People News: Suppliers, Show Management Companies Grow Their Rosters

April 8, 2016

The first quarter of 2016 saw a busy hiring period, with companies ranging from audio-visual to for-profit show management to convention and visitors bureaus.

Surf Expo, the largest and longest-running boardsports and beach/resort lifestyle trade show in the world, has named Rod Tomlinson as sales manager for the Surf Category of the show. He is replacing Ryan Nettleton.

Tomlinson was most recently a sales executive for Interbike, the largest bicycle trade event in North America, also owned and operated by Emerald Expositions.

“Surf Expo is excited to bring Rod Tomlinson to our sales team," said Roy Turner, Surf Expo vice president and show director.

He added, "Rod’s background in sales combined with his knowledge and passion for surf makes him the perfect fit. Rod will be working out of our San Juan Capistrano office, close to many of our Surf category clients.”

Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association, has hired Morgan Natzke to join its destination sales team as a sales account executive.

Natzke brings more than 8 years of experience in the hospitality industry to the job, serving most recently as the executive meetings manager at the Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis.

In her new role at Meet Minneapolis, Natzke will promote and sell Minneapolis as a premier destination for conventions and meetings, primarily handling association and corporate accounts headquartered east of the Mississippi River with 10-200 peak room nights.

Colette Fairchild, CEM, CMP, has joined FirstSource Events, and its parent company, International Conference Development LLC.

As event director, she will play an integral role in the development of a series of new and existing hosted buyer events, networking conferences and tradeshows.

Fairchild brings more than 25 years of experience in several different industries, including pet, dental, beauty, agricultural and pharmaceutical.

SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals has brought on three new employees.

Laura A. Longo joined SmartSource as account executive in the New York region.  She will be responsible for developing new business opportunities in the Business Solutions Channel, including the Entertainment, Legal and Staffing general business rentals verticals.

Mark A. Decker also was added to the SmartSource team as an account executive, serving in the District of Columbia metropolitan area. He will be responsible for driving new business opportunities across the trade shows, professional conference, and meeting and events markets.

Thomas Sentell also will join the SmartSource team as an account executive, serving as an in the Los Angeles region. He will be responsible for working with clients across the trade show and event organizer markets.

John S. Henderson has joined the Fixation Marketing team in the newly created role of vice president Industry Relations & Strategy.

Henderson brings to Fixation - and Fixation’s clients - an extensive background in trade association management with a particular expertise in developing and enhancing member outreach and education.

Most recently, Henderson spent 7 years at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as vice president, Education, Training and Professional Development.

Jan Tonkin, managing director of Auckland-based The Conference Company, will take up the presidency of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers.

Tonkin was elected at the association's annual General Assembly in Cape Town in February, and takes over from outgoing President Michel Neijmann for a two-year term.

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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact