ASAE Foundation Announces Five Innovation Grants Program Award Recipients

WASHINGTON—ASAE Foundation names the five awardees for the Innovation Grants Program (IGP). Each grant recipient will receive $10,000, and they will be recognized during ASAE’s 2018 Great Ideas Conference, March 11–13, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. These grants are funded by support from the SunTrust Foundation, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P, and GEICO.

The five awardees are:

American College of Rheumatology

“Uniting Collaborators for Innovation”

Atlanta, GA

Association of College and University Housing Officers – International

“Centralized Digital Signage Management”

Columbus, OH

BBB Wise Giving Alliance

“Advancing Collaboration”

Arlington, VA

International Association of Fairs and Expositions

“Technology in the Barn: Augmented Reality Usage at Fairs and Expositions”

Springfield, MO

National Association of School Nurses

“Building Leaders and Developing a Guiding Framework for 21st Century NASN Affiliate Infrastructure”

Silver Spring, MD

“We continue to see a diversity of programs being submitted for IGP, which highlights how associations are being innovative to enhance their members’ experiences. The committee had a tough time selecting the five winners this year,” said Paul K. Farrell, Au. D., CCC-A, 2017 chair of the IGP steering committee and Associate Director, Audiology Professional Practices at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. “Congratulations to the winning associations!”

During the past six years, the ASAE Foundation has awarded a total of 25 IGP grants and has received close to 300 applications from organizations of varied types, sizes, locations, and industries over the past five years. These numbers underscore the value of innovation and processes of innovating have in the association community.

“The IGP awards have given our members the opportunity to explore new ways to provide programs and services, so they can meet the needs of their members and advance their mission. I’m impressed with all the submissions. We appreciate the continued support from SunTrust Foundation, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston L.L.P, and GEICO. Congratulations to this year’s winners,” said ASAE EVP, President, ASAE Foundation Susan Robertson, CAE. “

For more information about the program, visit the IGP website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE, 202-326-9505.

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation

ASAE is a membership organization of 39,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit

Stella Award-Winners Showcase: Best Airline

Northstar Meetings Group is proud to present the winners of our inaugural Stella Awards, which recognize organizations worldwide that deliver the greatest possible service to meetings and events professionals. The awards celebrate critical aspects of the event experience across 18 different categories among six regions, including food and beverage, professionalism of staff, technology innovations, green initiatives and more.


Delta Air Lines (Winner)

Not all airlines are created equal — particularly when it comes to handling complicated group itineraries that span the globe. Ease of booking, in-flight amenities, quality of staff and a dedication to the meetings market have led to Delta being named Best Airline. The carrier’s group program, Delta Edge Meetings, provides access to a simple booking process, flexible pricing and valuable benefits like Priority Boarding for meeting attendees, plus the option to receive detailed reporting and back-end incentive payments.

Maui Paddle for a Cure Returns to Hyatt Regency Maui

Maui Jim Joined as Title Sponsor and New Partnership with Pacific Cancer Foundation

LAHAINA, Hawaii – Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is pleased to announce that Maui Jim has returned as title sponsor for the fourth annual Maui Paddle for a Cure, which took place on October 8, 2017. Maui Paddle for a Cure is a fun, non-competitive event that takes stand up, kayak and canoe paddlers along the beautiful shoreline of Ka’anapali Beach to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raise funds for Susan G. Komen Hawaii. For the first year, Hyatt Regency Maui is partnering with Paddle for Life to raise even more funds for Susan G. Komen Hawaii, whose mission is to support and promote culturally sensitive breast cancer education, awareness, and prevention and treatment programs in the Hawaiian Islands.

“Each year we are honored and excited to support Susan G. Komen by hosting Maui Paddle for a Cure,” said Fred Findlen, General Manager at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. “We continue to be inspired by the people who join together for the paddle and we hope to encourage and educate our guests and Maui residents to participate in this fun event that benefits the broader Hawaii community. Last year we exceeded our fundraising goal and raised over $45,000 for Susan G. Komen and we hope to raise even more funds this year.”

Presented in partnership with The Butterfly Effect, and presenting sponsor, Maui Jim, this year’s Maui Paddle for a Cure took place starting at Hanakao’o Beach Park (Canoe Beach), Resort guests and the members of the Maui community 18 years and older were invited to an open paddle along Ka’anapali Beach by stand up paddle board, kayak or canoe, all to benefit this important cause.

The celebration continued at an exclusive after party and silent auction at Sunset Terrace at the
Hyatt Regency Maui and featured food and drink specials, and a performance by Hawaii-based
singer and musician, Anuhea.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 100% of donations and registration fees
supported Susan G. Komen Hawaii in their efforts for breast cancer awareness, education,
prevention, and treatment programs for women and men in the Hawaiian Islands. The top fundraising individual won a two-night stay in the Hyatt Regency Maui Presidential Suite (valued at $3,000 per night), while the top fundraising team won $500 to Japengo.

To increase the awareness, funds raised and community involvement, Hyatt Regency Maui also partnered with Pacific Cancer Foundation to create a weekend of back-to-back events
supporting the fight against cancer. Participants in the Paddle for Life “Voyage to Lana’i” were
invited to attend the Maui Paddle for a Cure After Party upon their return to Maui.
“You can’t face cancer alone,” said Nancy La Joy, Executive Director of the Pacific Cancer
Foundation. “It takes an ‘ohana, and that is what this community is and why we have decided to
partner together with Hyatt Regency Maui and their Maui Paddle for a Cure event.”
A portion of proceeds from the following items sold at Hyatt Regency Maui in the month of
October were also be donated to Susan G. Komen Hawaii.

 Japengo – The resort’s award-winning restaurant offered a Pink Sushi Roll.
 Kamaha’o, a Marilyn Monroe Spa – Maui’s only oceanfront spa pamperied guests
with pink manicures and pink promise bracelets.
 Son’z Steakhouse – Proceeds from the Black and Blue Ahi Appetizer went toward
Susan G. Komen Hawaii.
 Pool Desk – The Pool Desk sold Maui Paddle for a Cure merchandise and
select pink items.

For more information regarding Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, please contact the resort by phone at 808.661.1234, or visit the resort website:

About Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa – Authentic Hawaiian Hospitality Surrounded by
Tropical Paradise
Ideally situated on 40 tropically landscaped oceanfront acres along a three-mile stretch of the famed Ka’anapali Beach, voted “Number One Beach in the U.S.” by TripAdvisor, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa offers an authentic Hawaiian experience in a setting of tropical paradise on the “Best Island in the World” as voted by readers of TripAdvisor. Each of the 806 guestrooms, including 31 suites, provides a setting of Hawaiian elegance with plantation-style furnishings, a private lanai with panoramic views, and complimentary Wi-Fi access featured in all guestrooms. In 2016, the resort was honored with t-he Best Hotel Award from Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. Located at the resort, Japengo received a Restaurant of the Year Award at the 2016 Aipono Maui Restaurant Awards. The resort recently underwent a multi-million
renovation and was awarded LEED-EBOM Silver Level certification, positioning it at the forefront of sustainability in Hawaiian hospitality. In 2017, the resort also was awarded an AAA Four Diamond Award for the 22nd consecutive year. Boasting endless amenities including Maui’s only oceanfront, 15,000 square-foot luxury spa and fitness center, an elaborate water playground with tropical streams and waterfalls, championship golf, tennis courts, SCUBA and water sports, restaurants and lounges, shopping, and over 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, as well as expert-led stargazing, an award-winning luau, and wildlife tours, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa offers everything necessary to create the quintessential Maui getaway.

