People News: Corcoran Expositions, MCI USA, Event Tech Tribe, CVBs and More Make Hires

July 1, 2019
Ben Nazario

May and June have been busy months on the hiring front. From many new promotions and hires at CVBs around the country to expanded sales teams, new association leadership, DMO development and more, the future of the trade show and meetings industry looks bright.

Philip Schlitz has joined Chestnut, New York-based brand experience agency MC2 as the company’s first corporate vice president of strategic business development. Also at MC2, Ben Nazario (pictured at right) joined the leadership team as California division president. Prior to his most recent role as chief sales officer at Sparks, he was vice president of national accounts at MC2.

Judy Kent, an industry veteran with 20 years of hospitality sales experience, joined the team at Explore St. Louis as national sales manager in May. Previously, Kent was director of sales and marketing for Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland.

MCI USA’s association management and consulting division added a new vice president of client partnerships and performance in May. Denise Jackson, an experienced association executive who was most recently with Association Headquarters in Washington, D.C., will lead transition management of incoming organizations and oversee MCI USA’s association clients.

Denise Jackson
Denise Jackson

Bill Dosch is now executive director of catering and convention services at The Collection Hotels and Caesars Forum, part of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. After starting his career with the company 30 years ago, he will now oversee F&B at Harrah’s Las Vegas, LINQ Hotel and Flamingo Hotel, in addition to the Caesars Forum conference center and Forum Plaza (opening next year).

National Marine Manufacturers Association selected Frank Hugelmeyer as its next president. This month, he’ll begin a transition period to succeed Thom Dammrich — who’s led NMMA for 20 years and is retiring — before officially leading the organization beginning Oct. 1. Hugelmeyer was most recently president of the RV Industry Association.

Carson Hotard has joined Event Transportation Systems as enterprise development manager, where he’ll managing site operations for industry events. Most recently, he was a production engineer at Daily Thermetrics in Houston.

Chicago-based business events management firm PRA hired Danielle Cirami-Gillis as vice president of strategic partnerships in May. Previously vice president of events and trade shows with Northstar Travel Group, she will have a key focus on developing new hotel partnerships in markets around North America in her new position. 

Danielle Cirami-Gillis
Danielle Cirami-Gillis

Corcoran Expositions promoted four team members and made four new hires in May. Carly DiVito was promoted to group account director; Gavin McAuliffe is now exhibit manager for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Materials Science & Technology and the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society; Jennifer Kattalia is exhibit manager for the Association of Supply Chain Management and the Association of College & Research Libraries; and Kyle Cocoran is now exhibit manager for Water Quality Association Convention and Exhibition. For new hires, Laura Dann is an exhibit manager working with the ASCD and the National League of Cities; Celeste Fuchs is exhibit manager for the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association and the Illinois Library Association; and Sean Fitzgerald and Scott Brewster have joined as sales associates marketing exhibit space.

Falls, Church, Virginia-based CSI DMI has promoted A.J. Bownas from director of event management to general manager of CSI Washington, D.C. He has 15 years of event management experience.

Carsten Pleiser was appointed CEO of Event Tech Tribe in May, taking over for Marie-Claire Andrews, who is stepping into the company’s newly formed board as president. London-based Pleiser has more than a decade of experience in European event technology and SaaS.

Shannon Knox
Shannon Knox

International Market Centers hired Shannon Knox as executive vice president and chief technology officer. Previously vice president of IT field services and strategic sourcing for Hilton Worldwide, he brings valuable experience in the implementation of enterprise architecture to his new role.

Matt Moos is now director of corporate partnerships for International Exposition Center (I-X Center) in Cleveland. He has 15 years of sales experience, working most recently as senior vice president of corporate development for the Lake Erie Crushers baseball team.

Princeton, New York-based event technology firm TRC appointed Brent Pearson chief technology officer in June. He brings two decades of experience in the industry to this position, which coincided with TRC’s release of TRCBLE, an attendee tracking and data analytics tool. 

Phillip Ferger
Phillip Ferger

Following Messe Frankfurt’s acquisition of a stake in nmedia GmbH, a European leader in electronic data interchange, Philipp Ferger was appointed second managing director of nmedia GmbH. He shares responsibility with Nicolaus Gedat and officially began his new role in June.

Event Marketing Partners added Andy Herman to the team in June as vice president of sponsorships and events. In his new role with the Manasquan, New Jersey-based experiential event marketing agency, he will focus on improving efficiencies for clients’ sponsorships programs and driving revenue.

Troy Anderson
Troy Anderson

Visit Seattle has a new director of sales. Troy Anderson, who has been with the CVB since 2013, was officially promoted June 7. His chief responsibility is providing leadership of the convention sales team, which also sells Washington State Convention Center alongside Seattle hotels.

Visit OKC (the Oklahoma City CVB) added three team members last month. Shanna Wilson is director of convention services, working directly with meeting planners; Katy Smith is convention sales manager, working to promote the city specifically to the SMERF market; and Sydney Calls is the new social media manager.

Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB had three staff updates last month. Agnieszka Zaranski is now regional sales executive, focusing on the New England region; seasoned journalist Kara Franker has been appointed senior vice president of marketing and communications; and Heather Miller has joined as a regional sales executive, covering the Midwest region as well as the nationwide incentive market.

Agnieszka Zaranski
Agnieszka Zaranski

Event technology company Crystal Interactive has five new team members. Lewis Thompson and Lucy Skinner have joined the company’s event technology specialists team; Jess Bramley is project coordinator in the apps team; Alex Pooley is logistics coordinator; and David Morgan is business development manager. All are based in the company’s U.K. office.

Crystal Interactive team
Crystal Interactive team

Ben Greenish joined dmg events in late June as senior vice president, leading the company’s construction division. He has previously been in senior roles at various media companies, such as UBM and EMAP.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta hired Vickie Hubbard as its new managing director last month. She replaces Sandie Aaron, who retired. Hubbard has 30 years of experience in the industry, including her most recent role as executive director of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

Detroit Metro CVB named Susan Richardson director of sales in late June. She joins the team from Javits Center in New York, and brings more than 20 years of sales experience to her new position.

Nimlok NYC, a company that provides trade show exhibit and event marketing services, expanded its account management team by two: Melissa Fuentefria, previously with Freeman, and Pierre Combs, who comes from exhibit houses, both joined in June.

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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: