Sally Allen

Sally Allen

Sally Allen produces The Water Coolers, (www.seethewatercoolers.com), a nationally recognized comedy act about life and work. Her business insights stem from 10 years of management consulting with significant clients in New York City and 7 years of workplace-related policy work in Washington, DC. View all posts by Sally Allen
Kelly Rush

Kelly Rush

Kelly identifies with the idea that a well-planned event is one that causes time and space to stand still; this phrase embodies his approach to the event planning industry. A lifelong learner and service industry worker, Kelly has explored many aspects of the events field. Currently the focus of his work highlights and illuminates the discrepancies between the planning process and the realities of operational execution. A graduate of Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY with a B.A. in Writing & Rhetoric, and George Washington University’s “Best Practices in Event Planning” and “Event Coordination” courses, Mr. Rush brings a dynamic and multi-faceted approach to event planning. He has honed his skills in the industry through positions at Henrietta’s Table, the highly rated restaurant at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA, the award winning internet firm, The Screen House, and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. During the last two years, he has also served in banquets, catering and conference services at popular summer resorts on Martha’s Vineyard and the picturesque Orcas Island in Washington State, planning and executing events for groups of 10 to 200. View all posts by Kelly Rush
Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson

Rob Wilson is the Chief Information Officer at Meeting Sites Resource. He is the architect of MSR’s global web based RFP system. He is also responsible for all MSR technology support services including administrative and financial reporting systems. Rob has extensive experience in the banking industry and prior to joining MSR he was Senior Programmer Analyst for Honeywell Corporation. Rob designed and implemented extensive employee technical training and educational programs. Rob has earned over 18 technology accreditations and certifications, placing him in an elite category of technological achievement. Rob currently serves on the Convention Industry Council (CIC) APEX Technology Committee and has developed the technology systems and infrastructure to make Meeting Sites Resource the first APEX compliant company using the Single Facility RFP requirements. This achievement streamlines the process of sending meeting and event specifications from the MSR Global RFP system directly to the hotels worldwide, with an interface to expedite data entry, RFP responses and information integrity. Rob graduated from Drury University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. View all posts by Rob Wilson
Joan Eisenstodt

Joan Eisenstodt

Joan L. Eisenstodt, whose expertise is in facilitation and training, meetings department performance audits, and for meetings, program planning, facilities contracts, negotiations, and meeting management training, brings more than 30 years of experience to her work. She founded Eisenstodt Associates, a Washington, DC-based conference consulting, facilitation and training company, in 1981. Joan works with corporations, associations, professional societies, foundations, and hotel companies and convention and visitors bureaus to facilitate and design meetings, negotiate contracts, provide training, and conduct focus groups. A partial list of representative clients includes American Dental Education Association, NeighborWorks™ America, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, United Way of America, the Council on Foundations, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and the Washington Association of Cities. In addition to clients with whom she works, Joan is retained as a hospitality industry expert witness and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism. She is active in the hospitality industry and in her community where she has served on boards of community and education-related organizations. She serves on the Executive Board of the Newton-Marasco Foundation (http://www.newtonmarascofoundation.org), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire responsible environmental stewardship. Joan has also served as a customer advisor to a number of hospitality industry companies. Known for her teaching, training and facilitation skills, especially in the areas of ethics and risk management, she works to ensure that individuals and organizations are more prepared to move into the industry's future. She served 4 years on the Board of Directors of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), an organization in which she has been active since 1979. She represented MPI on the Joint Industry Task Force on Diversity, and served on MPI's Education Strategic Task Force after years of other committee service. Joan served 3 years as a Trustee of the MPI Foundation, and currently serves as Chair of the MPI Student/Faculty Committee. MPI honored Eisenstodt as its 1991 International Planner of the Year. Joan Eisenstodt served on the Meetings & Expositions Section Council [now œMeetings & Associations Council] of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), chaired an ASAE Management & Meetings Forum, and served on the Research Committee of the ASAE Foundation. For 5 years, she served as Dean and taught the majority of ASAE's Meetings Management Program, part of the ASAE School of Association Management. Currently Joan serves on ASAE's Diversity Committee. Joan is active in the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), having served on the Ethics Committee, the Diversity Committee, the Strategic Products & Services Task Force, and on an education work group and as Chair of the Student and Faculty Activities Working Group. PCMA recognized Joan as their 1990 Teacher of the Year. She is currently writing a chapter for a revision of PCMA's meetings handbook and is an "Education Thought-Leader" for PCMA. Joan Eisenstodt is a member of the Center for Association Leadership (formerly GWSAE) where she serves on The Journal for Association Leadership Editorial Board; the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) where she is an annual meeting session peer reviewer; the Hospitality and Tourism Educators (International CHRIE); the World Future Society; and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI.) Joan is the Co-Chair of the Meeting & Site Profiles Panel for APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange) for the CIC (Convention Industry Council.) Joan was one of the first four recipients of the Pacesetter Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for her contributions to education in and about the meetings and hospitality industry. The International Association of Conference Centers honored Joan with their prestigious Pyramid Award for education. She has been named "œOne of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry" by Meeting News magazine over many years. Successful Meetings Magazine named Joan one of the"Power Players" ("10 Women Who are Changing the Industry") She was named e.communicator by meetingmed.com. Corporate Meetings & Incentives magazine featured Joan on the cover as one of the List 10 Women Meeting Industry Leaders. In July 2004, Joan Eisenstodt was inducted into the Convention Industry Hall of Leaders, the industry's highest honor. In 2006, she was named "Planner Partner" by the National Speakers Association. Joan can be reached at 770 5th St., NW, #1105, Washington, DC 20001-2672 USA and by email to eisenstodt@aol.com. View all posts by Joan Eisenstodt
Richard Weinstein

Richard Weinstein

Richard Weinstein started his career in the travel industry as a Flight Attendant for Eastern Airlines. With Eastern and later on Continental and Eastern he was an Account Executive, Area Sales Manager and Manager of Incentive Travel Marketing and Sales. After leaving the airline industry he worked under contract with The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for four years as the General Manager of Groups focusing on development of corporate and association group business to that country of Islands. Richard joined Carnival in 1992 as the Director of National Sales for the eight hundred-room golf and casino resort Carnival’s Crystal Palace. He has been with Carnival Cruise Lines for 15 years and is currently the Vice President Corporate and Incentive sales. He is responsible for the continued development of both group and individual Incentive sales, Corporate Meeting and related corporate and association travel program sales and marketing along with Carnivals gift certificate program Funship Dollars. Richard served six years on the International Board of Directors for the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives, also serving on that board’s executive committee for two years. He was also a founding member of the International Special Events Society. He has authored several articles on the incentive travel industry and served on the Editorial Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine. Richard graduated with a BA in Business Administration from the University of South Florida He holds a United States Coast Guard Captains License for Vessels under 100 gross tons and splits his time living in Miami and Key Largo with his wife and son. View all posts by Richard Weinstein
Steve Smyth

Steve Smyth

Steve is the Director of National Accounts for TriStar Publishing, an event publishing firm nationally recognized for its work on association and corporate event publications. TriStar provides turnkey and contract publishing services for event newspapers and newsletters, program and exhibit guides, Meeting Planner notebooks, City Guides, hotel Room Drop services and a variety of custom publishing and sponsorship sales programs. Steve’s background includes more than 15 years of association publishing and sales experience, including 10 years specializing in event publishing services for healthcare societies. An east coast native, Steve relocated from the DC area to the Heartland in Overland Park, KS 12 years ago, and still doesn’t miss the DC traffic! Steve is an active member of PCMA, ASAE, HCEA and SNAP. When not traveling for all things event publishing related, he enjoys participating in local triathlons and spending time with his wife Brenda and young daughters Sophie & Ainsley. View all posts by Steve Smyth
Steve Collins

Steve Collins

Steve graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Industrial Engineering, and promptly decided to put it to “good” use by choosing a career in the resort industry. After 15 years in various sales positions in the mountain resorts of Colorado, Steve decided to form his own meeting/event planning company in January of 2002. Thus, Resort Meeting Source, LLC, (www.ResortMeetingSource.com) was born—a full service meeting/event planning company with an emphasis on site selection and contract negotiation. Recently, Steve has also been asked to lead educational seminars at industry events such as Destinations Showcase in both Chicago and DC and various CMCA conferences on site selection related topics such as “Nickel and Dimed: Avoiding Hidden Hotel Charges” and “Site Selection and Contract Negotiation in a Sellers’ Market”. For further questions, more information, or if he can be of any additional help, Steve can be reached directly via e-mail at Steve@ResortMeetingSource.com or by telephone at 719-836-3745. View all posts by Steve Collins
Ann Fishman

Ann A. Fishman

Ann A. Fishman is a nationally-renowned generational marketing expert. For more than a decade, she has studied American generations by analyzing how social, political and economic events have influenced each of the six generations – the G.I. Generation, the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation 9/11. As a speaker, writer and consultant, she explains the limitations of “mas s marketing” a nd provides in-depth insight into how best to tailor communications, product development and marketing to the different generations. Audiences and clients acquire surprising insight into generational mindsets and feelings which, in great part, determine what members of each generation want and how they want it. Ann established Generational Targeted Marketing Corporation in 1995. As president of the New Orleans-based company, she has counseled corporations on developing marketing campaigns that better meet generational desires, advised states on how to increase tourism, given political advice on what soccer moms and NASCAR dads want from a candidate, redefined web site design by making content more relevant to target generations, alerted the fashion and home furnishing industries to oncoming trends, enabled non-profits to increase donations during hard times, and helped businesses attract, motivate, and retain employees. View all posts by Ann Fishman
Rob Schron

Rob Schron

Rob Schron started Robert P. Schron Associates Ltd. in 1982 after many years in public relations and marketing management with multinational automobile companies such as Volkswagen, Porsche and BMW. His auto industry experience included the responsibility for organizing meetings, conferences, special events and incentive travel programs, giving him insight into the dynamics of motivating and bringing together business owners and employees in the areas of sales, customer service and management. Earlier in his career, after serving on active duty with the U.S. Navy, he was a sportswriter and columnist for the Norfolk (VA) Ledger Dispatch & Star, editor of a small daily newspaper in Saugerties, NY, and director of corporate communications for the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York, working alongside many of the city’s top business leaders. In addition to Meeting Professionals International, where he is currently chairman of the New York Chapter’s International Relations Committee, Rob is also a member of the International Motor Press Association and the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives. He has also written a book, “Hotel Gems of France,” which was published in Europe. Robert P. Schron Associates is a member of Cruise Lines International Association and NYC & Company, New York City’s official CVB. In addition to global meeting, business event planning and incentive travel services, the company also offers destination management services in the Big Apple. To contact Robert, call 212-595-2700 or email at rob@schronassociates.com. View all posts by Rob Schron
Ray Burger

Ray Burger

Ray Burger, President and Founder of Pineapple Hospitality, Inc. (Pineapple) , has over 30 years of experience in the lodging industry, including 18 years as an award-winning general manager and multi-property manager of hotels, including Hilton, Doubletree, Radisson and Holiday Inn. In addition, he has provided the Lodging Industry with environmental products, programs and services for over 12 years. Throughout his career, Ray has maintained a consistent approach to enhancing guest satisfaction, while remaining focused on bottom-line profitability. As a general manager, he consistently increased revenues at his properties by exceeding guest expectations, a philosophy that is fundamental to the operation and product offerings of Pineapple. Ray is a graduate of Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. He holds a number of certifications, including Certified Hotel Administrator and Master Hotel Supplier. Ray is a columnist for The Rooms Chronicle – the #1 journal for Hotel Rooms Management. He contributes articles on environmental, indoor air quality and energy related topics. Ray is a past member of the AH&LA Environmental and Engineering Committee. Pineapple is a vendor partner of the Florida Green Lodging Program, an allied member of Boston Green Tourism, an allied Member of the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging Program, a member of the Green Meeting Industry Council and an Energy Star Partner. In January, 2006 Pineapple launched FreshStay® (www.FreshStay.com) the World’s most comprehensive on line directory of Hotels, Inns and B & B’s featuring Better Indoor Air Quality including smoke free and non smoking hotels, inns and B & B’s. In March, 2007 Pineapple Hospitality founded and co-hosted the first Green Hospitality Conference in Dallas, TX. Planning for the 2008 conference is underway. For more information visit www.GreenHospitality.net or www.LHconferences.com In July, 2007 Pineapple launched EcoRooms & EcoSuites at www.EcoRooms.com a Green Certification progam and directory featuring the “Greenest Hotels on the Planet”. To contact Ray, call 636-922-2285 or email Ray@PineappleHospitality.net. View all posts by Ray Burger
Eli Gorin

Eli Gorin

Eli Gorin, CMP, is founder of Aventura, Florida-based gMeetings, Inc., a meeting management boutique focused on the logistical development and coordination of corporate meetings with a specialization in the Latin American market. Mr. Gorin is a graduate of the George Washington University’s prestigious Event Management program, having received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of Event, Sport and Hospitality Management, as well as having received an MBA in Leadership and Quality Management from the University of Miami (FL). He has taught as an adjunct professor at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, FL and is an active participant in various industry email lists. For the last 8 years, Eli has worked in various capacities within the meetings and events industry, from small corporate meetings to large citywide conventions. Upon launching gMeetings, Inc. in January 2006, he began focusing his work on creating awareness of the Latin American market as a feasible option for corporate meetings and events. Eli was recently named one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry” by MeetingNews for his work in promoting the region. When not working, he enjoys spending time at home with his wife Johanna and their son, Jonathan. Eli can be reached at eli@gmeetings.net. View all posts by Eli Gorin
Gloria Nelson, CSEP

Gloria Nelson, CSEP

Gloria has been involved in corporate, social, nonprofit event and meeting design for more than 30 years. Her experience in working with Fortune 100 companies, as well as entrepreneurial, small corporate concerns and social clients give her broad-based event design and management knowledge. Background experience includes event management, meeting planning, trade show planning, nonprofit event marketing, corporate theater, staging and production and public relations. She has owned and operated a boutique meeting, event and public relations management firm headquartered in Barrington, Illinois prior to relocating to Wisconsin. She successfully launched the Sprint PCS wireless market in Northeastern Wisconsin as her first project in Wisconsin back in 2001. Programs include intimate events for as few as 25 to events for a professional sports team drawing more than 8,000 attendees. Gloria excels at the creation of strategic event and meeting solutions performed within the parameters of each client’s investment allocation. Gloria is a proud member of International Special Events Society (ISES), serving on the Chicago Chapter Board of Directors and the International Education Committee and also a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI)-Wisconsin Chapter, previously also serving as a board member. Ms. Nelson is a frequently requested speaker and a contributing writer for various industry publications. A three-time NICE Award winner and an international ISES Esprit nominee, she successfully garnered her CSEP (Certified Special Event Professional) designation in August, 2005, the hallmark professional designation bestowed upon event professions following rigorous testing by ISES. Nelson is the first, and currently only, CSEP in Wisconsin out of 310 worldwide. View all posts by Gloria Nelson, CSEP
Alan Ranzer

Alan Ranzer

Alan Ranzer, Executive Director of Impact 4 Good, is an experienced International Development professional. Impact 4 Good is a socially conscious company specializing in teambuilding initiatives that make a difference. Its mission is to help companies achieve corporate objectives through effective teambuilding activities that support communities in need worldwide. Alan has worked for internationally respected non-profit organizations specializing in the field of international and domestic community service. Alan holds a B.A. from Indiana University and an M.A. in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C. Alan has vast experience living and working abroad. In Ecuador, he taught English as a second language at a vocational school in Riobamba, developed and executed an English program in the rural community of El Batan, and created the first-ever English classes in the Environmental Engineering Department of the Universidad Nacional de Chimborazo. Alan's career has focused on giving back to the community. From working abroad, to teaching high school in the U.S., to working for domestic and international community service organizations, Alan has maintained his passion for helping others. Alan’s hope is that Impact 4 Good will bring out this same passion in individuals and teams alike. Alan can be reached at alan@impact4good.com. View all posts by Alan Ranzer
James Montague

James Montague

James Montague, Owner and Chairman of PMPN. His duties include the general oversight management for PMPN, as well as responsibility for Client Services, Planner Network Services and other operational activities. He also directs PMPN’s new business development activities.Montague served on PMPN’s Strategic Advisory Board for two years before joining the company as Chief Operation Officer in January 2002. In his capacity as Vice President for Branch Banking and Trust Company (BB&T) in Durham, NC, he met and became an active advisor to Rod Abraham, the founder and former owner of PMPN. Before his 10 years in banking, Montague attended Elon University where he graduated in the honors program, with a degree in Business Management. Active in community affairs, Montague is a past Treasurer of the Durham Urban Ministries Homeless Shelter and continues to serve as a volunteer to the organization. A member of several industry groups including Healthcare Marketing & Communications Council (HMC) and the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (ACME) as well as Meeting Professional International (MPI), he was also selected to participate in the Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Durham program. View all posts by James Montague
David Wood

