Monthly Archives: January 2012

AME MEDGroup Selects WMG for U.S. and Canadian Business Development

Effective January 01, World Marketing Group began providing North American representation and business development in the U.S. and Canada for AME MEDGroup, a professional DMC based in Athens, Greece.

Led by inbound director Nassos Stephenson and Fay Nikoletou and supported by an experienced team of industry professionals, AME MEDGroup delivers high quality, competitively priced programs for its clients throughout Greece and her myriad islands. In addition to their traditional DMC services, they also uniquely offer an array of yacht charters through another division as part of their product offerings to service meetings, incentives, and conference segments.

Jane E. Schuldt, President of World Marketing Group says, “The decision by AME MEDGroup to expand services into the North American market is just one measure of their professionalism and confidence in the future. A country with the history of Greece does not wither in the face of winds of change. The commitment AME MEDGroup are making will ensure our clients have a reliable partner on the ground they can count on.”

According to Nassos, “Greece has always been a country that appeals to a certain traveller – keen on history, attracted to nature and beauty, and interested in expanding their horizons. One of our objectives in 2012 was to make a professional and serious market entry into the U.S. and Canada on a dedicated, fulltime basis. WMG’s reputation for providing exemplary customer service along with their guidance in providing strategic information to meet both the business and leisure demands of today’s clients provided us with the right solution at exactly the right time. Their reputation and ability to raise awareness not only for our company, but for our country was a proven and deciding factor in our decision to appoint WMG.”

World Marketing Group is a B2B sales and marketing company providing contract sales and marketing services in North America to international hospitality suppliers interested in building their brand and growing their business from the North American incentive, meeting, conference and custom group travel markets.

You Eat, Marriott Gives

Dine at a Marriott-branded Hotel in February and Help Tackle Youth Unemployment.

London –Throughout the month of February, Marriott-branded hotels in Europe will donate £1 or €1 (or equivalent) for every lunch and dinner served at participating hotels as part of a Europe-wide ‘You Eat, We Give’ programme established by Marriott to raise funds to help tackle youth unemployment. This promotion is part of Marriott’s Europe-wide “World of Opportunity” initiative, announced earlier this week, which will help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their full potential by providing life skills and vocational opportunities. In the UK Marriott’s funding will enable The Prince’s Trust to run employability courses at their 15 centres, and in Continental Europe the funds will provide vocational training and scholarships through SOS Children’s Villages’ Youth programme.

“The ‘You Eat, We Give’ promotion is a way for us to show our commitment to helping young people in Europe prepare for meaningful employment. Giving back to our community is at the heart of the Marriott culture and the way we do business. We look forward to welcoming guests into our hotels for a great meal while showing support to the young people in our communities,” said Reiner Sachau, chief operations officer for Marriott International in Europe. Sachau added, “We hope that through this new initiative we will help make a positive impact on the lives of young people across Europe in the communities where we operate.”

Marriott’s commitment to society blends corporate financial contributions with in-kind giving and the volunteer service of our associates around the world. The company participates in efforts to provide shelter, food, and children’s health, while creating career opportunities for associates in the workplace and supporting education in the hospitality industry. In 2010, Marriott’s worldwide charitable contributions totaled $34.6 million from donations of cash, in-kind and volunteer time.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit

About The Prince’s Trust
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps change young lives. It gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation. It works with 13-to-30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law. The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped more than 650,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each day. Last year, more than three in four young people supported by The Trust moved into work, education or training. In April 2011, Fairbridge became part of The Prince’s Trust. The new united organisation will help 50,000 young people this year

About SOS Children’s Villages
SOS Children’s Villages is an international, non-governmental social development organisation that provides services in the areas of care, education and health for children who have already lost or who are at risk of losing parental care. The organisation was founded in Austria in 1949 and today runs more than 2,100 programmes for some 2.2 million children and adults in 133 countries and territories. Its work is guided by the spirit of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

SOS Children’s Villages adheres to the principle that every child grows best in a family environment, with caring parents or caregivers, living together with their siblings, in a place they can call home. SOS Children’s Villages works with communities, local partners and authorities to support disadvantaged families across the world, thus preventing family breakdown.

