Convention Data Services, Los Angeles Convention Center and Levy Restaurants Spread Some Holiday Cheer

December 21, 2017

This article is the third in a series we have been running throughout the holiday season to shine a bright, well-deserved spotlight on companies that are #GivingBack.

December has been a busy month for several trade show industry vendors wanting to make the holidays a little brighter for people in their communities and beyond.

Earlier this month, Convention Data Services kicked off its annual Season of Giving Program designed to assist the local community, industry and employees who could use a little extra holiday cheer.

As part of CDS’s Corporate Giving Program, the initiative will benefit the Bourne Council on Aging Bridging the Years Program, the PCMA Industry Relief Fund and the CDS Help a Colleague Program.

Designed to promote and enhance the social, physical and cognitive skills of seniors in a stimulating setting, the Town of Bourne, Massachusetts’ Council on Aging Bridging the Years Program supports local seniors and their families while providing an opportunity for caregivers to have a well-deserved respite with the assurance that their loved ones are in a safe environment.

CDS collected donated items for gift bags and delivered the gifts to 22 delighted seniors at the Bourne Community Center on Dec. 18.

To help the PCMA Industry Relief Fund, which unites the business events industry in providing assistance to fellow members impacted by the recent disasters, CDS donated $1,000 and is matching employee donations up to $1,000 through its Corporate Giving Program.

According to CDS officials, 100 percent of the donations will be distributed to aid areas impacted by the recent disasters.

Designed to benefit the children of CDS employees, the company’s Help a Colleague Program encourages those employees in need of extra assistance to privately submit their gift requests, which include children’s toys, clothing, books, educational supplies or art materials.

Employees wishing to help their colleagues can to do so by selecting a wooden ornament from a gift bag under the company tree and then purchasing an item to give as a gift, after which the Corporate Giving Committee collects and distributes gift donations confidentially.

“Making a difference in the communities in which we live and do business is part of our core values and corporate culture,” explained John Kimball, CDS president and CEO.

He continued, “Programs such as this year’s Season of Giving was established to create the opportunity for every CDS employee to participate, whether they work locally, in satellite offices or on the road. We believe it is especially important to help those in need during the holidays and we’re pleased that so many of our employees enthusiastically support our holiday giving programs.”

On Dec. 11, the Los Angeles Convention Center and in-house catering provider Levy Restaurants got into the spirit of holiday giving by teaming up for their second Annual Service Day at the Downtown Women’s Center in downtown Los Angeles.

About 30 LACC and Levy Restaurants employees participated in donating food and cooking a home-style meal for 200 women in DWC’s community consisting of a baked chicken pesto dish with oven-roasted tomatoes, zucchini and chives accompanied by a side of fruit and an arugula salad.

Founded in 1978, DWC is the only resource in Los Angeles exclusively dedicated to addressing the immediate and long-term needs of women overcoming homelessness each year in the Skid Row neighborhood of downtown L.A.

“The LACC and Levy Restaurants are extremely humbled and honored to work with such an impactful non-profit as Downtown Women’s Center where the community’s passion and dedication to end homelessness for women is felt from the moment you enter the Center,” said Brad Gessner, LACC general manager and senior vice president of AEG Facilities.

He continued, “Being able to cook and serve a home-cooked meal is a connective experience for both the volunteers and the women at the facility. We hope to continue the ‘cooking club,’ as the DWC calls it, and have it be a key component of our service day.”

In addition, the LACC team also handled DWC’s donation sorting, an important task during the holidays due to the volume of donations received, which included organizing and distributing the items to where DWC needed them most.

“Annually, over 5,000 volunteers dedicate their time, passion and skills to our mission of ending homelessness for women,” said Melissa Tillman, chief development and communications officer of DWC.

She added, “We are so grateful for partners like The Los Angeles Convention Center and Levy Restaurants for their vital support.”


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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: