Latest Staff Appointments News & Views...
Connie Lee Joins The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission (SLCVC) has hired Connie Lee as its Director of Event Management for the America’s Center convention complex. Lee is responsible for coordinating business activities between clients, contractors, in-house departments and service contractors.
Prior to joining the SLCVC, Lee was the General Manager for Ticketmaster: St. Louis, Kansas City and Branson markets. She was also the Director of International Business Development (London, England)/Regional Vice President (Philadelphia, PA) for the Harlem Globetrotters, and served as the key consultant for Turner Sports/Arena Operations (Atlanta, GA).
In 2011, Lee was inducted into EAMC (Event Arena Marketing Conference) Hall of Fame.
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.
Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Expands Sales Team In U.S.; GSO Team Reaches 65 With New Additions To The New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Southeast Sales Regions
Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has significantly expanded its global sales team with the addition of five new Global Sales professionals. Joining ALHI, effective November 19, 2013, are:
These five announced appointments follow the recent additions of Staci Currie as Director of Sales for the U.S. South Region, based in ALHI’s new Global Sales Office in Houston, Texas; and Lisa Lewis as National Sales Manager for the U.S. West Region, based in ALHI’s new Global Sales Office in Phoenix, Arizona.
In their new positions, the GSO Sales professionals will be responsible for assisting meeting professionals, association executives, convention specialists, and business executives with ALHI Global Sales Organization (GSO) services and support for its distinctive and diverse portfolio of more than 160 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts worldwide. ALHI’s impressive portfolio features more than 115,000 rooms and suites, and nearly 10 million square feet of meeting space.
ALHI specifically serves the meetings, incentive, convention and exhibition marketplaces, exclusively for its Member portfolio, for programs requiring from 10 to over 6,500 rooms. The announcement of the appointments was made by David Gabri, CEO of ALHI.
“We are so proud to add the talent of Mary, Scott, Joe, Traci and Alexis to our ALHI Global Sales team,” said Gabri. “They – like Staci and Lisa who just recently joined us -- are all highly respected sales professionals, with a proven commitment to performance, and account advocacy, with significant hotel/resort sales and experience. They will be a fantastic augmentation to our dedicated team as trusted resources for the planners in their respective regions, and for our valued Member hotels and resorts.”
Demand For Services Continues
Gabri added, “We’ve added these talented sales professionals to address the growing demand for ALHI’s Global Sales services, which has significantly increased over the last several years. These additions to our team will broaden the comprehensive Global Sales services to the marketplace and for our Members, and will augment our very busy GSO team to professionally address the specific needs of our expanding client base, and the growing business demand from planners and business executives across the U.S. and Canada.”
In her new position as Vice President of Sales in the U.S. Midwest Region, Mary Vogt will assist meeting planners, incentive specialists, and business executives in the region with ALHI Global Sales services, support, and Account advocacy. She comes to ALHI with nearly 20 years of extensive hotel sales and marketing experience, and established customer relationships. Prior to joining ALHI she served for 11 years as Vice President of Krisam Group and Global Event Partners, where she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of their Midwest office, situated in Chicago. Prior to that she was Regional Director of Marketing, Midwest and Canada, for InterContinental Hotel Group, where she directed the sales and marketing efforts for Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago, and managed sales improvement of seven other hotels in the U.S. and Canada. She is based in ALHI’s Global Sales Office in Chicago, and may be reached at email@example.com.
Scott White, who joins ALHI as Regional Director of Sales for the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region, most recently served for three years as Executive Vice President of Krisam Group and Global Event Partners, based in Washington, D.C. In that position he was responsible for managing 900 of the company’s top event clients, and for expanding the company’s global membership of hotels and DMCs. Prior to that the 20-year hospitality industry veteran served for nine years as Director of Sales for Global Event Partners Washington, a destination management company in the Washington, D.C. metro region. His vast experience also includes serving as Director of Sales for Krisam Group, and Director of Southeast Sales for ALHI member Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Florida. He is based in ALHI’s Global Sales Office in Washington, D.C., and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joe Nahas, who will serve as Director of Sales for the U.S. Northeast Region, comes to ALHI from Krisam Group and Global Event Partners, where he was Director of Sales in the Northeast for seven years, based in New York City. In that position he was responsible for securing group business for the company’s 250 hotels and resorts and 70 destination management partners worldwide. His impressive experience also includes serving as National Sales Manager for Krisam Group and Global Event Partners; and as Senior Sales Manager/Groups for The Monarch Hotel in Washington, D.C. He is based in ALHI’s Global Sales Office inNew York City, and may be reached at email@example.com.
Traci Baxter joins ALHI as Director of Sales for the U.S. South Region, based in Louisville, Kentucky. She comes to ALHI from Krisam Group and Global Event Partners, where she was Director of Sales for the past seven years, responsible for representing more than 250 independent hotels and Destination Management Companies in 92 locations. Previous to that she was Director of Business Development for Monumental Meetings; Senior Meeting Planner at Sources Unlimited, LLC; Director of Catering and Meeting Services at Wyndham Atlanta in Georgia; and Director of Catering & Convention Services at The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta. She is a board member for Site Southeast USA, was named Site Southeast USA “Volunteer of the Year” in 2012, and was recognized as “MPI Supplier of the Year” in 2009 by the Kentucky Bluegrass Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She is an active member of MPI and Site. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexis Matera will serve as Sales Associate for the U.S. Northeast Region, based in ALHI’s Global Sales Office in New York City. She will assist the ALHI Global Sales professionals in the region in serving corporate and association meeting professionals and incentive/recognition specialists with ALHI Global Sales services and support. Most recently she served as Group Sales Coordinator for Krisam Group and Global Event Partners, based in New York City. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Meeting professionals have chosen ALHI for nearly 30 years, for reliable one-call GSO professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs. There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the ALHI GSO services, expertise, and account advocacy, as its members’ dues fund the Global Sales Organization to best serve planners with local professionals.
115,000 Rooms and 10 Million Square Feet of Meeting Space
ALHI’s 160+ Member hotels and resorts include extraordinary Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting, convention, and incentive resorts on land and sea, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.
For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, comprised of over 115,000 rooms and 10 million square feet of meeting space, visit ALHI’s website, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on 12 defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio. On the website, meeting professionals can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.
ALHI has 20 professionally-staffed Global Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Richmond, Savannah, Southern California (3), Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). Go to www.alhi.com to identify the “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your state/area.
Contact any office for professional assistance and let ALHI help you identify distinctive opportunities to meet your objectives with your meetings, incentives, and conventions. For more information about ALHI, to inquire about any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s new “2014 Global Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, or call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com.
Hiltons of Branson Promotes Rhonda Green
The Hiltons of Branson announced today that Rhonda Green has been promoted to Assistant Director of Sales for the Branson Convention Center, Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel, and Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing hotel.
A 15- year veteran of the hospitality industry, Ms. Green joined the Hiltons of Branson sales team in 2011. Prior to that she worked as a meeting planner for Allen Press, ASE Group, and PROSOCO. From 2010-2011, Ms. Green served as East Coast Sales Manager for Branson’s Chateau on the Lake.
About Hilton Hotels
Hilton Hotels is the stylish, forward-thinking global leader of hospitality that welcomes guests in more countries than any other full-service hotel brand. The Hilton brand currently includes more than 530 hotels and resorts in 76 countries, and plans to serve travelers in 80 countries by the end of 2011. By offering innovative products, services and amenities, Hilton enables travelers to be at their best 24/7, whether traveling for business or leisure. Start your journey at www.hilton.com.
About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 91 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travelers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,600 hotels and 592,000 rooms in 81 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®.
For more information about the company, please visit www.hiltonworldwide.com.
Melissa Burnett Joins Conference Event Management
Conference Event Management is pleased to announce that Melissa Burnett has joined the company as an Event Planner in the newly relocated West Des Moines headquarters.
Melissa brings 15 years of event management, attendee management and customer service to the organization. She spent her last ten years working for the largest incentive house as a lead travel director, averaging 250 days a year on the road delivering exceptional event experiences.
With a genuine passion and in-depth knowledge of the incentive travel industry, Melissa is well-equipped to handle meetings, tradeshows, domestic and international incentives and additional essential responsibilities to provide her clients with outstanding service and creativity at each event.
Melissa Burnett can be reached at 515-254-0289 x 5 or Melissa@myCEM.com.
Conference Event Management helps companies achieve their goals and increase their sales by creating and implementing reward strategies through professional planning and facilitation of meetings, incentive trips, conferences and special events. Conference Event Management handles all hotel and cruise negotiations, air and affiliated travel services, including luxury trip planning, for organizations and corporations in every area.
Conference Event Management is pleased to announce FICPro Team® - a division within the organization dedicated to working with financial and insurance organizations.
Owner Michelle DeClerck, CMP, was awarded Woman Business Owner of the Year by the Iowa chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners in 2011.
Leahy named General Manager of Global Center & Cleveland Convention Center
SMG, the incoming manager of the Cleveland Convention Center and Global Center for Health Innovation, has named Mark Leahy to serve as general manager of the new facility. Leahy, who has served as the general manager of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh since its opening in 2002, is expected to assume his new duties in Cleveland in mid-November. An industry veteran with more than three decades of experience, Leahy has managed convention centers in Pittsburgh, Boston, and Savannah, Ga., and has worked for SMG since 1998.
A 55-year-old Boston native, Leahy has experience in everything from sales and marketing to setting up and breaking down events. In Pittsburgh, he opened the first new convention center to receive Gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, a third-party ratings system for green buildings. Since then, the building has achieved Platinum certification - the highest possible level - based on its operations and energy efficiency.
Under Leahy’s leadership, Pittsburgh hosted the 2009 G-20 Summit and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center consistently delivered solid financial performance. Previously, Leahy served as general manager of the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Ga., joining the project during development in 1998, opening the new facility in 2000, and implementing a successful cross-river ferry system to service the island-bound facility.
Leahy also spent 11 years as manager of the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, Mass., developing policies and operating procedures for the new facility and spearheading the development of the unifying “Boston. America’s Walking City.” community tagline and the Boston Convention Complex integrated marketing, sales, and service collaborative.
The Pittsburgh and Savannah centers are publicly owned and privately managed. Leahy also spent a decade working for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority as manager of Boston's older convention center, one of two in that city.
Leahy also served as general manager for Concept Convention Services in Hartford, Conn., and Boston, Mass., and began his career in 1980 as an account executive with United Exposition Services and McCormick Place in Chicago. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
In October, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI) and Cuyahoga County announced that SMG, the nation’s largest and most experienced convention center and facility management firm, would assume management operations for the Global Center for Health Innovation and the Cleveland Convention Center.
SMG manages 233 facilities throughout the world, including 72 convention centers, 71 arenas, 60 theaters and performance venues, 9 stadiums, and 23 equestrian centers. Founded in 1977, SMG is the industry leader in exhibition venues throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean and will bring experience and significant connections to national conventions and trade shows within the convention industry. SMG manages regional operations in Akron, Canton, Columbus, Toledo, Pittsburgh, and Detroit.