People News: CORT, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, ASM Global and More Make Promotions, Bolster Teams

April 25, 2022

Event industry suppliers, CVBs and hospitality groups throughout the U.S. and across the pond are fine-tuning their teams and elevating staff via robust hiring and promoting moves. Take a look!


Leading furniture rental and transition services provider CORT recently announced the retirement of Executive Vice President Mark Koepsell after more than 34 years of dedicated service to the company. 

After beginning his successful career with CORT in January of 1988 as national accounts manager, Koepsell soon became the director of national accounts, vice president of national sales and in 2002, was promoted to senior vice president of sales. An active member of CORT’s executive committee, his responsibilities included executive management of the national accounts, destination services and apartment search, CORT Global Network, higher education, government sales departments, along with myriad additional strategic and start-up endeavors. 

Following Koepsell’s retirement, Jeff Rowe was promoted to executive vice president of residential sales, responsible for all residential sales efforts at the company. Along with absorbing Koepsell’s responsibilities, in his new role, Rowe will be responsible for leading CORT’s nationwide residential sales team across customer verticals such as multi-family housing, insurance housing and student housing.

Rowe joined the company in 1987 as a CORT Workplace sales representative, and during his tenure has been instrumental in forming and leading many of the company’s customer segments.

Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has promoted Joe Heller to senior vice president, marketing and communications. In his expanded role, Heller will lead the greater marketing and communications team that now includes four core areas of focus: marketing, communications, content and partnerships.  

Heller boasts more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience. Prior to joining the PHLCVB in 2019, he served as vice president of brand strategy and creative content for the Philadelphia Flyers. During his nine seasons with the team, he also led the Flyers mascot project that resulted in the creation of “Gritty,” sparking national and international media interest and elevating the Flyers’ brand recognition.

ASM Global 

Leading venue event strategy and management company ASM Global has appointed 16-year industry veteran Charles Beirne general manager of the Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, which is undergoing an extensive expansion project set to be completed in 2025. Bringing a wealth of experience to the Florida venue, Beirne has worked at the company since 2006, most recently as general manager of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in Long Beach, Calif., where he also oversaw a $60 million capital improvement and expansion project.

Prior to Long Beach, Beirne served as general manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center, a position he held from 2004-2012. He also led the opening of the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

ASM Global also recently expanded its content team with the key hire of concert promotion veteran Duc Nguyen as vice president, global content programming. Nguyen is tasked with content generation for its arenas, stadiums, theaters and convention centers, under the leadership of industry veteran Global Chief Content Officer John Boyle. He will be based in Las Vegas.

Nguyen previously served as vice president of bookings at Allegiant Stadium, and prior to that, was a talent buyer at Live Nation, where he was responsible for booking shows in venues throughout Pennsylvania and Atlantic City. 

Barton G. 

Sixteen-year event industry sales expert Melissa Moten has been appointed senior vice president of sales for award-winning hospitality group Barton G. An industry leader who comes with a strong background in events both nationally and internationally, Moten’s responsibilities will include leading the event and restaurant sales teams, new business development and driving event marketing functions. An award-winning sales professional, she previously worked for PRA Business events as a top strategic contributor. 

Choose Chicago 

Choose Chicago has welcomed Shavonne Harding to its convention sales department’s East Coast team as a national sales manager. Based out of Washington, D.C., she is responsible for overseeing sales, marketing and event management.

Harding joins the CVB from Visit Baltimore, where she was regional director of sales for the last four years. Prior to that, she served as a sales marketing manager with The Freeman Company, corporate events manager with Amazon Web Services and sales manager at Mid-Atlantic/East with Destination DC, where she started her destination marketing career in 2014 and was promoted to conference sales manager within a year.

RCP London Events 

RCP London Events has appointed James Fisher as its new general manager, responsible for managing the venue’s event services operations as well as ensuring financial success, recruitment and retention of workforce and working with clients. His key focus this year will be to review, rebuild and refocus the historic venue’s post-pandemic procedures.

A former head of hospitality at independent hospitality service provider BaxterStorey and Goldman Sachs, Fisher started his hospitality career as a pastry chef at some of London’s most luxurious hotels and restaurants, working his way up to head of pastry with the Admirable Crichton before transferring his skills and knowledge to front-of-house operations. Following this transition, he was involved with creating the in-house catering operation at Tobacco Dock, curating multi-faceted events and experiences for some of the world’s leading brands. 


Leading LED display provider INFiLED has hired Jon Chavez as regional sales manager, responsible for covering the central region of the U.S. for both fixed installation and the rental and staging markets. 

Based in Nashville, Chavez started his career at TMB as a product specialist working with entertainment production, media servers and lighting. He then went on to project management and technical sales for VER and PixelFLEX LED, specializing the LED installation projects and emerging technologies. His most recent position was at Amazing Industries, working with event designers in Dallas, Nashville and Los Angeles. 

Sodexo Live! 

Venue hospitality and management partner Sodexo Live! has appointed Nicole Hobby as its new vice president of marketing for North America. Bringing more than three decades of experience to her new role, Hobby recently spent more than 18 years with Ticketmaster across a variety of roles, previously serving for more than a decade in a senior leadership role for Feld Entertainment. 

In her new role, Hobby will focus on the deployment of Sodexo Live!’s brand positioning, value proposition and brand as well as its digital-first strategy and offer development, and will participate in the creation of new services. She will also be heavily involved in helping drive new business, retaining and cross-selling to existing clients.

Based out of Denver, Hobby will work closely with CEO Steve Pangburn and all members of the executive leadership team in North America as well as liaise closely with global colleagues. 

Visit Seattle 

Visit Seattle has welcomed Peter Andersen as senior director, convention strategy. Acting in a revenue manager role for all business generated by both the Visit Seattle sales team and the Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) team, he will be responsible for maximizing the attendance and room night production of group business utilizing the WSCC to produce maximum citywide compression and direct optimizing revenue and space at the venue.   

Bringing more than 12 years of experience and a wealth of knowledge in revenue management fundamentals, Andersen most recently served as the area director of revenue with Kimpton Hotels in Seattle and Portland. Prior to that, he was regional director of sales and marketing with InterMountain Management, responsible for eight franchised properties in Washington and Oregon, and prior to that, served as director of revenue management at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle for more than six years. 

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. Corporate Event News had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to more