When necessary and when it is deemed to be in the child’s best interests, there is the option for children to grow up in foster families or in an SOS Children’s Villages family, where children are supported, protected and cared for until they reach adulthood.

SOS Children’s Villages also aims at sensitising decision-makers to the concerns that children face and influencing them to make changes in policies and practices that undermine the well-being of children, especially of those without parental care.For more information on SOS Children’s Villages please visit

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AIMC Exploring Partnership to Create Business Development Conferences for Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC, – The Alliance for International Meetings & Commerce (AIMC) met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and other high-ranking Iraqi officials in December to kick off an effort that it hopes will lead to business development conferences to help promote business in Iraq.

The meeting was part of an event sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the U.S. Business Council in Iraq.

AIMC Chairman Bill Hudson, who is also President and CEO of the Global Cold Chain Alliance, a group that is very active in international business development, said, “Members of AIMC have an extensive base of knowledge on international commerce in a wide range of industries. Of course they are also skilled in planning international events. So we believe AIMC is the perfect partner to hold a series of business conferences to help jump-start the business potential that the nation has.”

AIMC President & CEO Jack Sammis added, “We applaud the Iraqi government for reaching out through its U.S. connections to explore ways to advance their business community. The business development conferences we discussed are good initial steps to making this happen.”

The meeting also included U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Middle East & North Africa Affairs Lionel Johnson, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides, Chairman of the Iraqi national Investment Commission Dr. Sami Al Araji, Iraqi Minister of Trade Dr. Khairallah Babaker Zebari, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David Chavern, as well as representatives of the U.S. Business Council of Iraq.

Hudson also said the effort “speaks to both the ‘commerce’ and ‘meetings’ parts of the AIMC mission. Iraq needs a group with expertise in these areas and the connections to make things happen, so we said, why not AIMC?”

AIMC is developing business in Iraq together with GSI Business Services Inc., a Maryland-based company with its primary activities in Iraq. In a brief discussion that included GSI Managing Director Gaynelle Sahlmann, Dr. Sami Al Araji offered his full support to AIMC’s approach together with GSI.

He welcomed this initiative to establish a series of first-class conferences, workshops and exhibitions with a focus on bringing U.S. and international businesses and experts of many industrial sectors into the country. “The time to do this is now,” Sami pointed out.

AIMC is managed by IMN Solutions, a leading meeting management company and strategic consulting partner in association and foundation management. For more information about AIMC and IMN Solutions, visit

About IMN Solutions
For close to 30 years, IMN Solutions has provided advanced solutions to associations in management, meetings, marketing, communications, technology, environmental programs, and international development, and has partnered with a wide range of associations and other nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their goals. The company also provides overall management services, including membership, data and financial management, strategic planning, organizational restructuring, and alliances.

About AIMC
The Alliance for International Meetings and Commerce (AIMC) unites partners throughout the international meetings and tourism industries to be a broad network of leaders and aspiring professionals powered by education and communication with resources to develop and promote global commerce opportunities. With over 25 years of experience, AIMC provides a source of global resources on destinations and guidelines and educates associations seeking guidance to take their meetings global or expand the reach of their industry.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Expands In Mexico With The Addition Of The New Paradisus Resorts In Playa del Carmen

WASHINGTON, DC (January 2012) – Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its portfolio offerings in Mexico with the addition of the brand new Paradisus Resorts in Playa del Carmen to its membership.

Located in the luxurious Riviera Maya area on Mexico’s east coast, the 394-suite Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla and the 510-suite Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda (both of which opened in November 2011) present 904 new rooms and suites which will now receive dedicated National Sales Organization (NSO) services and support by ALHI and its established professional sales force throughout North America to serve the meetings and incentive marketplace.

With their membership acceptance into ALHI’s worldwide portfolio, the Paradisus Resorts in Playa del Carmen become the newest offering in the “ALHI Passport Collection,” which features ALHI’s distinctive member hotels and resorts which are located outside of the United States.

ALHI ( ) is a prestigious dues-based National Sales Organization, which for 25 years has specifically provided dedicated and professional NSO services to meeting professionals, association executives, incentive specialists and business executives interested in conducting successful face-to-face programs, exclusively for its more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotel and resort members. There is no cost to planners’ or executives’ organizations to utilize the NSO services, expertise, and account advocacy of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the National Sales Organization to best serve planners with local professionals.

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla and Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda are the newest additions to the impressive ALHI member collection of resorts in Mexico, joining the highly acclaimed AAA Five-Diamond Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort & Spa (Cancun), the chic Live Aqua (Cancun), and the magnificent Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort (Los Cabos).

“Resorts in Mexico are again in high demand for quality, ease of access, and value. We are excited to add a new destination, in addition to Cancun and Los Cabos, within our portfolio by introducing these two amazing new resorts to meeting and incentive professionals in North America,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “Mexico continues to be a very appealing destination for groups of all sizes, and Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla and Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda were specifically designed and tailored to accommodate to the needs of groups. The two resorts feature outstanding meeting facilities, exceptional accommodations, first-class service, and a truly breathtaking setting, making them wonderful choices for group programs.”

Located in a beautiful bay with views of the Caribbean and of Cozumel Island, the elegant Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla and the luxurious Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda combine a prestigious setting with world-class facilities, a relaxing ambiance, and 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space with state-of-the-art equipment. Meeting offerings consist of 14 meeting rooms, which include a theater and a beautiful ballroom. Featuring a Mayan ecological feeling and a lush setting surrounded by a tropical mangrove preserve, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla features 394 elegantly-appointed suites, which includes 60 swim-up suites as well as signature Royal Service Suites with personal butler service. Also featuring elegant Mayan décor, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda offers 510 beautifully-appointed suites, which includes 56 swim-up suites and signature Family Concierge Suites.

Additional offerings include the luxurious 19,267-square-foot Yhi Spa, a full-service health club, 14 restaurants, 8 bars, and such unique group programs as sushi making, tango dance classes, and sensorial experiences. The Paradisus Resorts in Playa del Carmen are located just 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport, and are just steps from extraordinary white-sand beaches and attractions such as Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue, Xcaret, and Akumal. World-famous Mayan archeological sites such as Tulum, Chichén Itza, and Coba are also nearby.

With a worldwide portfolio of over 100,000 rooms and suites and more than 10 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced National Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs.

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s National Sales services for 25 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms.

Member hotels include extraordinary Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting and incentive resorts, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.

For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit ALHI’s newly redesigned website , and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio to serve distinctive meeting, convention and incentive travel needs.

On the website, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.

ALHI has 16 professionally-staffed National Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Diego, Savannah, Toronto and Washington, DC. Go to to identify the “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your state/area.

Additionally, in October 2011 ALHI launched Associated Destinations Worldwide (ADW), a new Global Sales Organization (GSO) that is a dedicated business unit of ALHI to specifically promote the first-class member destinations, hotels, and convention facilities from outside of North America to U.S. and Canadian meeting professionals, association executives, incentive specialists, and business executives. ADW is ALHI’s new Global Sales arm, which serves North American companies and associations by developing outbound international group programs specifically for its members. ADW also will actively assist clients with these resorts in Mexico.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s new “2011-2012 ALHI National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit .

DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge Arrives in Time to Celebrate Legendary Ski Resort’s 50th Anniversary

Extensive Hotelwide Renovation of Former Great Divide Lodge Brings
First Worldwide, Full-Service Hotel Brand to Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – One of the Rocky Mountains’ most popular hotel destinations begins their 2011-2012 winter season with new amenities, new upgrades and a new name. The former Great Divide Lodge has completed extensive refurbishments and upgrades to become the newly opened DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge — the tenth DoubleTree by Hilton property in Colorado and the first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel to be located adjacent to one of the world’s most renowned ski resorts. Situated directly across the street from Peak 9 of Breckenridge ski resort, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the 208-room, full-service hotel offers spectacular mountain views within a short walk of the Beaver Run SuperChair as well as historic Main Street Breckenridge, and the Arts District.