David Wood

Speaker and humorist David Wood is a former stand-up comedian with several David Letterman Show appearances under his belt. He has performed everywhere from Caesars Palace to corporation keynotes and employee meetings. A few years ago, he took a one year sabbatical to travel to exotic locales around-the-world. He’s turned that adventure into a book, “Around the World in 80 Rounds,” which will be published by St. Martin’s Press in March of 2008. His keynote presentation entitled “Challenge Your Inner Adventurer,” focuses on “breaking out of comfort zones” and pursuing dreams. His talk revolves around the concepts of risk-taking and dealing with change. David was also the founder of Right Brain Business Training – a Seattle-based company which produces humorous employee training videos sold worldwide. David resides in West Seattle, Washington. Contact him at www.DavidWoodSpeaking.com or email: David@DavidWoodSpeaking.com. View all posts by David Wood
Arlene Sheff

Arlene Sheff

Arlene Sheff, CMP has varied and extensive experience in the field of meeting management. Throughout her 30 years, she has been a corporate, association, government and independent planner. Arlene is currently the Senior Meeting & Event Planner for The Boeing Company in Seal Beach where she produces meetings and events for senior level executives, along with campus-wide events. At Boeing, she also teaches a series of workshops entitled FUNdamentals of Meeting & Event Planning, which she developed for both experienced and novice planners. Her other training/teaching experience includes participating as a faculty member for Cal State Fullerton’s Professional Meeting Planning program, University of San Diego and Orange Coast College meeting planning programs and many years as a speaker at industry events. She has been an instructor for MPI Institutes 16 times. She enjoys teaching new professionals and mentoring them as they progress through their career. Arlene is frequently quoted as an industry resource in trade publications and has written chapters for Meeting News’ Meeting Planning Handbooks since 1998. Contact Arlene at arlene.h.sheff@boeing.com, 562-237-8579. View all posts by Arlene Sheff
Brent Arslaner

Brent Arslaner

Brent Arslaner is Vice President of Marketing and oversees all Global Marketing ensuring Unisfair maintains its leadership role providing Virtual Event solutions. Prior to joining Unisfair, Brent was Vice President of Marketing at Jamcracker, a leading provider of On Demand Delivery solutions. Before Jamcracker, he was Vice President of Product Strategy at Kana Software where he defined corporate strategy and built strategic partnerships. Brent went to Kana through its acquisition of Broadbase Software. At Broadbase, he was instrumental in driving the IPO process, successfully acquiring and integrating six companies and growing the company to over $100 million in sales. Earlier, Brent held senior marketing positions at PeopleSoft and Intrepid Systems. Brent holds a B.S. in Supply Chain Management from Syracuse University View all posts by Brent Arslaner
Patti Digh

Patricia Digh

Patricia Digh's first book, Global Literacies: Lessons on Business Leadership and National Cultures (Simon & Schuster 2000) was selected by Fortune magazine as a "Best Business Book" for 2000. Her second book, The Global Diversity Desk Reference, was published in 2003 by John Wiley. Her latest book, 37days, is slated for publication in 2007 by Globe Pequot Press. She is also the author of the award-winning blog, 37days (www.37days.typepad.com). Over the past 20 years, Patti has developed diversity strategies and educational programming for major nonprofit, corporate and educational institutions and has been a featured speaker at many national and international conferences. Her comments have appeared on PBS, and in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and London Financial Times, among other publications. Patti was formerly the Vice President of International and Diversity Programs for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), with over 200,000 members. She is a co-founder of The Circle Project, a consulting and training firm focused on helping individuals and organizations become more inclusive. (www.thecircleproject.com). View all posts by Patti Digh
Michael Green

Michael Green

Michael Green can talk about wine in any language – the vernacular of investment banking, the idioms of attorneys, the lexicon of pharmaceutical executives. Like other wine educators, Michael’s knowledge of all things vino-related is extensive and comprehensive; but it is his ability to translate that wine knowledge into the vocabulary of whomever he’s speaking to that sets him apart. Born and raised in New York City, Michael has been a fixture in the beverage industry since the age of six when he first began accompanying his father to work at the venerable wine store Acker Merrall & Condit on the Upper West Side. He attended the High School of Performing Arts where he cultivated a passion for theater and its application outside the realm of the stage. Michael maintained his post at Acker Merrall & Condit throughout high school and college (he attended the University of Virginia, graduated Phi Beta Kappa), fueling his knowledge of wine and his ability to articulate its qualities in an accessible way. “Wine is just fermented grape juice with an attitude,” he says. “I want to take wine off its pedestal and put it back in the glass, where it belongs.” During a post-collegiate jaunt through Italy, Germany, Spain and France, Michael had the opportunity to spend time with Etienne Hugel, a famed Alsatian winemaker. “Hyperbole aside, that day changed my life,” he says. “I knew I wanted to be a part of this world.” Returning to the U.S. and to Acker Merrall & Condit, Michael embarked on an aggressive self-education of the world’s appellations while importing wine for the company. His renewed passion for the grape resulted in a series of wine tastings performed at the store and paved the way for his relationship with Gourmet magazine. At the age of 26, Michael began making pairing suggestions for the Gourmet Dining Room and, over the course of a decade, has become the magazine’s exclusive wine and spirits consultant. Michael’s wine-and-dine wizardry takes many forms, including designing customized corporate wine dinners, directing tasting programs for conferences, festivals and auctions, and building private wine collections. Harnessing the power of wine to build relationships, Michael has the unique ability to articulate a company’s mission through the exploration of wine, making him a favorite talent for Fortune 500 companies nationwide who look to create memorable, brand-building events. Going beyond the role of guide to food-and-wine pairings, he regularly develops themed presentations such as “Corks & Torts” about famous wines embroiled in litigation, created for a law firm’s incoming summer associates; “Eye on Wine and Food,” which helped a pharmaceutical company introduce new glaucoma treatments at an annual physicians convention; and “Wine By Design,” formulated for a luxury textile company to strengthen its relationship with notoriously inaccessible A-list designers and architects. Michael’s ability to impart a language that makes executives comfortable tasting wine and talking business is the key to his success with these customized experiential wine tastings. “Knowing how to read a restaurant wine list and to pick a bottle of wine can give executives a competitive edge when closing a deal,” he says. His innate sense of charisma and flair for the dramatic have afforded him a recurring presence on both the TV Food Network and the Fine Living Network, as has his down-to-earth attitude to wine education: “You want to clear a room fast? Put a sentence together about a wine – leather, gooseberry, wet dog?!?” In direct contrast, Michael’s lively style, clever wit and contagious warmth results in events that bring people together – whether socially or professionally – with wine as the common ground. As described by one reporter, “Listening to Michael Green speak about wine is like witnessing a sensory explosion.” View all posts by Michael Green
Elizabeth Zielinski

Elizabeth Zielinski

Elizabeth Zielinski, CMM, CMP is the President and owner of Meeting Horizons, an independent meeting services company founded in 1996 and specializing in meetings management, training and consulting for corporate and association clients. Ms. Zielinski is a seasoned meeting professional with 18 years of meeting planning and fiscal management experience. She has managed meetings for clients around the world, including Cnet.com, The Nasdaq Stock Market, and APCO Worldwide. Prior to founding Meeting Horizons, Ms. Zielinski held both corporate and non-profit planning positions in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Ms. Zielinski is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and has served in many volunteer leadership roles for MPI, including their International Board of Directors and as a past President of the Potomac Chapter. In 2004, she was awarded MPI's International Planner of the Year award. She is currently one of a select few individuals chosen by MPI to present their "Platinum Series" educational modules to MPI chapters. Ms. Zielinski has published articles in numerous trade publications relative to meetings management issues, and frequently draws upon her extensive experience to present educational programs for a variety of industry organizations and audiences nationwide. View all posts by Elizabeth Zielinski
Rosemary Weiner

Rosemary Weiner

Rosemary is the Owner and CEO of The Brass Rose Spa located in Blairstown, New Jersey. She came to the Spa Industry from both the corporate world and the medical field. After practicing for many years as a nurse, Rosemary entered the private sector of the Health Care Industry where she became a founding partner and Vice president of a Fortune 500 Health Care Cost Containment company. The high stress corporate life led Rosemary to seek out ways of relieving stress during her business travels, which she carried on to her daily routine on her home turf. At first, spas were her sanctuary for stress relief and rejuvenation. Eventually, the sanctuary became the seed for a very successful business venture which began in 1998. The Brass Rose Spa is an award winning, Day Spa garnering the Day Spa Day Spa Association Distinguished Day Spa of The Year award, the Nails Magazine Salon of The Year award, the New Jersey Herald Readers’ Choice #1 Best Day Spa in the County award, the Daily Record Top 10 New Jersey Day Spas rating and Good Life Magazine’s Top 4 Escapes to Tranquility listing. In addition to her duties as the owner and CEO of The Brass Rose Spa, Ms. Weiner is the Chairman of the Day Spa Association and Chairman of the New Jersey Metro Beauty Advisory Council. She also serves on several Advisory Boards for Cosmetology schools and is a member of the New Jersey Coalition of Massage, Bodywork and Somatic Therapies. Contact Information: rose@rtonline.net ,The Brass Rose Spa, 26 Route 94, Blairstown, NJ 07825, 908-362-9009, Web Site: www.brassrose.com View all posts by Rosemary Weiner
Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer

Brian Palmer is President of the National Speakers Bureau, a position he has held since 1996. He began working for the firm part time in 1972 when his father founded the firm, and full time in 1980. Brian just completed a three year term on the Board of Govenors for the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB) and in that roll serves as the liaison to National Speakers Association (NSA) and chairs The NSA/IASB Joint Task Force. In 2004 Brian was presented IASB's Presidents Award for his contributions to the lecture industry and in 2005 he received their John Palmer Award (Named for Brian's father) for his contributions to the association, the lecture industry and the meeting industry. For the 2006-2007 Brian will serve as Chair of the Membership Committee of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Brian served on the International Board of Directors of MPI from 1998-2001, and as President of the Chicago Area Chapter of that organization in 1990/91. Brian has held dozens of other leadership roles within MPI. In 2003 MPI selected Brian as their International Supplier of the Year. In 2005 NSA selected Brian as their Meeting Partner Of The Year. In 1999 The Chicago Area Chapter inducted Brian into the Meeting Industry Hall Of Fame in recognition of "Significant Contributions to the Meeting Planning Industry". Brian presently serves on the Convention Industry Council APEX Contracts Panel. Brian has spoken and participated on panels in over a hundred industry related events, including presentations for MPI, PCMA and NSA. Articles and comment by Brian regularly appear in both industry and national publications.Brian holds a bachelors degree in Speech Communication from Drake University and an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Brian is married to violinist, Paula Palmer. They have two children; Adam (12) and Rachel (9). View all posts by Brian Palmer
Bonnie Wallsh

Bonnie Wallsh

Bonnie Wallsh, CMP, CMM has been actively involved in the hospitality industry for twenty eight years. She is a Certified Meeting Professional and one of six Certified Meeting Managers in the Carolinas. She is the Chief Strategist of Bonnie Wallsh Associates, LLC, a professional meeting management and training firm which has been producing meetings, conferences, trade shows and training programs since 1978. She received her BA and MA degrees from Hunter College and completed a 30 credit post-graduate program in administration and supervision from Richmond College. She recently completed an on-line course on World Culture and Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. Ms. Wallsh has been an instructor at NYU’s School of Continuing Education teaching a course entitled Meeting and Conference Management, taught courses on Meeting Management, Special Events, and Trade Show Management at Kingsborough Community College, a division of the City University of New York, developed and taught classes on Meeting Management, Introduction to Travel and Tourism, Travel Sales and Marketing, and Tour Planning and Escorting at Central Piedmont Community College. She taught a course on Event Management for Johnson & Wales University. Currently, she is teaching Meeting and Event Planning, a certificate program in the Continuing Education department of the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She will be conducted a workshop on Preparing for the CMP for Virginia Tech University and she’ll be teaching two sessions of Event Management as part of Conituning Education at the University of Central Florida. Ms. Wallsh developed and is teaching Launching and Growing your own Meeting Management Business, that is designed for individuals contemplating starting their own business or to taking it to the next stage, as well as programs on FUNdamentals of Meeting Planning, The Inside Scoop...What do Meeting Planners want from Suppliers, Strategic Site Selection, Budgeting, and Certification, Is it Worth It? She is a sought after speaker at hospitality industry conferences. Ms. Wallsh has been frequently quoted in hospitality industry and business publications. She worked part-time at the Small Business Resource Center for three years, assisting entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. She was named MPICC Meeting Planner of the Year for 2001-2002 and was recognized for bringing in the most members to MPICC in 2002-2003 and in 2004-2005. View all posts by Bonnie Wallsh
Joel Zuckerman

Joel Zuckerman

Joel Zuckerman, called “One of the Southeast’s most respected and sought-after golf writers” by Golfer’s Guide Magazine, is an award winning travel writer based in Savannah, Georgia and Park City, Utah. His course reviews, player profiles, essays and features have appeared in nearly 100 publications internationally, including Sports Illustrated, GOLF, Maximum Golf, Golf Connoisseur, Washington Golf Monthly, Maxim, Shark.com, PGATour.com, CBS Sportsline.com, Travel & Leisure Golf, Continental Magazine, Golfweek, Estates West, Millionaire and Golf International. The native New Englander is also an accomplished speaker, and in demand at corporate functions, incentive group meetings, civic associations and charity organizations. His first book was released in the spring of 2003. Golf in the Lowcountry discourses on the golf life on Hilton Head Island , South Carolina , and Savannah . His second book, Golf Charms of Charleston, was released for Christmas of 2005, and was immediately reprinted. His third, titled Misfits on the Links, was released in the spring of 2006, and is currently in its third printing. Coming in 2007 is A Hacker’s Humiliations, which will be followed in 2008 by his most ambitious project yet, a worldwide look at famed architect Pete Dye’s most important courses, titled Dye 85. Zuckerman is a member of Golfweek’s “ America ’s Best” panel, where he helps to select the finest modern and classic courses in the United States . He has played more than 500 courses around the world. For more information please visit: www.vagabondgolfer.com View all posts by Joel Zuckerman
Robert P.Schron

Robert P. Schron

Robert P. “Rob” Schron has more than 30 years of experience planning business events. He founded the company that bears his name in 1982 after having held public relations and marketing management positions in the United States with a number of European automobile companies, including Volkswagen and BMW. Rob's auto industry experience included responsibility for organizing meetings, conferences, trade show exhibits and incentive travel programs, giving him insight into the dynamics of motivating and bringing together employees in the areas of sales, customer service and management, and promoting new products to wholesalers, retailers and the public. Before his years in the auto industry, Rob was director of public information for the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York and a sportswriter for various newspapers on the East Coast. Rob is a veteran of the United States Navy, serving with the Military Sea Transportation Service and the logistics planning division of the US Atlantic Fleet. A native New Yorker, he has written and contributed to a number of articles on meeting and incentive planning; he also co-authored and edited a book titled "Hotel Gems of France" published in Europe. He is a member of both Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives (SITE), and he currently serves as chairman of the International Relations Committee of MPI's Greater New York chapter. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and based in New York City, Schron Associates plans meetings, incentives and other types of business events for clients from around the world, ranging from small businesses to global corporations. Specialties include business study tours, management retreats and international events. More information about the company can be found at www.schronassociates.com View all posts by Robert P.Schron
Ed Bernacki

Ed Bernacki

The Idea Factory’s Ed Bernacki is a speaker and author on innovative thinking. He noticed how people behave at a conference and once asked, “How many people take notes and never look at them again?” About 75% raised their hands. He put the Idea Factory to work to find ideas to get people to act on their ideas after a conference. He wrote, ‘Seven Rules for Designing More Innovative Conferences’ as a resource of strategies and case studies for creating a Conference Learning Plan to engage people more effectively at a conference. www.InnovativeConferences.com View all posts by Ed Bernacki
Sam Guiragossian

Sam Guiragossian

Sam Guiragossian has been part of The Westin Chicago River North team for over 11 years. As the hotel’s certified personal trainer, Guiragossian is responsible for developing fitness guidelines and performing nutrition consultations for guests as well as managing the Westin WORKOUT® facility. A 20-year expert in martial arts, which emphasizes stretching, Guiragossian has developed customized group exercises for guests. He educates guests on the proper stretching techniques and exercises to help reduce aches and pains often caused by sitting for long periods of time. As a fitness enthusiast, he enjoys teaching people the benefits of physical conditioning and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He has spearheaded the Westin WORKOUT® Challenge for many years guiding employees on how to lose weight. Guiragossian attended the University of Illinois and majored in exercise, physiology and anatomy. A native Chicagoan, Guiragossian currently resides in the Edgebrook area. View all posts by Sam Guiragossian
Warren Greshes

Warren Greshes, CPAE

An expert in Sales, Motivation, Business Improvement and Customer Service, it has been said about Warren Greshes that his presentations elevate a keynote speech to a form of performance art. With his ability to tailor and customize his action-oriented talks to your company, industry and audience, Warren Greshes deals with and helps to solve the issues and problems your people struggle with every single day. Provocative and hilarious, insightful and outrageous, his street smart instincts combine with an electrifying style for a session you won't soon forget. After 10 years as a successful salesman and sales executive, Warren started his speaking business in 1986 and since then has traveled the world delivering keynote speeches and seminars to corporate, association and small business audiences. Not just entertaining, not just motivational, and DEFINITELY not subtle, Warren’s keynotes and seminars are educational, informative and geared towards action. As an author Warren shares the culmination of his experience as a professional speaker and salesperson in The Best Damn Sales Book Ever, published by John Wiley & Sons of New York. In addition, Warren hosts his own radio show and podcast, The Warren Greshes Show, as well as generating hundreds of informative articles on his highly popular Sales and Success Blog. Warren is a member of the National Speakers Association; has sat on their Board of Directors and in 1998 was elected into the Speakers Hall of Fame and given the CPAE designation. You can contact Warren at warren@greshes.com or call him toll free at 800-858-1516. View all posts by Warren Greshes
Timot McGonagle

Timot McGonagle

Celebrating more than 25 years in business, event producer and designer Timot McGonagle has applied his creative and business skills in the varied fields of Marketing, Advertising, Retailing, Cosmetics, Fashion and Interior Design. Timot has art directed music videos and national television commercials. A former resident of New York City, Timot moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he built one of the top decorative arts firms in the region with commissions all over the United States, England and the Caribbean. He began working as a volunteer event producer and designer helping to raise millions of dollars for Nashville charities. The success and recognition of this work lead to the creation of a full-service event business that he has been pursuing for the past four years. With nearly 40 international nominations and 15 awards, Timot has become a major force in the international event scene. He takes great pride in incorporating his diversified creative background into producing and designing beautifully layered and organized events. Timot is a proud member of International Special Events Society (ISES). He won ten back-to-back ISES Esprit Awards from 2002–2006, as well as served as the executive producer of the 2005 ISES Espirt Awards Celebration in Los Angeles, California. He says the support from ISES took him from a charity volunteer to a full time event professional. His web address is www.timotart.com and can be contacted at timotmcgonagle@earthlink.net View all posts by Timot McGonagle
Betty LeDoux-Morris

Betty LeDoux-Morris

Betty LeDoux-Morris, CMP, is the Director of Group Activities and Spa sales at Saddlebrook Resort. Betty also has been on the “Planner” side of the coin, having been President and planner for the annual Panama Canal Society events – with an average attendance of 2,500 people. View all posts by Betty LeDoux-Morris
 Jean L. Jaworek

Jean L. Jaworek

Jean Jaworek is a twenty-five year veteran in the directory publishing and database management. She has also been a featured columnist, “The Problem Lady” for Incentive Magazine. She has participated in many, many meetings. View all posts by Jean L. Jaworek
 Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE

Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development. She authored Work for a Living & Still Be Free to Live, the first book on work/life balance—a topic that placed her as a futurist in this issue and continues to be published in revised editions. Her newest book, The Resilient Spirit, is found from South Africa to California. She's been a guest on CNN as well as other television and radio programs and has created an exciting Chicago-based radio commentary, Celebrating the Human Spirit. She is a featured author in A Women's Way to Incredible Success: Real Life Lessons from 20 Prominent Business Women and a contributing author in Meditations for the Road Warrior. Her three-part video training program, Engaging the Spirit of Nurse Leadership is in constant demand within the healthcare arena. Clients have ranged from American Airlines to Xerox, from 3M to IBM, from drill foremen in the Arctic to juvenile offenders in prison. She served as one of ten faculty members in a business television series, Reclaiming Business Excellence and has headlined with speakers like NBA Coach Pat Riley, Notre Dame's former coach Lou Holtz, Dr. Ken Blanchard, executive strategist Marshall Goldsmith, William Bridges, and boardroom poet, David Whyte. Eileen is a certified speaking professional (CSP) and her election into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame places her among the top 3% of the 3500-member National Speakers Association. She's on the Board of Directors of NSA and also on the national board for Take Back Your Time, an international initiative for work/life integration practices. View all posts by Eileen McDargh
Gail Rae

Gail Rae

Gail Rae, President of InteractionMatters, coaches speakers, writes seminars, and choroegraphs conferences. Her clients appreciate her focus on content, relationship development, and impact. Gail speaks at professional conferences on storytelling, knowledge sharing, and meeting design. View all posts by Gail Rae
Dave Sherman

Dave Sherman

Dave Sherman has the distinction of being one of the only “professional icebreakers” on Earth. He is the founder and President of Connection Pros, an organization that inspires people to be more comfortable, more confident and more successful when creating and developing relationships with others. He is also the founder of the Sherman Training Center, a world-class training facility in central Phoenix that provides a wide variety of workshops that help people reach AMAZING levels of success. He is the best selling author of 50 TOP TIPS, A Simple Guide to Networking Success, Breaking the Ice - 306 Great Conversation Starters, Elevating Your Elevator Speech, A Powerful Way to Answer the Question, "What do you do?" as well as numerous other CD and video programs. Before becoming a professional speaker and trainer, Dave used his vast business skills to help build a successful retail sports apparel business. As the owner and founder of The Cap Company, Arizona’s Largest Cap Store, Dave was named a Top Ten Small Business Person of the Year by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, a Top Five Small Business Person of the Year by the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, as well as receiving the national Mass Mutual Blue Chip Award for Small Business Excellence. Dave has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of companies and associations all over the world including Wells Fargo, Southwest Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, American Express, Northwestern Mutual, Medtronic, and so many more, as well as over two dozen Chambers of Commerce all over the country. Dave holds a Marketing degree from Arizona State University, with an emphasis on Advertising. Dave has lived in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona since 1982, loves golf, international travel, all types of movies and his only real vices these days are Diet Mountain Dew and a good cigar. View all posts by Dave Sherman
Jeffrey Cufaude

Jeffrey Cufaude

For almost 20 years Jeffrey Cufaude’s writing, speaking, consulting, and staff leadership has helped individuals and organizations envision more powerful possibilities. In his current role as a principal and founding partner of Idea Architects, he is working to build communities of ideas and idealists. His areas of work include strategic thinking and planning sessions; volunteer and staff development workshops and retreats; content design for leadership conferences; and major keynote presentations. All of his efforts are custom-designed based on client-supplied learning objectives. His work is known for being engaging and for reflecting the core principles of adult learning. His past experience as executive director of two national associations and as a student affairs staff member at two large public universities informs much of his work today. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Communication Theory from Northern Illinois University. Very active professionally, Cufaude has twice served on the Indiana Society of Association Executives Board of Directors (ISAE), and has been honored as the ISAE Meeting Planner of the Year. He also is very involved with GWSAE, the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives; ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives; and The Center for Association Leadership. Since 1998, he has designed and facilitated the ASAE Future Leaders Conference. He regularly contributes feature articles on a variety of leadership and organizational development issues to national association publications, and he writes monthly about enhancing community and learning in workshops and conferences as a Contributing Columnist for PCMA’s Convene magazine. Jeffrey has won several national awards for his writing. Jeffrey resides in a restored 1892 Victorian bungalow in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. He has done his tour of the “I” states, living in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana… and is eagerly anticipating his retirement in Idaho … or maybe Ireland or Italy. In his free time he enjoys running, tennis, supporting Indy sports teams and arts organizations, and traveling in Europe. View all posts by Jeffrey Cufaude
Mary Feeley

Mary Feeley

Mary Feeley, CSP is the “Provocateur.” Her presentations are the perfect blend of education and entertainment. Her audiences are provoked to listen, laugh and learn! She has uniquely combined experience from the corporate corner office and the comedy club stage. Her performances are a rare blend of message, motivation, mirth mixed with perfect personalization to fit your organizations needs. She models the speaking style of the future… edu-tainment. Mary has 22 years of successful business experience, from front line to executive level positions in sales, marketing, public relations and customer service. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. In additions she is an award winning stand-up comedian who has performed in top comedy clubs throughout the United States. Mary was the first female to be accepted and promoted to headliner comic at the Comic Annex in Houston. Mary's wit and wisdom possess universal appeal. A professional speaker for l8 years, she has an extensive list of corporate, government, healthcare and association clients internationally. Experiences as a corporate spokesperson and trainer, television and radio personality, award winning stand-up comedian and seminar faculty member have perfected her skills as an entertainer, trainer or keynote speaker. Mary's consistency of high ratings and client friendly style earned her the 1995 honor from Sharing Ideas Magazine as "Consummate Speaker of the Year." In 1999, she was awarded the highest earned speaking designation as a Certified Speaking Professional. Fewer that 7% of the five thousand speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation of CSP. She is also a professional member of the National Speakers Association. Mary Feeley, CSP is a businesswoman, comedian and professional speaker with superbly combined credentials. As the “Provocateur” she provokes participants of her presentations to inspire personal and professional change with a perfect mix of hysterical humor, honest insight and real world skills. View all posts by Mary Feeley
Vincent Alonzo

