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.

Leadership in Services Award – NEW for 2020
Executive Excellence Award
Meeting Professional of the Year
ESPA Member Awards

New in 2020 – Leadership in Services Award
This award recognizes Event Service Professionals from CVBs, Convention Centers, Hotels and Conference Centers who have demonstrated leadership in 2020 and have been proactive and positive in the face of adversity. With the many obstacles that COVID has presented this year, these individuals took the lead to keep the well-being of our industry or of their own community top of mind.

To be nominated for this award, a person would have demonstrated leadership in helping to shape their own organization in the response to COVID, initiated community services that impacted local charities, or demonstrated leadership in our industry either through ESPA or other professional organization initiatives.   These individuals have a positive, can-do attitude that impacted others, or our industry, in a meaningful way.

Congratulations to our 2021 recipients!

Kristen Turner, CMP, DES                                         Una Garvey
Director, Convention Services                                 Convention & Tourism Director
VisitPittsburgh                                                          Tampa Convention Center

Executive Excellence Award

Has your VP/GM or other Executive demonstrated superior services support and leadership in this challenging year?

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 later this year!

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.


2021 Recipient

Katherine O’Donnell
Executive Vice President
Richmond Region Tourism

Meeting Professional of the Year

Event Service Professionals, has your planner client shown leadership and partnership with an event in 2020?

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?

Criteria and Guidelines

  • You must have worked with meeting planner in an event services capacity , i.e. as a CSM, 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


2020 Recipient: Anthony R. Romero, City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs
2020 Recipient: Anthony R. Romero, City of Albuquerque Department of Senior Affairs

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

2020 Recipient: Suzanne Seder CMP, Tampa Convention Center

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.

2020 Recipient: Tiffany Eck, CMP, Visit Denver

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