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

Successful Meetings’ and ESPA Convention Services Manager of the Year award winners have demonstrated to the most demanding critics in the business – meeting planners – their ability to provide the highest level of service. In the words of Successful Meetings Editor-in-Chief Vincent Alonzo, “There’s an army of stakeholders that has to employ vision, effort, and creativity to ensure an event is executed as planned. Some of the most important, and often unsung, heroes in that army are the convention services managers. So here is an opportunity to shine a light on them.”

Planners – here is your opportunity to reward those individuals who have done an outstanding job of partnering with you to service your meetings. Nominees are evaluated on their planners’ comments on their service mentality, how they were an effective meeting partner, and if they went above and beyond.

January 2018 Recipients

CVB – Lisa Bethea, CTA, CTIS, Tourism Sales & Convention Services Manager, Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau
Convention Center – Lachelle J. Harrison, CMP, Events Manager, Water E. Washington Convention Center
Hotel – Jennifer Thomsen, CSM, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

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!

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.

2017 recipient: Doris Sims, Louisville CVB



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?

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

017 Recipient: Linda Finnerty, Council on Social Work Education
2017 Recipient: Julie Brakenbury, Greater Raleigh CVB

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.

2017 Recipient: David Raymond, CMP, The Westin Charlotte

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