About Hyatt Regency
Hyatt Regency offers a full range of services and facilities tailored to serve the needs of meeting planners, business travelers and leisure guests. Properties range in size from 180 to over 2,000 rooms and are
conveniently located in urban, suburban, airport, convention and resort destinations around the world.
Hyatt Regency convention hotels feature spacious meeting and conference facilities designed to provide a
productive environment allowing guests to convene and connect. Hyatt Regency hotels in resort locations
cater to couples seeking a getaway, families enjoying a vacation together and corporate groups seeking a
functional and relaxed atmosphere in which to conduct business and meetings.

About the Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect is a worldwide movement hinged on empowering and inspiring athletic women
everywhere, to grow together as a community and to use their collective drive to give back to local
charities, all while encouraging a healthy lifestyle, a vibrant community, and active local involvement.
The Butterfly Effect began on Maui, in 2007, and has since held 30 events in 17 countries with thousands
of participants. Produced by Maui local and professional waterwoman, Tatiana Howard, the event hosts
thousands of women on stand up paddleboards of all ages and abilities. The Butterfly Effect is nominated
for the Top Philanthropic Effort in the 2014 SUP Awards. For more information, visit

About Maui Jim
Maui Jim has been voted favorite sunglasses company and best sunglasses by optical retailers and many
of the top health, fitness and outdoor sports media around the world. The company’s patented
PolarizedPlus2® lens technology cuts 99.9 percent of glare and eliminates 100 percent of all UV rays on
both sides of each lens to reduce eye strain. Maui Jim uses three rare earth elements and other treatments
to white-balance their lenses, so colors remain pure, rich and vibrant. All Maui Jim sunglasses have been
awarded the Seal of Recommendation from The Skin Cancer Foundation, recognition that the lenses
provide safe and effective sun protection and are an important part of an effective defense program
against skin cancers of the eye and eyelids. The company offers more than 125 different styles of
sunglasses with specific features and benefits for a wide range of outdoor activities. They manufacture
five different lens materials with superior edge-to-edge clarity. They also offer four different lens colors
that enhance the details you can see in different light conditions, so that your view is like you’ve never
seen. For more information, visit

AHLA Launches First-Ever Statewide Lodging Apprenticeship Program

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) Senior Vice President of Career Development Shelly Weir joined Maryland Secretary of Labor Kelly Schulz, Grads of Life Principal Elyse Rosenblum and local hotel-industry apprentice Wynter Sharps to announce a commitment to provide $50,000 in grants to community-based organizations to recruit and develop “Opportunity Youth” in Baltimore.

Currently, six million young people – “Opportunity Youth” – are between the ages of 16 to 24, and out of school and out of work.  Connecting them to potential employers is an important step in securing their future. The hospitality industry has some 600,000 job openings and this grant commitment will help fill a critical labor shortage in the long-term by joining with community-based organizations to attract youth for careers in the hospitality industry in Baltimore.

Additionally, at the event Secretary of Labor Schulz provided AHLA with a proclamation in honor of National Apprenticeship Week from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.  Like the hotel industry, Governor Hogan’s administration is committed to using apprenticeships to foster job and career opportunities.  In creating the Maryland Apprenticeship Innovation Fund, seed money has been provided to businesses and programs committed to creating apprenticeship opportunities to meet workforce needs.  In partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, AHLA has made a national commitment to the U.S. Department of Labor to train some 2,500 apprentices in the hospitality industry over the next five years.  To date, AHLA has not just met, but exceeded that goal by more than 175 percent, securing more than 400 commitments from AHLA’s hotel membership.

The event also served as an enrollment ceremony for Wynter Sharps, who will begin training to become a manager through the state-wide apprenticeship program under her former general manager and the incoming MH&LA Chairman Chuck Chandler.

The event, in conjunction with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF), is part of AHLA’s Empowering Youth Project, an initiative of the industry’s Dreams Happen Here campaign, a national awareness effort to showcase career advancement opportunities, community commitment, and economic importance of hotel and lodging businesses to every city and state across America.

“Providing opportunities for youth is important to ensuring that employers have a pipeline of talent for the future,” said Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “Partnerships like the one formed between AHLA, Grads for Life, and these key Baltimore community-based organizations are yet another example of how we are changing Maryland for the better.”

“The hotel industry supports more than eight million jobs across the United States and this grant in Baltimore is another step in our continued commitment to creating opportunity and economic mobility by investing in our workforce,” said Shelly Weir, AHLA Senior Vice President of Career Development.  “We commend Secretary Schulz for taking a leadership role in prioritizing apprenticeships, which are critical to career development.  By partnering with the Maryland’s Labor Department and Grads of Life, we are taking a meaningful step to close that jobs gap and provide our nation’s youth with the skills to launch long, prosperous careers in the hotel industry.”

“At Grads of Life, we work each day to match employers in need of talent with innovative solutions that also provide Opportunity Youth with the skills and access necessary for meaningful career pathways,” Grads of Life Principal Elyse Rosenblum said.  “AHLA’s grant commitments and the collaboration with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation will help advance our mission to close the opportunity divide and aid countless young people looking to gain stable employment in the hotel industry.”

About AHLA

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the largest national association solely representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including brands, hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at

About Grads of Life

Grads of Life is a national initiative that catalyzes market demand for Opportunity Youth (ages 16-24) by transforming employer perceptions and hiring practices. Grads of Life places an innovative focus on the demand side of the talent marketplace, harnessing the power of the private sector to create pathways to employment for Opportunity Youth nationwide.

SPIN Announces Inaugural 40 Over 40 Winners: Industry’s First Recognition Solely for Veteran Planners

SPIN:Senior Professionals Industry Network announces the 2017 recipients of the industry’s first recognition for veteran meeting planners – SPIN:40 Over 40. This new initiative was created to recognize and honor planners who are industry role models, influencers, innovators, and pioneers.

“We had a great response to this call for nominations. The depth and breadth of what these individuals have achieved is amazing,” said Shawna Suckow, SPIN founder. “Just like our membership, this list is diverse and includes planners for large corporations, associations and smaller third-party agencies. Our award recipients speak, they teach, they plan large conferences, small incentive programs, work locally and globally and find time to mentor and volunteer.”

“This is an exciting and humbling honor to be recognized by SPIN for my contributions to the industry,” said Terri Woodin, CMP of Meeting Sites Resource. “There are so many truly amazing planners around the globe that work tirelessly to achieve great things for this industry, their company, and themselves, so to be selected as one of the first 40 is very rewarding.”

Marti Fox, CMP, CMM, CPECP, of GlobalGoals, Inc. echoed that sentiment and added, “We have taken different paths to get where we are today and are all committed to the elevation of the meeting planning profession.”

2017 SPIN:40 Over 40 Winners

Deborah Agricola Kuns, CMP, Frosch & Christine Peat International
Jan Aument, CTSM Silver, Good Plan Jan
Melissa Benowitz, MRB Meetings & Management, LLC
Lisa Boyd, CMP, CEM, CASE, Institute for Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Patrice Bradshaw, CMP, Boeing
Jody Brandes, CMP, CMM, Genentech
Mozella L. Brown, CMP, M. L. Brown & Associates
Carolyn Browning, CMP, CMM, HMCC, MEETing Needs, LLC
Alexandra Carvalho-Lukachova, CMP, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (Kaiser Permanente)
Carolyn Davis, CMP, Strategic Meeting Partners, LLC
Corné Engelbrecht, CMP, Conference Consultancy South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Marti Fox, CMP, CMM, CPECP, GlobalGoals, Inc.
Leticia Harnung, LMH Consulting Services, LLC
Lori Hedrick, MHA, CMM, CMP, CSEP, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
Abbey Herman, CMM, Meeting and Event Consultant for Fortune 500 Companies
Donna Johnson, CMP, CMM, Capitol Hill Management Services (CHMS)
Desirée Knight, CMP, The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA)
Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM, Strategic Meetings and Events
Wendy Laugesen, CMP, MarkLogic
Michael D. Lynn, CEM, CME, CMM, CMP, CPC, CPECP, Global Protocol, Etiquette and Civility Academy | Professional Tradeshow Resources
Pam Martin, Creative Meetings & Incentives (CM&I)
Terry Matthews-Lombardo, CMP, TML Services Group, LLC
Deborah Molique, Molique EPS
Pat Moore, CMP, Mattel
Annette Naif, Naif Productions
Natalie Norris, CMP, CMM, Meetings and More, Inc.
Qualena Odom-Royes, CSEP, CMP, CDMP, EventEssentials, LLC
Barbara Ozenbaugh, CMP, CAE, Seaside Event & Non-Profit Management
Sanece Marie Poolas, Strategic Meetings & Events
Dana L Saal CMP, CAE, Saal Meeting Consulting
Heather Sampson, CMP, DES, Aspire Meetings & Events, LLC
Bonni Scepkowski, Stellar Meetings & Events
Arlene Schilke, CMP, Timewise Event Management Inc.
Marilee Sonneman, CMP, DMCP, Spotlight Sojourns
Karin Soyster Fitzgerald, CMP, CAE, International Association of Fire Chiefs
Chip G. Stockton, CMP, Conference ConCepts, Inc.
Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC, CFPM, Thrive! Meetings & Events
Heather Switzer, CMP, Winsight, LLC
Peg Wolschon, CMP, CTA, Calyx Software
Terri Woodin, CMP, Meeting Sites Resource

The 40 honorees will each receive complimentary registration for SPINCon 2017 (one for the honoree, and one for their nominator or a fellow qualified planner), and they will be recognized at the conference in a ceremony amongst their peers. SPINCon 2017 will be held at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas, December 3-5.

About SPIN

SPIN:Senior Professionals Industry Network is the world’s largest association for senior-level planners. SPIN has recently invited all hospitality professionals who have at least 10 years of experience to join their ranks.

Prague Congress Centre Closes Its 17-year chapter

The blue logo, which the Prague Congress Centre has been associated with since 2002, has been replaced with a new logo. The refurbished centre introduces a new corporate identity that symbolizes its transformation into an open, friendly and inspiring place.

The winner of a new corporate identity tender, Fast & Simple Group was asked to give the Prague Congress Centre an unmistakable, distinctive and visually clear style. The logo itself corresponds to the changes that are taking place in the PCC, to its upgrading, digitalization and innovative approach.

“The idea behind the design of the logo was the location itself, so not only want the location in the centre of Prague, but also in the very heart of Europe, where visitors from Europe are practically around the corner. It is the imaginary corner that fits into the graphic of the whole corporate identity. The selected triangles represent the initial letters of the name of the Prague Congress Centre,” explains Nikola Jaroschova, creative director of the agency.

The Prague Congress Centre, which made a major shift with the dynamic new management during the last year and can honour its rank among the best congress centres in Europe, deserves a new visual style. “We liked the playfulness and simplicity of the design, the distinctive colours that symbolize the tradition with our dominant position in the congress market on one side and growth and future development on the other. Blue represents long-term experience and professionalism, fuchsia then self- confidence and green, finally, sustainable development and growth which also corresponds with the direction of the green arrow,” says Lenka Žlebková, the Sales and Marketing Director.

Altogether, the logo evokes the shape of the present building and the future extension of the new exhibition hall. The aim was to highlight Prague itself as an excellent congress destination.

The visual elements of the new corporate identity will be accompanied by the slogans “That’s Me, Just Around the Corner and Feel the Change”, which will be used especially in targeted marketing campaigns.

