, booking for 100 and fewer peak room nights.
Yerby joins the DMCVB from the Doubletree - Detroit/Dearborn where she acted as sales and catering manager for three years. Yerby handled weddings, tours, corporate, government and athletic groups and events.
Yerby attended Michigan State University where she received her degree in hospitality business.
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel and as a film location to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues, and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB's membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world's first convention and visitors bureau.
Trina Fox-Konz Joins the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (SLCVC) has hired Trina Fox-Konz as its National Convention Sales Manager. Fox-Konz will focus on securing convention business located in the South Central/Southeast Association Market including Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee with more than 600 peak hotel rooms.
Prior to joining the SLCVC, Fox-Konz was the St. Louis and Missouri State Association Area Sales Manager for the Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa and Convention Center in Branson, Missouri.
Fox-Konz is a 10-year hospitality industry veteran with extensive sales experience. She previously served as Assistant Director of Sales for Embassy Suites Outdoor World in Grapevine, Texas. Her experience also includes Senior National Accounts Manager working with High Tech/IT Vertical Market at Hilton DFW Lakes Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas.
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission is the official destination marketing organization for St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The CVC also manages and operates the America’s Center® convention complex and Edward Jones Dome.
Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) Names New Senior National Sales Managers
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) has named Tom Albrecht and David Dew senior national sales managers. Albrecht joins the DMCVB from Cobo Center. Dew joins the DMCVB from the Meet Chicago Northwest Convention & Visitors Bureau in Villa Park, Illinois.
Albrecht brings 25 years of sales experience in a variety of positions to the DMCVB. His role will be to sell metro Detroit as a destination to host meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows and events to the Washington, D.C.-area market, including the suburbs of Virginia and Maryland, targeting associations, labor unions, government, corporate and event producers. Albrecht will be living in the Washington, D.C. area.
As the former director of sales at Cobo Center, Albrecht doubled the number of annual major event bookings within his first three years. He also served as associate/global account executive for New York-based ConferenceDirect and director of group sales for Shanty Creek Resorts.
Albrecht was the co-founder and co-owner of Meeting Site Solutions, where he was responsible for the sales and operation of site selection and meeting planning firm for 18 years. In this role he represented national and international hotel companies and independent hotels and resorts to meeting, conference and convention planners.
Albrecht is or has been a member of MPI, PCMA, IAEE and AMPS. He completed his undergraduate studies at City College in New York.
Dew brings nearly 20 years of experience in a variety of positions in the hospitality and tourism industry to the DMCVB. His role will be to sell metro Detroit as a destination for meetings and conventions to the Chicago corporate and associations market. One of his primary focuses is the medical meetings market. By attending trade shows and customer events, and making sales calls, office visits and site inspections, he will communicate all Detroit has to offer to meeting planners.
Dew has 13 years of experience in account sales and promoting a convention city. As the former sales manager for the Meet Chicago Northwest CVB, he attracted various groups to Chicago Northwest, economically benefiting more than 60 hotels, a convention center, an 11,000-seat arena and the community at large. Dew’s background also includes hotel, resort and banquet management experience.
A resident of the Chicago area, Dew holds a B.A. in hospitality and tourism from Southern Illinois University.
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel and as a film location to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues, and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB’s membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau.
Onal Kucuk Appointed as General Manager for Chicago's 184-room Hotel Lincoln
Hotel Lincoln, the vibrant 184-room boutique hotel located in Chicago's storied Lincoln Park neighborhood, announced today the appointment of Onal Kucuk as the property's new general manager.
Kucuk comes to Hotel Lincoln with over twelve years of hospitality experience with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, where he most recently served as Area Director of Six Sigma in Chicago. As area director, he supported the hotel's senior leadership team at eight different properties on operations projects ranging from sales and marketing to food and beverage. Originally from Ankara, Turkey, Kucuk received his Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management from the city's Bilkent University. After deciding to pursue his advanced education in the United States, Kucuk moved to Chicago, a city that he long admired for its wealth of hospitality opportunities. He received his MBA from the Stuart Graduate School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology, before joining the Starwood team in 2001.
"The very qualities that once drew me to the city of Chicago are the traits that I see reflected at Hotel Lincoln," says Kucuk. "There's a culture of pride and sincerity that's unique here, but is very much the essence of Chicago. Hotel Lincoln's quirky design and the fun, inviting personality of our team echoes the charm and character of our Lincoln Park neighborhood. I look forward to making each guest's experience as unique and memorable as the property itself."
In his new role, Kucuk will use his years of hotel and lifestyle brand experience to take Hotel Lincoln to the next level, making the property synonymous with much-lauded neighborhood it calls home.
"Our team is excited to further relationships with local residents and partners in the Lincoln Park neighborhood as well as the greater Chicago market," he says. "We are across the street from Lincoln Park, and walking distance to the beach, zoo, and other attractions celebrated by locals, but we're also five minutes away from the best of Chicago such as the Magnificent Mile. We want our visiting guests to feel a part of our neighborhood here at Hotel Lincoln, but also have the best of our great city at their fingertips at the same time."
When he's not exploring new culinary scenes, Kucuk enjoys traveling and spending time with his loved ones. He keeps an active lifestyle by playing tennis and running.
About Hotel Lincoln
Located in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood at 1816 N. Clark St., Hotel Lincoln offers a historic yet fun and eccentric stay where the energy of urban life meets 1,200 green acres and Lake Michigan. Originally built in the 1920s, the 184-room property reopened in 2012 as a Joie de Vivre Hotel, whose parent company is Commune Hotels & Resorts. A 2012 recipient of Fodor's 100 Hotel Award, the property offers uniquely appointed guest rooms, meeting space with stunning views of Lake Michigan, a lobby-level European-style coffee bar at Elaine's Coffee Call, an expansive rooftop lounge with indoor and outdoor seating at J. Parker, immediate access to Michelin-rated Chef Paul Virant's restaurant Perennial Virant, operated by the BOKA Group on its ground floor. The hotel's prime address is within steps of the neighborhood's most popular attractions such as the Lincoln Park Zoo, Green City Market, and more, providing a genuine community anchor and connection to city living. Get up-to-the-minute news on the hotel by following it on Twitter and Facebook. For room reservations and event requests at Hotel Lincoln call 855.514.8112 or visit www.hotellincolnchicago.com.
About Joie de Vivre Hotels
Since its founding in San Francisco in 1987, Joie de Vivre has made curating authentically local and eclectic experiences its signature. Each one of Joie de Vivre's more than 30 hotels is an original concept designed to reflect its location and to engage the five senses. Today, the company manages the largest collection of boutique hotels and resorts in California and is expanding outside the state with hotels in Honolulu, Chicago and Scottsdale. Joie de Vivre is a Commune Hotels & Resorts brand.
About Commune Hotels & Resorts
Formed in October 2011, Commune Hotels & Resorts is an international, multi-brand lifestyle hotel group comprising the luxury lifestyle Thompson Hotels brand, Joie de Vivre Hotels, a collection of independently branded boutique hotels, and the newly announced Tommie. The San Francisco-based company manages more than 40 hotels and resorts and is focused on global expansion, targeting locations in Canada, Asia and Europe. Since its formation, the company has announced its acquisition of and/or management of Chicago's historic Chicago Athletic Association, Thompson Chicago (formerly Sutton Place Hotel), the Miami Roosevelt and The Epiphany in Palo Alto, California, among others. For more information, please visit www.communehotels.com.