Vincent Alonzo

Vincent Alonzo is the editor-in-chief of Successful Meetings. During his career as a journalist he has also sat behind the editor-in-chief desks of Incentive, Training, and Potentials magazines. View all posts by Vincent Alonzo
Robert Carey

Robert Carey

Robert Carey is Editorial Director for MeetingNews and Successful Meetings. He started at SM in 1992 as a fresh-faced college grad, and simply refuses to leave. Rob ovesees the editorial staffs of both books; the only writing assignments he has not given up are the quarterly articles on business golf strategies. A decent golfer himself (handicap: 14), Rob also likes to ride motorcycles, go boating, and listen to obnoxious hard-rock music in his spare time. View all posts by Robert Carey
Simone Esposito

Simone Esposito

Simone is the Director of Corporate Sales for Loro Piana, www.loropiana.com. Simone was born in Naples, Italy in 1974. His first job was as Account Executive in the Advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in Rome. As soon as finished his University studies in Business Administration (at the Federico II University of Naples, Italy) he moved to London. In 1998 he started working at MTV Europe (London) as Promos Producer, great experience but most of all great fun! He later moved to Universal Networks (London) where he worked for the Italian movie channel Studio Universal as Operations Manager first and Head of the Press Office then. It was in 2000 that Simone started his collaboration with Publieurope, European leading private broadcasters, offering to clients directly and to European media coordinators the highest level of service and information. International Business Development was his position within the company. He has spent the last five years successfully representing European Media mainly in the US and Asian markets with particular interest in the Luxury Brands. High profile accounts included: Nike, Shell, DTC-De Beers, Reebok, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Coty, KIA, Hyundai, Apple, Intercontinental Hotels, UPS, Jimmy Choo, Vertu, Net Jets, Liz Claiborne, Skechers, Carnival Cruise Line, Silversea Cruise Line, Estee Lauder, Donna Karan, VF Corporation, Ralph Lauren, H- Stern, World Gold Council, Platinum Guild. In 2006 Simone moved to NYC where he is currently developing the new Corporate Gifting Division at Loro Piana, one of the biggest cashmere producers in the world. Loro Piana is now offering corporate gifts services to American corporate elite. It delivers a wide range of sophisticated and customized products (including distinct signature custom labels and flawless embroidery) for holiday, employee and customer gifts. With the Corporate Gift Division Loro Piana, synonymous of exclusivity and prestige , wants to associate its brand with other exclusive and prestigious names. Loro Piana's range of Corporate Gifts as mainly dedicated to an higher end events (Board meetings, Chairman's Council, top Directors and Managers…). The feedback from the American market has been great and Simone is sure to win also this new exciting challenge! View all posts by Simone Esposito
Brian Kathenes

Brian Kathenes

Brian Kathenes is a consultant, writer, and speaker, who specializes in team development and organizational performance. He is Principal of Progressive Business Concepts, Inc., a firm he founded in 1986. Brian's clients include; Hyatt Hotels, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, MasterCard, Disney/MGM Studios, New Jersey Utility Association, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Avon Products, Nabisco, Merrill Lynch, Boy Scouts of America, Verizon, Best Foods, Merck, Bank of America, Pepsi, KPMG, Novartis, International Society of Appraisers, American Heart Association, and Rutgers University Center for Government Services. Brian has designed more than 650 training and consulting programs, and has delivered seminars and symposia for more than 472,000 participants at conferences and client meetings. Brian has appeared on over 460 television and radio programs and has been quoted in over twenty business magazines and newspapers including the New York Times, Successful Meetings, and USA Today. He is also the author of the team development news column How To Build Teams That Will Still Respect You In The Morning, and was honored by the Mayor of Hope New Jersey with Hope Township's Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award. His hobbies include sailing, surfing, hiking and collecting historical manuscripts. He is the host of the syndicated weekly radio show: Value This!! with Brian and Leon and is a science fiction and technology appraisal expert on The Discovery Channel's: POP NATION: America's Coolest Stuff. Brian offers a special, free report containing team performance development ideas: 10 Ways To Quickly Build High-performance Teams That Will Still Respect You the Morning after www.BestTeamTips.com. View all posts by Brian Kathenes
Scott Schwertly

Scott Schwertly

Scott Schwertly has loved giving and hearing presentations since he gave his first big speech in the 7th grade. Scott has spent the last eight years working for television network affiliates helping them create story-telling visuals and doing marketing for both the private and public sector. He has a B.A. in Communications and an M.B.A. from Harding University. Helping you design and deliver captivating presentations is his passion. Scott currently serves as both Founder and CEO of Ethos3 Communications (www.ethos3.com) and author of the blog SpeakingonSpeaking.com. View all posts by Scott Schwertly
Peter LoCascio

Peter LoCascio

Peter LoCascio, creator of “Bridging the Gap between Trade Shows and Sales”, has been an innovator in the trade show industry for over 35 years. He now consults exhibitors committed to maximizing their trade show effectiveness through his company at: www.tradeshowconsultants.com. View all posts by Peter LoCascio
Greg Raiff

Greg Raiff

Greg Raiff is a seasoned travel executive and entrepreneur actively involved in the industry since 1988 and also serves as Founder/COO of Private Jet Services Group. He successfully built and sold a full-service student travel business prior to starting Private Jet Services Group, Inc. In response to changes in the air transport landscape post 9/11, Greg migrated to developing VIP scheduled and private jet charter solutions. Greg is recognized in both corporate and luxury travel industries as an innovator in developing VIP travel solutions for agents and customers including corporate, incentive, entertainment, sports, and luxury travelers. Private Jet Services Group’s clients include Fortune 1,000 companies, government officials, high profile celebrities, and musicians. View all posts by Greg Raiff
Keith Patrick

Keith Patrick

Keith Patrick is Director of Convention Services/Destination Services for the Mohegan Sun. Keith has been a Director of Convention Services for 28 years in 9 different properties in 7 states. He has experience and knowledge of all phases of hotel management and operation including profit and service enhancements, extensive property renovations and labor relations. He was responsible for the establishment of the Convention Services Department at Mohegan Sun and oversees the 100,000 square feet of event space. Before joining Mohegan Sun, he was the Director of Convention Services for Pinehurst Resort and Country Club and the Director of Convention Services for Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. He was a Founding Board Member and Past President, Association of Convention Operations Management (ACOM) and was nominated for Outstanding Convention Service Manager of the Year four times by readers of Successful Meetings Magazine. He has also supervised a total of 12 CSM/s who have been nominated for this honor including one national winner of Best CSM of the year. View all posts by Keith Patrick
Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, MS is an international speaker, consultant and writer helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. With 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, he now is a highly acclaimed speaker with the ability to make complex subjects understandable and fun. His articles have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications and he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fast Company, PC Magazine and others. Corbin serves or has served on numerous hotel, corporate, convention bureau and association boards. He is Meeting Professionals International's 2002 International Supplier of the Year, MPI's 1997 International Chapter Leader of the Year, MPI's 1994 Meeting Planner of the Year (Washington State Chapter) and one of seven MPI Founding Global Chancellors. Corbin has been named for years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 as one of "The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry" by MeetingNews Magazine. View all posts by Corbin Ball
Bill Heaney

Bill Heaney

William J. "Bill" Heaney has served as Vice President, Brand Development of Red Lion Hotels Corporation since 2006. He is a member of the senior management team for Red Lion Hotels Corporation and oversees franchise development for the hotel division. He had served as Vice President, Sales since 2004. Before joining Red Lion Hotels, he was Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Boykin Hospitality. Prior to joining Boykin in 2000, he was Vice President of Sales for Meristar Hotels and Resorts (now Interstate Hotels and Resorts). After joining American General Hospitality in 1993, he directed the company's sales and marketing efforts for a selection of properties. He assumed responsibility for the sales and marketing of a portfolio of multi-branded and independent hotel, resort and conference centers for Meristar Hotels and Resorts after the merger of American General and Capstar Hotels and Resorts in 1998. Bill began his travel/hospitality career as Director of Operations and Product Development for Arthurs Travel Incorporated, a Philadelphia-based division of tour operator, International Thompson Ltd., of London , England . Subsequently, he was Vice President of Marketing/Housing for charter tour operator GWV, a division of The Interface Group (producer of COMDEX); was National Director of Sales and Marketing for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, and was Senior Vice President of Sales for Savoy Hotels and Resorts. View all posts by Bill Heaney
Cal Wick