“The opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge is an exciting new location for our brand and our loyal customers, just in time for the winter ski season,” said Rob Palleschi, global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “Breckenridge is a naturally stunning, four-season venue for sports, shopping, art, executive retreats, weddings or simple relaxation with family and friends. We are honored to introduce our tenth DoubleTree by Hilton in Colorado here and another great addition to our more than 265 hotels in 21 countries around the world.”

Guests at the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge will enjoy the characteristic qualities found at the brand’s more than 265 DoubleTree by Hilton locations around the world, including the warm welcome of the brand’s legendary chocolate chip cookie presented to every guest at check-in; an array of upscale amenities and guest services; the rewards of the Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program; and a unique and caring team member commitment to the local community.

Each of the 208 newly refreshed guest rooms at the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge feature many of the brand’s signature amenities including pampering baths; flat-screen, LCD TVs; and mini-refrigerators; luxurious Sweet Dreams by DoubleTree bedding; spacious work desks; free wireless high-speed internet access in the lobby and business center; Wolfgang Puck gourmet coffee service; and refreshing Crabtree & Evelyn Citron bath products.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge offers more than 9,500 square feet of flexible meeting and event facilities, including the 4,500-square-foot Columbine Ballroom, one of the largest event venues in town, which can accommodate up to 450 guests reception-style. Additional hotel services include a swimming pool; whirlpools; a fully equipped fitness facility & sauna; a gift shop with market; a Breckenridge Sports ski rental shop and complimentary, in-town shuttle service for hotel guests. The 9600 Grill offers modern American cuisine in a comfortable and casual setting for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge is owned and managed by Vail Resorts through a franchise license agreement signed with Hilton Worldwide in summer 2011.

“We are thrilled about the important renovations we have completed this fall and are confident that the upgrades and the new relationship with DoubleTree by Hilton will greatly enhance our guest experience this season. We are especially excited about welcoming Hilton HHonors guests to our beautiful mountain resort location,” said Ron Neville, hotel general manager. “From sun-up on the slopes to après ski in the evening, our friendly hotel team is ready to introduce the world’s travelers to the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge by creating a rewarding hotel experience with a great combination of stylish, comfortable accommodations and unique Rocky Mountain hospitality.”

Located just minutes from Interstate Highway 70 with easy access to Eagle Regional and Denver International Airports, the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge is located at 550 Village Road, Breckenridge, Colo. 80424. For more information or to make reservations at the DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge, please contact your local travel professional, visit the hotel’s website at or call the hotel directly at +1 970 547 5550.

About Breckenridge
With four huge peaks, 2,358 acres, five terrain parks, two half pipes, eight bowls, the highest chairlift in North America, the Gold Runner Coaster, and an authentic, hip mountain town with awe-inspiring views, Breckenridge definitely stands out from the rest. Our authentic, Colorado town has over 200 restaurants, bars, and shops, so you’re destined to find a good time in this unique, yet casual atmosphere. Join us this winter for our 50th Anniversary, where celebrations, promotions and fun will abound all season-long!

About Vail Resorts
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company’s subsidiaries operate the mountain resort properties of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone mountain resorts in Colorado, and the Heavenly Ski Resort and Northstar California in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada, and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company’s subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties across the United States and in the Caribbean. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is and consumer website is

About DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels

With a fast-growing global collection of contemporary, upscale hotels in more than 250 gateway cities, metropolitan areas and vacation destinations across five continents, every little thing we do at DoubleTree by Hilton inspires us to create a rewarding experience for our hotel guests, our team members and the communities we proudly serve. Our hospitality begins with a warm chocolate chip cookie welcome upon arrival and continues with the award-winning Hilton HHonors® guest loyalty program, an array of fine services and amenities and our longstanding CARE Culture tradition that empowers more than 60,000 team members to provide the special comforts and acts of kindness that make the traveller feel human again.

