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People on the Move
ACOM would like to chronicle those who are moving up in the industry, or those who are making a career change. Below is a running list of people on the move, which is taken from issues of At-A-Glance, ACOM's monthly newsletter (issues from 2007 and beyond).

November 2010

Eric Blanc becomes new Director of Sales & Marketing at Tampa Convention Center
On Monday, November 1, 2010, Santiago Corrada, Convention Center, Tourism, Recreation and Cultural Arts Administrator announced Eric Blanc as the selected candidate to operate the Tampa Convention Center Sales & Marketing Department.

Eric is a tenured professional with over eighteen years in the hospitality industry who was chosen for his knowledge and experience to sell and produce events throughout the United States. Eric most recently is a former National Sales Manager with Freeman Companies, Orlando, Florida and was previously employed with the Tampa Convention Center as a Senior Convention Services Manager.
Eric is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business & Marketing. He is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and graduated from the International Association of Assembly Manager’s Public Assembly Facility Management School.

Eric is currently a member and President-Elect of the Association for Convention Operations Management where he will assume the role of President in January, 2011. Eric is also a member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and the Professional Convention Management Association.

Tim Cox (a Past President of ACOM) has been selected as the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) Director
Cox joins the city with an extensive background in tourism including nearly 20 years of convention services management, sales and marketing experience in the meetings/convention/travel and tourism industry. During his career, he served in various roles for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, as well as managed the creative services of a local television studio.

While at the Las Vegas CVA, Cox worked closely with convention clients, contractors and meeting planners as well as hotel sales and convention managers in ensuring successful events, meetings, and conventions. In supervisory roles, he was responsible for the design and installation of communications and audio/visual systems, as well as the support of the Convention, Meetings, and Tourism Sales Teams. Before working at the Las Vegas agency, he served as Director of Creative Services at KOAM-TV in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Cox is a Past President and former Board Member of the Association for Convention Operations Management, and a former member of ASAE, IAAM and PCMA.

April 2010

Lois McLaughlin Named Director of Event Services At New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
ACOM Member, Lois McLaughlin has been named Director of Event Services at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center – the sixth largest convention center in the nation. In her role as director, she will supervise the planning and execution of all events held at the Convention Center. McLaughlin will head a team of nine event services managers who boast a whopping 136 years experience at the convention center, with five members serving 22 or more years.

A 23-year veteran of the hospitality industry, McLaughlin comes to New Orleans from the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, where she served as Director of Event Services. One of her most notable accomplishments was bringing the departments up to modern standards, which was instrumental in increasing efficiency and response time to the client base.

Leslie Lotten Named Assistant Director of Event Services
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has named ACOM Member, Leslie Lotten as Assistant Director of Event Services. Lotten has served as Event Manager at the Convention Center for 23 years.

In her new role as Assistant Director, Lotten will work closely with the recently appointed Director of Event Services, Lois McLaughlin. Lotten and McLaughlin will oversee the event planning process and guide clients through event set-up to ensure maximum satisfaction.
A native of New Orleans, Lotten was nominated for PCMA’s Distinguished Convention Service Manager of the Year award in 2008, a testament to the high level of service she provides to her clients.

July 2009

Congratulations, José Garcia

José Garcia has been promoted to Director of Event Services at the SMG-managed Albuquerque Convention Center (ACC). José has been a member of the SMG team since they assumed management of the ACC in February 2004. He has been involved with ACOM as a conference attendee and committee member since 2007.

The announcement was made by Carisa Malanum, CMP, Director of Sales and Marketing, who said, "In the past five years, José has proven himself a dedicated professional. His commitment to service above and beyond the call of duty makes him a favorite with our clients and has been instrumental to our success with convention groups. I have no doubt that José and his staff will take the level of service to new heights in the years to come."

May 2009

Congratulations to ACOM Members and Everyone who Received the CMP Designation!
The Convention Industry Council (CIC) announced that 356 individuals passed the Certified Meeting Professionals (CMP) examination after its January exam! This distinguished credential, recognized throughout the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry demonstrates an individual's comprehensive knowledge of meeting management and the next step in their commitment to the meeting profession.

View the full list of individuals who have received their CMP Designation.

April 2009

Vanessa Kane, CMP, has Received the CMM Designation
The mission of the Certification in Meeting Managerment (CMM) program is to select, educate, and certify management-level meeting and event professionals. Meeting Professionals Internationals (MPI) enhanced the strategic decision-making ability of these leaders to manage and deliver exceptional meetings and events that drive organizational success.

MPI’s CMM is an intensive learning opportunity designed for experienced and highly accomplished members of our global meeting industry community seeking career advancement and professional recognition. The 5 day program enhances the strategic decision-making ability of these leaders, enabling delivery of exceptional meetings and events that drive organizational success. The CMM designation is considered by many to be the most prestigious in the meetings and events industry. Continuously updated and revitalized with curriculum enhancements, upgrades have been made to the curriculum for the 2008 program.

Vanessa Kane, CMP, CMM joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States in July of 1998 as Manager of Meetings & Events. She received her CMP in 1996 and has since successfully been recertified twice.

In 2000, Vanessa was named Meeting Planner of the Year by KCMPI. In 2001, Vanessa was named Meeting Professional of the year by ACOM (Association of Convention Operations Management) and currently is serving her 3rd term as Ex-Officio Meeting Planner Board member for ACOM. Vanessa is also a member of the Heartland Chapter of PCMA.

Congratulations, Vanessa!

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