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ESPA Achievers

ESPA Recognizes Industry Achievers

ESPA’s annual awards programs recognize the superstars of our industry. Many of these great achievements come from nominations by our own members or by planners. Read below to learn how you can recognize a superstar in your life, and to see who these great Achievers were last year.

CSM of the Year
Executive Excellence Award
Meeting Professional of the Year
ESPA Member Awards

CSM of the Year

Planners recognize the importance of CSMs — the Convention Services Manager at your hotel, convention center or CVB — who do so much to make your meeting a success.  They solve problems, surface new ideas, source the right resources, and work their magic to make sure everything with your event runs smoothly—which helps you shine!

Planners work so closely with their CSM that they often become an extension of the event team.  Yet the CSM can go unnoticed since they are the ones behind the scenes orchestrating all the details.

Now is your opportunity to nominate a deserving CSM — someone who partnered with you, embraced the success of your meeting and went above and beyond to make your planning experience a success.

Northstar Meetings Group and the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) are collecting nominations for this year’s coveted CSM of the Year awards.

If you worked with a CSM rock star over the past year who you feel deserves this great honor, tell us about it.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 30, 2019.


January 2019 Recipients

CVB – Roz Stuttley, CMP, TDirector, Client Services, Choose Chicago
Convention Center – Michelle Marx, Event Coordinator, Monona Terrace Convention Center
Hotel – Bill Fassbender, Associate Director, Meetings and Special Events, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island


Executive Excellence Award

Is your manager committed to excellence in Convention Services?

Each year at the Annual Conference, ESPA recognizes an executive for his or her commitment and dedication to the profession of event service and to giving key support and leadership to members of their services team. As a member of ESPA, if you feel your organization has an executive who is a mentor, an ESPA supporter and convention services advocate, if he/she encourages your team’s professional development, submit your nomination!

Please fill out our online Nomination Form – winners will be selected in the Fall of 2019 and will be invited to attend and receive the award in person.

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Criteria and Guidelines

  • Nominee supports staff participation in ESPA
  • Nominee must be an executive of an organization which has an ESPA member. Executive is defined as a VP or higher at a CVB; a member of the executive committee or GM at a hotel; or a VP, GM or Executive Director at a Convention Center.
  • Nominee personally and consistently supports quality assurance in the organization’s convention services operations.
  • Nominee supports staff development, growth and continuing education.

2019 recipient: Cori Day, Visit KC

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Meeting Professional of the Year

This award was designed to recognize the hard-working meeting professional who exhibits personal and professional characteristics that create an environment that focuses on team work, as well as shows support for the event services profession.

This is your chance to recognize a planner that represents the best of the best! Event Service Professionals know better than anyone when a planner is prepared, shows professionalism and is a great leader when producing an event or meeting. Why not recognize them for their dedication and hard work?

To submit a planner for consideration, please fill out our online Nomination Form – winners will be selected in the fall of 2019 and will be invited to attend and receive the award in person.

Deadline: September 30, 2019

Criteria and Guidelines

  • You must have worked with meeting planner during the past year<
  • Shows superior leadership and management qualities before, during and after the meeting
  • Recognizes the importance and supports the role of the CSM in the meeting planning process

017 Recipient: Linda Finnerty, Council on Social Work Education
2017 Recipient: Linda Finnerty, Council on Social Work Education


ESPA Member Awards

Member of the Year – This award recipient is an ESPA Member who has been outstanding in his or her constant enthusiasm and support of both ESPA and the Convention Services Industry. This person is selected annually by the ESPA Board of Directors. If you feel the Board should consider a certain member, please contact ESPA Headquarters


2018 Recipients: Matthew Robinette, CMP, CSEE, Richmond Region Tourism & Denise Reid, Hyatt French Quarter

President’s Award – Each year the President of ESPA has an opportunity to recognize a member that he or she feels has shown continued support and enthusiasm for the association. There are no specific criteria for this award—it is the President’s decision to honor a member that is deserving of special recognition for their volunteer support and efforts towards the betterment of the association.

2018 Recipient: Denise Suttle, CMP, Albuquerque CVB

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