Successful Meetings CSM of the Year Recipients

Each year Successful Meetings magazine receives nominations from meeting planners for stellar service managers. Planners nominate CSMs that went above and beyond and became their event partners.  ESPA partners with Successful Meetings to select the recipients of this prestigious award. This year’s winners were…. Drumroll…..

  • CSM of the Year, CVB – Roz Stuttley, CMP, Choose Chicago
  • CSM of the Year, Convention Center – Michelle Marx, Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
  • CSM of the Year, Hotel – Bill Fassbender, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

ESPA Achievers!

What an exciting time it was in Charlotte! Not only did we learn and network, it was also a time to honor several deserving individuals for awards and scholarships. We are thrilled to announce and congratulate the following recipients:

  • Cori Day, Visit KC – Executive Excellence Award
  • Matt Robinette, CMP, Richmond Region Tourism – Member of the Year
  • Denise Reid, Hyatt Centric New Orleans – Member of the Year
  • Denise Suttle, CMP, Albuquerque CVB – President’s Award
  • DeShawn Fitzpatrick, CMP, Visit Houston – William H. Just CAE, CMP Memorial Award
  • Sarah Tarlowski, University of Central Florida, Student – Donald S. Freeman Jr. Conference Scholarship

Kudos to our National Celebrate Services Week Winning Events

Thirty-two member organizations across North America celebrated services this year.  ESPA evaluated the events and recognized three with our top event honors!

  • Visit San Antonio is our Gold recipient
  • Visit Houston wins Silver
  • Discover the Palm Beaches takes home the Bronze

It was a week full of activities for Visit San Antonio who hosted a kick-off breakfast for over 130 individuals featuring a motivational keynote speaker, door prizes and the presentation of their annual Services Manager of the Year award.

In addition, they supported Dress for Success – complete with donations and hand-written inspirational notes for their staff – as well as rounded out the week by presenting tokens of appreciation to their CSMs as part of a team building activity. Visit Houston hosted nearly 60 local CSMs at a bowling event while collecting school supplies for a school affected by Hurricane Harvey. And Discover the Palm Beaches invited a host of local CSMs to volunteer at a local children’s hospital and provided dinner for the families there.

A Promotion in Amarillo

Stephanie Andrews has been promoted to Director of Convention Services at the Amarillo Convention & Visitor Council. Andrews commented that she is “excited to dive deeper into the servicing department and ensure that the groups that choose to meet in Amarillo are pleasantly surprised with the quality of services that Amarillo is able to offer them.”

Long-time ESPA member Judy Draucker has announced her retirement

After 27 years with the organization, she will transition from a full-time Convention Services employee to a part time Visitor Center Travel Counselor on July 31st.  Judy was first hired in 1987 as a Secretary for the Tourism Department.  She worked for the Director of Tourism until leaving the organization in 1988.  “It didn’t take long for her to miss us, and we missed her, so she returned part-time to help out in 1989 and then became full-time again in 1991. Since that time, she has been a Convention Services Manager overseeing numerous conventions in our region. Please join me in congratulating Judy on her next chapter in life,” said Matt Robinette, Director of Convention and Sports Services, Richmond Region Tourism.

Brenda Square of Visit San Antonio Retires

Visit San Antonio Director of Destination Services Brenda Square, CMP, CTA, – and longtime ESPA member – has announced her retirement following 17 years of distinguished service with the organization and 35 years in the industry. Square’s final day with Visit San Antonio was Aug. 31.

“Brenda has always been committed to providing San Antonio’s clients with service that is above and beyond,” said Visit San Antonio President & CEO Casandra Matej. “Her spirit of service and gift of compassionate leadership will be greatly missed. Brenda has made an impact on San Antonio and our industry.”

2018 Connect Sports Tourism Excellence Awards

Michael Cavanaugh and Cathy Kretz of Travel Portland were awarded the Connect Sports:  Sports Supplier of the Year Award which was voted upon by their peers.  The award was presented at the recent Connect Marketplace event in Salt Lake City.  Nominations referenced their support of the NAGAAA World Series, the LGBTQ Sports Summit, USA Fencing, and other events.  Congratulations!

Cheers to ESPA member

Cheers to ESPA member – Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority – for sponsoring what is going to be a full throttle reception Saturday night during the Annual Conference, January 11-13, 2019. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, opened May 11, 2010, and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits and more. Start your engines folks….