Cal Wick

Cal Wick is the Founder and Chairman of Fort Hill Company and a nationally-recognized consultant, educator and researcher on improving the performance of managers and organizations. He was named “Thought Leader of the Year” by ISA, the Association of Learning Providers, in 2006. Cal is co-author of the highly-acclaimed Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results (Pfeiffer, 2006). Cal’s research led to the concept of Follow-Through Management and the development of “web-based Follow-Through Tools” that improve results by increasing learning transfer and application. Cal recognized that the finish line for learning and development programs is no longer the last day of class, but rather months later when improved personal and business outcomes can be measured. This new finish line is becoming the standard of the learning industry. View all posts by Cal Wick
Amy Spatrisano

Amy Spatrisano

Amy Spatrisano, CMP is a principal of Meeting Strategies Worldwide, an award winning conference management and consulting firm providing “green meeting” management, training and consulting services for their diverse clients representing both national and international organizations. For the past fifteen years Amy has been a member of Meeting Professionals International. She has won both the MPI – Oregon Chapter Supplier and Planner of the Year, has chaired the MPI International Chapter Leadership Committee and been a member of the MPI Board of Directors. Amy chaired the Convention Industry Council’s Green Meeting Task Force, co-authored the Ceres Guest Request Card and has participated in the Green Hotel Initiative. She is currently the president and co-founder of the Green Meeting Industry Council. She has published articles and given many presentations about green meetings. Additionally, Amy and her business partner, Nancy Wilson, CMP wrote a chapter on green meetings for the Professional Meeting Management – Comprehensive Strategies for Meetings, Conventions and Events – 5th Edition and developed an accredited green meetings course for George Washington University. View all posts by Amy Spatrisano
Jeffrey W. Rasco

Jeffrey W. Rasco

A 24-year veteran meeting professional, Jeff Rasco is President of Attendee Management, Inc., providing interactive solutions for e-marketing, registration, housing and travel. He is also one of the principals, with industry notables Corbin Ball and Rod Marymor in Tech3 Partners Meetings Technology Consulting. Jeff has received a number of professional honors, most notably the Texas Hill Country Chapter’s Supplier of the Year in 2005, MPI’s Meeting Planner of the Year in 1996, and their international Chapter Leader of the Year in 1994. He has served on MPI’s International Board of Directors, the MPI Foundation Board of Trustees, and on the boards of the Texas Hill Country and Houston Area MPI Chapters. He is also the technology columnist for The Meeting Professional magazine. View all posts by Jeffrey W. Rasco
Terri Breining

Terri Breining

Theresa Breining, CMP, CMM is the founder and president of Concepts Worldwide, a meeting management firm headquartered in San Diego County since its inception in 1988. Terri has been in the meeting planning industry since 1976, and has been responsible for producing meetings around the globe. Considered by many to be a thought leader, Terri is an activist working tirelessly on the continuous advancement of the level of professionalism in the meeting industry, and has been serving as adjunct faculty for meeting planning programs for universities throughout Southern California for the last 20 years. She is a sought after speaker, presenting educational workshops for a variety of business entities. She has been recognized professionally many times over the years, including having her company, Concepts Worldwide, acknowledged as a "Best Company to Work for in San Diego". Within the meeting industry, Terri was given MPI’s highest honor when they recognized her as their International Planner of the Year in 2000, and she has been included on lists of “Most Influential People in the Meeting Industry” by both Meeting News and Smart Meetings Magazine. A very active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Terri has served at both the local and international level, including as MPI’s Chairwoman of the Board in 2003-04. Having served as the representative of the convention/meeting planning sector of the meeting industry for the APEX commission, she is currently the chair-elect of the commission, a national body working to develop and implement standards by which the industry works. Her other volunteer commitments include serving on the Board of Directors of Travelers Aid Society of San Diego, as well as on the Advisory Boards for several convention bureaus and a resort. View all posts by Terri Breining
Daphne Meyers

Daphne J. Meyers

Daphne J. Meyers, CMM, is the managing partner of RED BARN GROUP, LLC, a firm specializing in strategic meeting, training and event best practices. Daphne is a former Program Manager for Partner Events at Microsoft. During her seven years with Microsoft and Great Plains, she managed multi-million dollar conferences for the partner reseller channel. In this capacity, she managed all aspects of highly visible events; prepared 100’s of speakers to deliver content to 1000’s of attendees; spoke to and facilitated various sized groups; and built and sustained successful teams. Prior to Microsoft, Daphne spent eight years honing her planning skills at a variety of organizations. In 2001, Daphne attained her Global Certification of Meeting Management (CMM) from Meeting Professionals International (MPI). CMM is the highest attainable professional designation for meeting professionals. CMM focuses on strategic issues and executive decision-making, and offers advanced level meeting professionals training in strategic thinking and acting. In 2003, Daphne was able to refresh her skills by serving as a CMM class mentor to a group of European professionals. In 2003, the Minnesota MPI chapter honored DAPHNE and her team with the Meeting of the Year for Microsoft Business Solutions Stampede 2002. The same year, Daphne was nominated for Minnesota MPI Planner of the Year. In the fall of 2005, Daphne launched the first event planning course for Minnesota State University-Moorhead within the Mass Communications Department. Daphne has been a member of Meeting Professionals International for seven years. From 2004-2005 she served on MPI’s Global Corporate Circle of Excellence and was involved in the writing of three industry position papers on Strategic Meetings Management. As an extension of her work on the position papers, Daphne is currently serving as a MPI Platinum Series Speaker for the workshops addressing Strategic Meetings Management. DAPHNE specializes in guiding teams to exceed goals and objectives through planning, facilitation, and team collaboration. When she is not representing RED BARN GROUP, Daphne is at THE Red Barn (and the house next to it). She lives with her husband and son on a twelve acre farmstead outside of Fargo, North Dakota. Her livestock includes dogs, cats, horses, and too many squirrels to count; and her crops consist mostly of prairie weeds. View all posts by Daphne J. Meyers
Colleen Rickenbacher

Colleen Rickenbacher

Colleen Rickenbacher is a business owner, author, speaker, consultant and television personality. Speaking engagements have taken Colleen around the World, and she can be seen and heard regularly on national television and radio. Most recently she appeared on Country Music Television (CMT), Fox News, the Joni Show and Make Your Day Count. Colleen has also been named as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Meeting News Magazine. She has won numerous other awards and serves on industry boards and committees. Her book Be On Your Best Business Behavior covers all areas of practical business and dining etiquette. Her tips strengthen the image of organizations and individuals, and separate them from their competition. You never want to leave money on the table because you did not have the proper business and dining etiquette skills to close the business deal or to make a better first impression. Colleen’s next book Be On Your Best Cultural Behavior will be released soon providing protocol tips for 21 countries covering dining and business etiquette, meeting protocol, and avoiding those embarrassing international faux pas. Colleen is still producing award-winning events and has achieved both her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and the Certified Special Events Professional (CSEP). She serves on the Convention Industry Council Board of Directors and also on the Education Council and Board of the International Association of Protocol Consultants rolling out the new certification program of Certified Protocol Consultant (CPC) in 2006. View all posts by Colleen Rickenbacher
Rich Westerfield

Rich Westerfield

Rich Westerfield is co-owner of a coffeehouse in suburban Pittsburgh. He believes that fact alone makes him more qualified to market trade shows than most professional show managers. Why? Because everything Rich learned about marketing in the 20 years of promoting and managing trade shows prior to entering the coffee business is being turned upside down. By Rich's way of thinking, today's events must be driven by attendees, not exhibitors or sponsors and certainly not show management. He warns that if you continue down the road of producing "top-down" events without the continuous involvement of attendees, you'll soon be as popular as Kim Jong-Il. Trained as a direct mail copywriter, Rich "fell into" the trade show industry in 1985 with Cahners Exhibition (now Reed Expo) as a freelance writer. His ability to ferret out information on what made customers tick eventually led to Rich running Reed's North American market research division, managing marketing for 14 of the company's Tradeshow Week 200 events and directing business development in Reed's Mexico City offices. Rich left Reed in 1995 and promptly launched four shows with Rob Ingraham's Exposition Excellence Company (later sold to Canon and McGraw-Hill) before joining Meckermedia to market the Internet World properties, which would become the fastest growing events in trade show history a year later. In 1997, Rich left Mecklermedia to join Expocon/Advanstar as show manager for their nascent internet division, but rejoined Mecklermedia shortly before it was bought out by Penton to manage international marketing and start up new events in aligned technologies. In 1999, Rich left tradeshow management to become VP marketing for Passkey, an internet startup that soon became the acknowledged leader in group reservations technology. Unfortunately, 9/11 took its toll on the company, and Rich moved to his wife's hometown of Pittsburgh to begin consulting for shows. Rich's clients included a range of companies from small publishers (Noria Communications), to independent organizers (National Trade Productions/Coverings), to corporations (Baker McKenzie). In 2003, Rich started the Trade Show Marketing Report ( http://tsmi.blogs.com ), the first blog for the trade show industry. A graduate of UConn, Rich and his wife Melanie live in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania with Aldo, their golden retriever and namesake of the coffeehouse they launched in 2004, www.aldocoffee.com , which has been cited by numerous publications and business sites as one of the most successful small business blogs. In the past five years, Rich has spoken and led discussions at PCMA, IAEM (four times), MPI, The Blogging Enterprise and the Specialty Coffee Association of America. View all posts by Rich Westerfield
Michael Adams

Michael Adams

Michael Adams is editor in chief of Hospitality Design, the premier trade magazine in its industry, reaching some 30,000 architects, designers, operators, and purchasers. Prior to joining HD, he was executive editor of Restaurant Business magazine and senior editor of Successful Meetings magazine. He has also contributed as a writer to Conde Nast Traveler, Incentive, and The Hollywood Reporter. Adams has participated on panels at the annual Hospitality Design trade show in Las Vegas; at Decosit, in Brussels, Belgium; at Heimtextil in Miami; and the Hospitality Investment Conference in New York City; the Lodging Conference In Scottsdale; The American Society of Interior Designers in San Diego; and at the International Hotel/Motel/Restaurant show in New York City. View all posts by Michael Adams
Bob Cherny

Bob Cherny

Bob Cherny entered the convention industry through the back door, literally the loading door. After a brief stay with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus World, Bob moved across town to help open the Tupperware Convention Center. Starting as technical director, and working his way up to general manager, Bob spent twenty years operating the Tupperware Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida. At the time it opened, the Center was the only full-time convention facility in Central Florida. After leaving Tupperware, Bob worked at Disney Event Productions in Orlando. Most of that time was as a production manager at the Coronado Springs Resort. Bob helped open Kissimmee's Osceola Heritage Park and the Silver Spurs Arena. He is now at Paradise Show and Design in Orlando where he is Sales Manager. Bob has been an active participant in a variety of on-line forums and his posts can frequently be seen on other online media supported by VNU publications. Bob has written a two volume action adventure novel set in the convention industry and a three volume science fiction series that are currently in search of a publisher. View all posts by Bob Cherny
Dawn Penfold

Dawn Penfold

Dawn Penfold has been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. As President of The Meeting Candidate Network, Inc., The Meeting Temp Job Network, as well as the popular jobboard MEETINGJOBS.COM, she plays an integral role in the operations and recruitment activities of the only search firm committed to the placement of full time and temporary meeting professionals nationally. In 1983 she was appointed Director of Tourism for the Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Celebration by Mayor Ed Koch. She has also been a meeting planner at The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Deloitte & Touche, and ITT World Headquarters. For over fifteen years, Dawn has been an Assistant Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching various courses on meetings management and career development. Dawn has served as President on the Board of Directors for the Greater New York Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is a past Board Member for the New York Chapter of Professional Convention Management Association. She has published articles on the meetings industry for "Meeting News", "Meetings and Conventions Magazine", "Successful Meetings" and “Meetings Manager” offering sound and brutally honest advice in career management and job opportunities in the meetings industry. She also hosts a weekly talk show, JOBTALK, every Tuesday morning at 10:00am on meetingsradio.com. She has been recognized in the past by Meeting News as one of the 20 most influential people in the Meetings Industry. Dawn holds a Masters Degree in Tourism and Travel Administration from the New School for Social Research and earned her Certified Meeting Professional designation in 1993. View all posts by Dawn Penfold
Lisa Sommer Devlin

Lisa Sommer Devlin

Lisa Sommer Devlin has practiced law since 1984, and has concentrated in the area of hospitality law since the early 1990’s. Her clients include Hilton Hotels Corporation, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and other major hotels. She drafts standardized contracts, provides legal training for sales staff and handles convention and meeting related litigation nationwide. The Arizona Hotel and Motel Association named her its 1998 Allied Member of the Year for her assistance to the hospitality industry of the State. In 2002, she was named one of the 25 most influential people in the meeting industry by Meeting News magazine. She currently serves as a member of the Legal Advisory Counsel and on the Contracts panel for the APEX Initiative; a hospitality industry program creating industry wide accepted practices. She is a member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys.She is a sought after speaker on legal issues in the meeting industry and has published numerous articles on hospitality related topics. In addition to being a Platinum Presenter for Meetings Professional International, she has spoken at many MPI conferences, as well as at events held by Professional Convention Management Association, Exhibitor Show, Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International, Society of Government Meeting Planners, Meeting News’ Meeting World, Conference Direct, Conferon and others, as well as serving as adjunct faculty for Arizona State University’s Professional Meeting Manager’s Partnership progam. Lisa attended the University of Iowa where she received her B.S. in 1981 in Anthropology and Journalism with High Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa; and her Juris Doctor in 1984, also with High Distinction, and Order of the Coif. After practicing with large law firms for most of her career, Lisa opened her solo practice, Devlin Law Firm P.C. in Phoenix, Arizona in 2003. In addition to her Hotel and Resort law practice, Ms. Devlin continues to defend catastrophic personal injury and emergency medical services cases in Arizona. View all posts by Lisa Sommer Devlin
John Foster

John Foster

John S. Foster, Esq. CHME is an attorney and counsel whose firm Foster, Jensen & Gulley, LLC specializes in the legal aspects of meetings & conventions, trade shows & events, and association management. He has been an associate or general counsel for over four hundred (400) national and regional associations and companies since 1986 and has been named as one of the 25 most influential people in the meetings industry by MeetingNews. His peers have also voted John a Special Recognition Award as “Corporate Member of the Year” through the Georgia Society of Association Executives. PCMA Members voted John “Author of the Year” in 2003. John has also been selected as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the peer-to-peer assistance program and a Platinum Speaker for Meeting Professionals International. John’s professional experience includes twelve (12) years as a director of sales and marketing for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, and Holiday Inns and he holds the Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive (CHME) designation from HSMAI. John is also a founding member of the Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys (AHIA) and is active in ASAE, MPI, PCMA, and IAEM. He is the legal columnist for Convene, published by PCMA, and the author of three books on the legal aspects of meetings and conventions: Meeting & Facility Contracts, Meetings & Liability and Independent Meeting Planners & the Law. John is also a co-author for PCMA’s Professional Meeting Management book, chapter on “Contracts in the Meetings Industry”. He has also served as a Subject Matter Expert on legal issues for MPI. John handles in-house legal training as well as contract preparation and negotiations for corporations and associations nationwide. He is a well-known expert in the hospitality industry and he speaks frequently at industry events worldwide. View all posts by John Foster
Mark Jordan

Mark Jordan, Founder of Practical Communications Group (PCG)

Mark Jordan is the founder of Practical Communications Group (PCG), a consultancy dedicated to helping clients navigate the rapidly changing world of online registration and meetings management technology. Mark has spent 25 years in the travel and meetings industry, the last 15 specializing in technology product development and marketing. Prior to PCG, Mark spent nearly four years as one of the core group of executives who introduced and built StarCite, Inc. for the meetings and events community. Ask him what's the best thing about running his own business, he'll respond enthusiastically that it's a joy to direct his schedule around family, and not be a slave to the "Internet hype game." In his opinion, good technology does not hold business process hostage, but complements it with minimum disruption. The best job he's ever held? That of husband and father to his wife and two teenage sons.

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Bruce Harris

Bruce W. Harris, CMP, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Conferon, Inc.

Bruce is founder of Conferon, Inc., the first and largest independent meeting-consulting firm in the world. Conferon Global Services, Inc. is comprised of Conferon, Inc., ExpoExchange and ITS. His firm purchases or processes (on behalf of clients) over 4 million guestrooms for meetings per year. CGS provides site selection, meeting planning, registration & housing, lead retrieval, marketing and on-site management services to over 800 association and corporate clients. Bruce convened a number of industry executives to discuss the attrition problem and from that meeting CIC’s Project Attrition was born. He has been actively involved in leadership or committees for ASAE, MPI, PCMA, CIC and other industry associations. He has been awarded the industry’s highest honor, inducted into the Convention Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders. He also was named as one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry 10 times by MeetingNews.

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