To make reservations at any DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, travellers may visit our brand website at Social media users may connect with us at, and

About Hilton Worldwide
Hilton Worldwide is the leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxurious full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and mid-priced hotels. For 92 years, Hilton Worldwide has been offering business and leisure travellers the finest in accommodations, service, amenities and value. The company is dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences across its global brands. Its brands are comprised of more than 3,750 hotels and 615,000 rooms in 84 countries and include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages the world-class guest reward program Hilton HHonors®. For more information about the company, visit

IMEX America Releases 2012 Predictions for US and Global Events Market

The IMEX Group today released predictions for the 2012 meetings, incentive travel and events market based on the US and global industry buzz from the inaugural IMEX America trade show in October plus post-show survey data.

1. Business is looking up – globalization is increasing
In post-show survey comments buyers indicated an uptick in business over the last 12 months — though predominantly at a conservative rate and mostly short-term focused. There is also a trend towards more – but smaller or shorter – meetings and events and slight growth in attendance at association meetings and events.

Anecdotal survey comments also suggest that interest from the corporate sector is returning and that demand for incentive travel is on the rise again. Increased globalization in terms of planning and destination choice also came through in the survey. It was apparent at IMEX America that the definition of a “new” or “emerging” destination is broadening and increasingly dependent on a given buyer’s own location and experience. One buyer’s “emerging market” will be another’s “long-time favorite” and, as globalization increases, so does buyer awareness of the full size and scope of the world market, especially outside of the US.

2. Value is king – doing more with less is the ‘new norm’
With continued economic pressures in many world markets, the strong push for “added value” from buyers over the next 12+ months will remain — absent of increases in most budgets or timelines. Convention centers and some hotels are leading the way with value-adds such as free wi-fi or green meeting consultancy services. Organizations are also being asked to provide as much free knowledge and education content as possible. Further, while industry growth is, of course, a very welcome development, many survey respondents noted that they are feeling the squeeze by having to do more work with fewer staff, and against ever-tightening turnaround times. This will likely not change in 2012.

3. Green supply chain analysis and ‘responsible business’ on the rise
‘Green supply-chain analysis’ and ‘responsible business’ were growing trends identified and discussed by experts at the IMEX America Sustainability Center (a show floor area devoted to green and CSR education and best practices.) Multinationals such as Proctor & Gamble and Walmart are leading the way in developing supplier rankings, and in our industry, partners are increasingly being given or offered incentives to reuse and recycle goods, products and materials. Expect to see more companies, networks and alliances emerge that make it easier for organizations to work together to achieve their green or CSR goals. Streamlining of green practices, benchmarks and certifications will also start to occur as knowledge and experience expands.

4. Social Media continues its meteoric rise
In post-IMEX America surveys, 87.5% of hosted buyers reported using LinkedIn for business, with Facebook at 70.8%, Twitter at 50%, and YouTube at 22.4%. Perhaps most importantly, 42.5% agreed or strongly agreed that the use of social media is helping them generate business. Buyers also reported a 50%+ increase in usage of social media in the past six months.

5. Education is hot and technology is fanning the flames

One of the biggest trends –especially among associations — is the need to capture and leverage education content both during and after live events to extend the reach and benefit to attendees and members. Driven by a never-ending surge of internet, smartphone, and tablet use there has been a breathtaking and widespread desire for high quality, easily accessible knowledge-sharing and education ‘on-demand’. This shift has meant that many in the industry have become both publishers and education-providers—particularly in the social media realm. This trend will only continue to grow. Also expect to see meetings and events industry education being delivered in increasingly entertaining, interactive and diverse ways including an increasing cross-over of gaming technology or “gamification”.

6. Quantifying meetings market impact is a must
Another trend crucial to the long-term health and success of the meetings industry is the ability to quantify and transparently communicate its economic value to a given country, region or city. The US led the way with its 2009 Economic Impact Study. Mexico recently announced results of its own. Stay tuned for many more destinations to announce their intention to conduct similar research studies, which, in turn, will become increasingly important tools for political advocacy.

