people-in-the-news

Taste Trends: Serving Up the Latest in Event F&B with Jen Bargisen, Senior Executive Chef, Sodexo Live!

Now that meetings and conventions are trickling back to an in-person format again, the question of what event food and beverage is going to look like for the foreseeable future is likely occupying the mind of many a pandemic-weary event planner these days. To find out how the last 20 months have influenced the kinds of menus events are opting to serve or forgo, we turned to the experts—in this case, 20-year culinary veteran Jen Bargisen, senior executive chef with Sodexo Live!—to find out which F&B trends are hot and which are not in this ever-evolving health and safety landscape.

Women at the Helm: Joyce Leveston, SVP of Convention Centers, Spectra

Joyce Leveston truly understands the transformative power of the convention industry. As a recent college graduate working as a telephone operator at the newly built San Diego Convention Center in 1989, she witnessed how the nascent venue was poised to transform what was then a sleepy military beach city into a highly desirable tourism and convention business destination. From then on she knew she was hooked.

Straight Talk: Phelps Hope, Senior Vice President, Meetings & Expositions, Kellen

After realizing that he wasn’t ready to pursue a career in engineering, Phelps Hope dropped out of college and took a job as a bellman at a local hotel. The decision turned out to be a life-changing one, prompting him to leave his home country of Australia to study at the University of Denver’s Hotel & Restaurant Management School while starting his career at Marriott at the same time.

Women At the Helm: Ellen Schwartz, General Manager, Los Angeles Convention Center

Ellen Schwartz isn’t exactly afraid to speak her mind. In fact, being outspoken is more like her superpower. A dynamic yet down-to-Earth industry professional who has worked for more than 40 years in the trade show and events industry, she exudes the kind of confidence that comes from years of experience and the wisdom gained from working her way up the ranks in show management, convention center sales and marketing roles and finally, venue management.  

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: