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CVB Director Taking On Next Challenge
Courtesy Ottumwa Courier
As Mark Eckman, director of the Ottumwa Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, prepares to move on in his career, he can't think of any place he'd rather have been for the past 4 1/2 years.
"I think everyone has a certain amount of time they're supposed to work on a project or in an area or whatever they do, and it's time to go into that next chapter," he said. "That doesn't mean that chapter that you just concluded is not meaningful and not important, but that chapter has wound to an end at an appropriate time."
Eckman has accepted the executive director position at the Council Bluffs Convention and Visitors Bureau. His last day in the Ottumwa office will be Wednesday, Nov. 26.
Eckman's journey through Iowa tourism began 27 years ago when he went to the Villages of Van Buren straight out of college. After growing up in South Dakota, then moving to Iowa, he fell in love with the Hawkeye State and decided to share that emotion as a profession.
From there, he worked in Des Moines at the state tourism office, and he came to Ottumwa 4 1/2 years ago.
Read the full story at the Ottumwa Courier online.
Experient Welcomes Anne T. Mason To Strategic Account Management Team
Experient, the source for integrated meeting and event solutions, announced today its recent appointment of Anne T. Mason as Strategic Account Manager, association market.
Based in Arlington, Virginia, Mason will work with association professionals, focusing her efforts on managing active association accounts to support the goals and objectives for those client events.
Bringing 20 years’ experience in the meetings industry to Experient, Mason has spearheaded many strategic account management activities for city settings, and has cultivated numerous relationships with the association customers while working as a sales professional in the hospitality industry. She has been active in industry organizations including PCMA, IAEE, ASAE and MPI.
"Anne's experience with so many different event service areas will be a great benefit to her clients," said Jenny Van Riper, CMP, Vice President, Strategic Account Management. "Her ability to create collaborative working relationships quickly has been a positive factor for the companies she has worked for. Anne has the values and passion that fit well with our company culture."
Mason joins us from Fannie Mae/Justin Bradley where she was responsible for training and outreach. She has extensive global hotel sales experience with Starwood Hotels and Resorts along with sales positions at Choose Chicago and Tourism Toronto. Mason’s diverse background also includes driving new registration and housing sales opportunities for Wyndham Jade.
The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau Announces Diane Morgenthaler as Executive Vice President
The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is pleased to announce the promotion of Diane Morgenthaler to Executive Vice President. Morgenthaler who has been with the GMCVB since 2009, previously held the positions of Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Planning and Director of Marketing.
Morgenthaler is a strategic marketing leader who has worked with premier brands such as American Girl, Sports Illustrated, and USAToday. She is a native of the Baltimore, MD area and has lived in Madison since 2000. She holds a M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Rochester - William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration as well as a B.A. in Mathematics from Lafayette College. Amongst her many accomplishments, Morgenthaler is a proud graduate of Leadership Greater Madison (LGM) and remains active in the program. Morgenthaler also holds the designation of Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME). CDME is the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the travel and tourism industry. The rigorous program is run by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) the global trade association for official destination marketing organizations. She earned this certification in 2013.
The GMCVB leadership and Board of Directors are thrilled to have elevated Diane to this senior leadership position. “Her expertise and insights are truly valued and will help to continue to propel our organization’s work forward,” said Deb Archer, President and CEO of the GMCVB.
Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel Announces New General Manager
The Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Angela Alfonso Kearney as General Manager.
With a successful history as Regional Director of Operations and Regional Director of Sales with a focus on Northeast and Midwest markets, Angela has a great attention to detail in increasing guest satisfaction while improving revenues and performance.
Angela brings over 25-years of hospitality experience in Operations and Sales, most recently in New York City on the opening team of a Hilton brand hotel off Times Square. She joined Nexus Hospitality Management, owner and operator of the Wyndham Indianapolis West, on October 21, 2014.
"We are fortunate to bring Angela into the Indianapolis hospitality market. Her expertise will allow the hotel to achieve goals set for 2015 and beyond. Her knowledge and dedication to this industry has been proven many times with the success of the properties she has been involved in,” said Michael B. Kearney, President of Nexus Hospitality Management. “We all share in the common belief that this hotel is a very special gem on the west side of the city and is in an ideally strategic location”.
