Apr 07, 2022
Hotels and event-related organizations throughout the country are scooping up new team members and elevating executives as the hiring frenzy across the events and hospitality industries continues unabated. Check them out! ​​Visit Seattle  Following a nationwide search, Visit Seattle and its board of directors have tapped hospitality veteran Tammy Blount-Canavan to be its president and CEO, starting May 9. As Visit Seattle’s first female CEO, she replaces 15-year leader Tom Norwalk, who retired earlier this spring. With a rich leadership history spanning two countries and three decades,… more
Apr 06, 2022
Sherrif Karamat is a life-long learner with an impressive list of credentials—an MBA and post-graduate certificates in business, management, strategic negotiations, data intelligence and big data, to name a few. But some of his greatest lessons—personally and professionally—have come over the past two years of the pandemic.  Capitalizing on those lessons is one of his top priorities as he guides the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and its members in successfully moving forward in the evolving events environment.  Reinvention is key, according to Karamat. “Our industry… more
Apr 01, 2022
Liz King Caruso never thought she could make a living planning events—she thought it was  just something fun to do. That was until she took a job as an administrator at her university. “I realized I was the admin for the event team and that I had just wasted a lot of money on a psychology degree,” she said. “I learned a lot at my first job and started the twitter account @lizkingevents just to learn more about the industry.” Before long, she started getting client inquiries and kept turning them away since she wasn't an official business, but finally took the leap and decided to start her… more
Mar 25, 2022
He's worked alongside some of the world’s top chefs, but Eric Vaughn’s fondest culinary memories are of his childhood, creating delicious Sunday meals with his parents and sister and learning how to bake with his grandmother.   “It was our family tradition, and we learned a lot, especially how much fun we were having together discovering new dishes and ingredients,” he said. “It was the start of my fascination with food, touching it and seeing how it was affected by heat, and working with some of the most unique things I had ever seen food-wise—cooking things like chicken strudel with phyllo… more
Mar 24, 2022
The hiring and promoting trend continues its strong trajectory as event-related organizations – convention and visitors bureaus, in particular – scoop up new talent and reward top-performing staff with more prestigious titles. Take a look! Choose Chicago  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Choose Chicago have tapped Lynn Osmond as the CVB’s new CEO, effective May 9. As the first woman to helm the city’s tourism agency, Osmond brings deep knowledge of Chicago’s tourism and hospitality community to her new leadership role, most recently serving as president and CEO of the Chicago Architecture… more
Mar 18, 2022
March, designated Women’s History Month, which corresponds with International Women’s Day on March 8, marks a particularly appealing time to celebrate modern-day females and those of yesteryear—the groundbreakers, the changemakers, the rising stars, the achievers and the “empowerers” who motivate those around them. We had the pleasure of catching up with six vibrant industry professionals who are making history of their own to get their thoughts on how their peers and the industry at large can further improve gender equity and the women who have inspired them most throughout their careers.… more
Mar 07, 2022
As the meetings and conference industry continues its momentum toward recovery, corporate event-related organizations across the U.S. are appointing new leadership, promoting hard-working staff and growing their teams. Take a look! Destinations International  Sophia Hyder Hock has joined Destinations International as chief diversity officer, responsible for providing leadership, coordination and strategic direction for the design and implementation of an overall equity, diversity and inclusion strategy within the association, across member organizations and the broader tourism industry. She… more
Mar 04, 2022
From an early age, Sarah Soliman has been inspired to lead and driven to succeed. “I am a results-driven person, so when I see how my passion can inspire others, it ignites the fire in me to do more,” Soliman said, before describing one of the first times in which that flame truly burned bright—in high school, when she created a petition after the principal of her school cancelled “seniors week.”  Soliman, along with other classmates, thought it was unfair to take away such an important experience for reasons the students had no control over, so she went from class to class collecting… more
Feb 23, 2022
Nationally recognized diversity advocate, hospitality industry veteran and former Choose Chicago sales professional W. “Bill” Williams passed away on Feb. 4. He was 82 years old.  Following more than 37 years of exceptional service to McCormick Place and the city of Chicago, Williams retired from Choose Chicago in February 2013 after holding numerous sales positions for the CVB, most recently serving as vice president, diversity sales. In this key role, he developed and covered the social, military, education/ethnic, religious and fraternal (SMERF) market. A pioneering leader in furthering… more
Carrie Abernathy
Feb 18, 2022
Events were never the “plan” for Carrie Abernathy, much like many of her colleagues. So how does someone initially on the path to become a psychologist end up completely changing direction and evolving into one of the most influential event professionals in the industry? It all boils down to passion. While she was studying psychology at Virginia Tech and planning many social events for her dorm, a fellow student commented that she was so organized and passionate about logistics and events that she should do it professionally. “I had a good laugh about that idea at first—and then I found out… more