About IMEX America
IMEX America is the new trade show for the worldwide meetings, events and incentive travel industry. The second edition will take place Oct. 9 – 11 2012 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, (which is connected to the show’s Headquarters Hotel, The Venetian®|The Palazzo®).

The show’s strategic partner and premier educational provider is MPI, whose MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation takes place on the day before the trade show opens, known as “Smart Monday”.

IMEX also has an exclusive partnership with the US Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion US travel industry; is endorsed by DMAI and Site and has an Industry Partnership with PCMA. Other supporting associations include: ACTE Global, ADME, AIPC, AMCI, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, Association Forum of Chicagoland, CALSAE, CIC, CSAE, ECM, FICP, GMIC, IACC, IAEE, IAPCO, ICCA, ISES, JMIC, NYSAE, PATA, SKAL and Spin. A list of industry and media partners can be found online.

DMC Network Excels as Finalists are Announced for 2012 ADME Achievment Awards

The DMC Network, LLC is proud to announce that 9 of its North American companies were selected as finalists for Achievement Awards in 11 out of 12 categories and two DMC Network individuals were also selected as finalists for the Recognition Awards categories.

Award winners will be announced Saturday, February 18, 2012, at the Annual ADME Conference Gala at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee

ADME 2012 Achievement Award Finalists from the DMC Network, LLC

Innovative Events

Under $50,000

ACCENT on Arrangements, Inc., a DMC Network Company, New Orleans, LA USA
$50,001 – $100,000

Accent on Indianapolis, a DMC Network Company, Indianapolis, IN USA
Chicago Travel Consultants, Inc., a DMC Network Company, Chicago, IL USA

$100,001 – $200,000

Congress Canada, a DMC Network Company, Toronto, ON Canada
Destination St. Louis, Inc., a DMC Network Company, St. Louis, MO USA

Creative Events

Best Destination Marketing
Accent on Indianapolis, a DMC Network Company, Indianapolis, IN USA

Best Public Entry
Capitol Services, Inc., a DMC Network Company, Washington, DC USA
Destination St. Louis, Inc., a DMC Network Company, St. Louis, MO USA

Best Teambuilding

ACCENT on Arrangements, Inc., a DMC Network Company, New Orleans, LA USA
Ultimate Ventures, a DMC Network Company, Dallas, TX USA
Best Tour

Arrangers DMC, a DMC Network Company, Denver, CO USA
Ultimate Ventures, a DMC Network Company, Dallas, TX USA

Best Transportation Logistics

Destination St. Louis, Inc., a DMC Network Company, St. Louis, MO USA

Best Overall Program

Capitol Services, Inc., a DMC Network Company, Washington, DC USA

Destination Management Rising Star

Sarah Hines, DMCP, Accent on Indianapolis, a DMC Network Company, Indianapolis, IN USA

Destination Management Professional of the Year
Fabienne Hanks, DMCP, CMP, 360 Destination Group, a DMC Network Company, Southern California, CA USA

For an entire list of nominees please visit: ADME 2012 ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

About the DMC Network, LLC:
Unique in the industry, the DMC Network is an LLC of the top-performing, independently owned DMCs throughout North America. Through our alliance with Ovation Global DMC, our reach extends across five continents. With an average of over 25 years in business and more than twice as many accredited DMCs as any other DMC consortium or company, each DMC Network partner delivers unsurpassed knowledge of their market and a confidence that they are a sound, professional organization that consistently exceeds clients’ expectations. With an insider’s knowledge, we make it effortless for our clients to produce meetings and events around the world. We are your knowledge network and are dedicated to doing business your way, in every way. As a network, we represent many destinations, but only one relationship — the one with you.

Please visit

Tom Bolman, Executive Vice President of the International Association of Conference Centers to Retire

(St. Louis, MO) – January 2012 – The Board of Directors of the International Association of Conference Centers has announced that Tom Bolman, Executive Vice President of IACC, will retire from his position at the end of 2012.

Bolman began his tenure with IACC as Executive Director in 1986 and was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1996, just after IACC’s global restructuring which created separate chapters in Europe, Australia and North America.

As IACC’s Chief Staff Executive, he helped build membership from 66 member conference centers in the United States and Canada to 300 facility members in 13 countries along with 125 allied, affinity partner, corporate headquarters and individual members.

A longtime member of the American Society of Association Executives, Bolman has held the organization’s Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential since 1993. He has also served on various committees and on the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Society of Association Executives.

Bolman has served on the Council of Delegates of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) for 25 years and currently serves as a member of the CIC Board of Directors. He has held every officer position of CIC including Chairman of the Board.

Prior to joining IACC, Bolman served as Director of Sales & Marketing with Stouffer Hotels in Dayton (OH); Cleveland (OH); and St. Louis (MO). Before that, he was Convention Director with the Columbus (OH) Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“As excited as I am about the next phase of my life,” Bolman stated, “I will really miss working with one of the most talented and professional staffs anywhere, as well as hundreds of passionate industry leaders who have built IACC into the respected organization that it is today.”

Brian Knapp Named President of IMN Solutions

WASHINGTON, DC – Brian Knapp has been named President of IMN Solutions, a leading meeting management company and strategic consulting partner in association and foundation management. The announcement was made by Jack Sammis, CEO and Founder of IMN Solutions.

Knapp has been with IMN Solutions for 24 years and was previously Executive Vice President.

His new role recognizes the increased operational responsibility Knapp has assumed in recent years as Sammis has focused more on international projects, including the Alliance for International Meetings & Commerce (AIMC), which is managed by IMN Solutions.

“Brian has been a critical player in IMN Solutions almost from the beginning,” Sammis said. “The relationships he has built with clients, his sales ability, and now his increased operational responsibility have helped our company succeed.”

Knapp added, “I am honored to accept this new role and plan to build on the customer-centric service model that Jack has established over the years. It has served us well and has defined our company in the market as one that forms strategic partnerships with its clients.

“During the last year we have also strengthened the full-service capabilities of our company by counting on our existing professional staff and new key hires. These individuals will be highly visible this year at meeting industry events, participating side-by-side in professional development programs with our clients so we can stay on the cutting edge of meeting management services.”

Knapp’s new role is effective January 2, 2012.

For more information about IMN Solutions, visit

About IMN Solutions
For close to 30 years, IMN Solutions has provided advanced solutions to associations in management, meetings, marketing, communications, technology, environmental programs, and international development, and has partnered with a wide range of associations and other nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their goals. The company also provides overall management services, including membership, data and financial management, strategic planning, organizational restructuring, and alliances. The “Power of the Network” that IMN Solutions offers leverages more than $150 million in buying power for more than 100 clients.

About AIMC
The Alliance for International Meetings and Commerce (AIMC) unites partners throughout the international meetings and tourism industries to be a broad network of leaders and aspiring professionals powered by education and communication with resources to develop and promote global commerce opportunities. With over 25 years of experience, AIMC provides a source of global resources on destinations and guidelines and educates associations seeking guidance to take their meetings global or expand the reach of their industry.

CTC wins Best Destination Management Company Award at HSMAI 2011 Hospitality Industry Awards

Chicago, Illinois — Chicago Travel Consultants, Inc. (CTC), a DMC
Network Company, is the proud winner of the Best Destination Management Company
Award, presented at the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
2011 Hospitality Industry Awards announced at Haymarket Pub & Brewery on November
30, 2011. Jillene Szostak, President of CTC, said, “To be recognized by HSMAI, a global
organization of sales and marketing professionals, as well as by our peers is truly an honor. We appreciate this award even more knowing our competition was equally as deserving.”

In addition to naming the award winners, the HSMAI Kendall College Student Chapter was
presented with a $1,000 check to be put towards student growth and initiatives.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to
growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for
intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals
& their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize
revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings, Adrian Awards,
and Revenue Management Strategy Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization
comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas
Region. Connect with HSMAI at,, and