Apr 15, 2021
As the meetings industry sets its sights on a post-pandemic future, organizations and companies throughout the country are appointing new leaders, creating fresh roles and making promotions in preparation for busier times ahead. Take a look! Visit Sacramento has appointed its 15-year Chief Marketing Officer, Sonya Bradley, as its chief of diversity, equity and inclusion, a new role created to address the organization’s commitment to taking action and creating lasting change in the Sacramento region’s tourism industry and across the country. A 25-year veteran of the travel and tourism… more
Assistant Director of Sales Stacey Purcell Marks 30 Years at Caesars
Apr 12, 2021
Stacey Purcell’s career in hospitality started brewing in Maui, home of the beloved Kona coffee. When not cheerleading, she would accompany her father on his trips to Las Vegas. He’d love to gamble at The Riviera, where he’d go four or five times per year. “Las Vegas was kind of like Maui — there was a little valley and some mountain around it,” Purcell recalled. “The only difference was it was steaming hot.” Flash forward 30 years and Las Vegas is home to Purcell, who now visits Hawaii. Her dad passed prior to the move, but she has found several father figures in what has amounted to a… more
Apr 06, 2021
As manager of engineering services at Detroit’s TCF Center, Al Vasquez is typically responsible for directing and managing the maintenance of the venue’s buildings, grounds, equipment and utilities. He works to keep the facility compliant with local building codes and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations while assisting customers with their facilities requirements. But in the spring of last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was first hitting cities throughout the U.S., his role at the downtown venue took on a whole new level of importance and urgency. On March 30, 2020,… more
Mar 10, 2021
As the corporate events and hospitality industries gear up for better days ahead, hotels and event-related companies across the U.S. are appointing new leaders and expanding their teams. Take a look: Thirty-year hospitality management industry veteran Jacqueline “Jackie” Volkart has been appointed dual general manager at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Miami Beach, including the newly reimagined, 376-room Ritz-Carlton, South Beach and the 95-room Ritz-Carlton, Bal Harbour.  Most recently, Volkart served as general manager at The St. Regis San Francisco, where, under her leadership, the hotel… more
Tech Giants: Intrado President Ben Chodor on the Next Virtual Reality
Feb 15, 2021
It’s noon on a Wednesday (somewhere) when Intrado Digital Media President Ben Chodor jumps on a Zoom call. There is no ballgame to catch, rush hour to beat or train to hop on. Gone are the days of the easy excuses to take a break from work. Chodor is, for better or worse, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On the bright side, Intrado employs 1,500 workers in 17 countries. The flexibility to meet with a team across multiple time zones has distinct advantages. It allows for more brainstorming sessions, which, in turn, facilitates innovation. Given Intrado’s crucial role in advancing… more
Bill Hansen Finds the Secret Sauce for Miami Corporate Events
Feb 04, 2021
The late President George H.W. Bush famously detested broccoli. But you know what he liked? “Oak grilled duck breast with lychee sauce,” said Bill Hansen, caterer to the stars in South Beach, Florida. “It was on a buffet and he asked if could have some more. Of course, we brought more over. He loved it.” That’s just a taste of the stories Hansen can cook up when detailing his experiences managing his catering company for 40 years. He’s managed the kitchen for golfing greats at the Masters (16 ordered milkshakes, part of Tiger Woods’ requested menu), hosted four U.S. presidents (Reagan, both… more
Sep 14, 2020
Valerie Bihet’s more than 20 years of experience in the management, design and production of special events began with stints at Disneyland Paris in her native France and for Club Med, a job that brought her to the United States. Bihet founded her own event agency, Vibe, in Miami in 2004. Since then Vibe has produced more than 1,100 events throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, East Asia and South America.  Usually producing 80-90 live events a year, Bihet and her team at Vibe have spent much of this year helping clients transition to virtual experiences. Here, Bihet discusses that… more
Sep 04, 2020
If you missed Weeks 1, 2 or 3, start here to learn why event marketers need a personal brand in the first place. Then, read this to discover how to build your brand foundation and go here to learn what should be on your website. Last week, Natasa Djukanovic briefly mentioned the value of being consistent and service-focused in your content strategy. Today, we’ll dive in deeper on the topic of creating content for your personal brand with Hannah Nieves, principal and founder of her eponymous New York-based consulting firm for marketing, branding and PR. A key point to keep in mind: When you… more
Sep 02, 2020
After nine years in the meetings industry — where she went from managing large-scale, consumer-focused festivals to consulting on corporate events to guiding a software company as it transitioned its in-person roadshows to virtual when the pandemic hit —  Cara Galloway has launched her own company to assist businesses with virtual event planning and execution. Based in Toronto, Events by Cara aims to help entrepreneurs deliver high-impact events, workshops and summits that build community and scale their business. Galloway talked with CEN to share more about the launch of her new business… more
Natasa Djukanovic
Aug 28, 2020
If you missed Weeks 1 or 2, start here to learn why event marketers need a personal brand in the first place, then read this to discover how to build your brand foundation. You’ve set the stage for crafting your personal brand on the Internet, and now it’s time to execute. It’s important to remember that creating a personal brand takes time and effort, so consider it a long-term solution that will help you to yield the results you’re after — rather than a quick fix for a lay-off or furlough situation. To create a successful personal brand online, you should be two things: consistent and… more