Serving as a General Manager she enjoys being hands on when it comes to all facets of the hotel. Angela has a passion for Revenue Management strategies and has led teams to multiple Brand Quality Excellence Awards in Guest Satisfaction. She has also contributed to brand conversions and regional task roles of IHG, Hilton, Marriott and independently branded products.
Hyatt The Loop Chicago Announces Key Leadership Selections
Hyatt The Loop Chicago, scheduled to open in early 2015 in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, announced the selections of a new director of operations and director of revenue – Halima Barbary and Aine Haley.
“Building a team of knowledgeable hospitality professionals in the few months immediately prior to opening a hotel is absolutely critical to ensuring it is positioned for success,” said Karen McGuigan, general manager of Hyatt The Loop Chicago. “We have no doubt that Aine and Halima, both goal-oriented team players, will help define this exciting hotel’s unique path.”
As director of operations, Barbary will be responsible for developing and implementing procedures and strategies that will support the hotel’s customer service and profitability goals and work closely with the finance, sales, revenue management and human resource teams to ensure seamless operations. Prior to joining Hyatt The Loop Chicago, Barbary directed operations at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Chicago and is highly knowledgeable about the city’s hospitality market.
Haley most recently served as area revenue analyst for Chicago Hyatt Revenue Cluster. Her past positions, predominantly with Hyatt properties, include assistant revenue manager, reservations manager and front office supervisor, equipping her with more than 10 years of experience in revenue, reservations and front desk systems.
New Director of Catering & Conference Services Named at The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center
The Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has announced the appointment of Mary Ann Kenmotsu as Director of Catering & Conference Services. In her new role, Kenmotsu oversees catering sales, event managers, the banquet team and the audio visual department. By drawing on 25-plus years of experience in hospitality and a relentless commitment to customer satisfaction, Kenmotsu aims to set the Midwestern standard for social and corporate events at Hilton Chicago/ Oak Brook Hills, an IACC (International Association of Conference Centers) certified hotel just west of downtown Chicago.
“Mary Ann brings an invaluable amount of talent to Oak Brook Hills,” said Stefan Mühle, General Manager at the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center. “Her leadership is underscored by her constant pursuit of exceeding guest expectations, the chief driver of our business.”
“I want the Hilton Chicago / Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center to be known as the premier venue in the Midwest for social and corporate events,” asserted Kenmotsu, whose passion and knowledge of hospitality come from a lifetime devoted to excellence, hard work and integrity. “My team’s reputation will be based on creating personalized, unique experiences through outstanding service and exquisite food. No two events will ever be the same.”
Kenmotsu has her sights set extremely high for the Hilton Chicago / Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, which boasts a new ‘modern farm cuisine’ dining concept, one of the largest ballrooms in the western suburbs, and some of the most pristine outdoor grounds in the state. One of her additional objectives is to incorporate all the hotel has to offer into each event, from encouraging wedding parties to stay the weekend to get pampered, to having corporate groups take a break to play a round at the Audubon certified Championship Golf Course, Willow Crest. She will supervise a remodeling of the hotel’s IACC and banquet services starting this winter, refreshing the space with new modern furnishings that are both functional and aesthetically-pleasing.
About Mary Ann Kenmotsu
Mary Ann Kenmotsu’s experience in hospitality began early in her teenage years in restaurants, where she was introduced to dining room service and restaurant operations. The University of Illinois grad started her hotel career as the Food & Beverage Director at the Queen Kapiolani in Honolulu. There she was the youngest department head and received numerous awards for her leadership and management skills. Upon moving to Chicago, Kenmotsu accepted the position of Executive Vice President for Premium Food Products before taking a role with Mitchell Hospitality Group where she was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
While working as Director of Catering & Convention Services for the Omni Ambassador East Hotel and the Pump Room, Kenmotsu earned national brand recognition as a top performer. Her career has also led her to positions as Food & Beverage Director and Director of Catering and Conference Services at the DoubleTree Hotel & Conference Center Chicago North Shore, the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, the Sofitel Chicago O’Hare, and the InterContinental O’Hare. Kenmotsu holds the prestigious designations of CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) and CPCE (Certified Professional in Catering and Events), and is an active NACE member, CMP Conclave attendee and former IACC committee member.