The Prague Congress Centre:

PCC is the largest congress centre in the Czech Republic. It offers a wide variety of space suitable for all kinds of events from small conferences to big congresses, high technical standards and great acoustics.  Its advantage is the location near the city centre, breath-taking views and municipal transportation accessibility. The total capacity is up to 9,300 people and 13,000 m² of exhibition space and the complex also includes the Vyšehrad Business Centre and the 4-star Holiday Inn Prague Congress Centre with 254 rooms.  PCC has been certified with EKO Gold for being supplied 100% of electricity produced from renewable resources.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Win Third Consecutive Accolade At rAWr Awards 2017

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre) scored a ‘hattrick’ at the recent rAWr (Recognising Award Winning Results) Awards 2017, when the venue was announced winner (for the third consecutive time) of the ‘Purpose Built Convention & Exhibition Centre Award For Excellence’.

Speaking on the Centre’s success at the rAWr Awards Ceremony, Deputy General Manager, John Burke, conveyed, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this prestigious accolade for the third time and are honoured to be amongst such esteemed finalists and industry leaders.”

He continued, “This award is testament to the commitment, professionalism and dedication of our highly knowledgeable and professional team members. We work hard to successfully deliver innovative and value-add solutions that are customised and designed to create bespoke experiences, as well as memorable customer journeys, for clients across the board. It also further reinforces our position as Malaysia’s premier facility and one of Asia Pacific’s leading meeting venues.”

Burke also congratulated Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) on this initiative, which encourages and recognises excellence among business events industry players, as a way to continuously improve standards within the local, regional and global meetings industry.

Launched in 2013, the biennial rAWr (Recognising Award Winning Results) Awards is a joint initiative between MyCEB and MACEOS recognising business events industry players. Judged by a panel of independent industry experts within the Asian region, this year’s awards celebrated the prestigious talents, dedication and innovation behind the years of successful venues & events, conventions, exhibitions and incentive travel. For more information on the rAWr Awards 2017, click here.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit

‘She Means Business’ – Conversation, collaboration and learning for women at IMEX in Frankfurt

Gender politics has hit the headlines again recently – issues affecting women at work, such as gender equality and career advancement, are more prominent than ever. In the meeting and event sector, where women comprise the majority of the workforce, these topics are particularly pressing.

This is evident in the huge response from women around the world to the survey ‘Women in the Events Industry – equal partners or assistants?’ launched last year by tw tagungswirtschaft magazine and the m + a report in conjunction with the IMEX Group.

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, explains: “It has long been noticeable that whilst women are in the majority in the meetings industry, they are in the minority in leadership positions. We want to play our part in highlighting the challenges that women face, but more importantly helping to introduce solutions. The best way to do this is to bring people together for open conversation, collaboration and learning.”

Conversation, collaboration and learning top the agenda at a new event to be launched at IMEX in Frankfurt next year. She Means Business, taking place the day before the show on Monday 14 May, as part of EduMonday, is a new half day conference celebrating the role of women in the industry. Meeting and event strategists – both female and male – are invited to share expertise and learn from inspiring speakers and mentors.

She Means Business, created in partnership with tw tagungswirtschaft, addresses the crucial issues currently faced by women in the meetings and events sector with inspirational speakers sharing their insights and experiences.

Kerstin Wünsch, editor-in-chief tw tagungswirtschaft, explains: “The launch of She Means Business at IMEX in Frankfurt 2018 has been driven by the needs of readers – our international survey, ‘Women in the event industry’, showed that nearly 80% of respondents wanted platforms to meet and to exchange ideas.” is the exclusive hotel partner of She Means Business. Uwe Krohn Vice President Sales H-Hotels explains: “For, gender equality is not a trend, it’s part of everyday life. Professional women, particularly those in the meetings and events industry, deserve a dedicated event to foster professional development and networking. The timing of She Means Business is perfect and we support this event with all our heart.”

“As an industry we must continue to discuss, ask questions, challenge preconceptions and push forward for change. It’s only by meeting and collaborating that we can make an impact for women in the industry,” comments Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

SPIN Announces Advisory Board

SPIN:Senior Professionals Industry Network announced the formation of its first Advisory Board. This group will work with the CEO & acting Executive Director, Shawna Suckow to help guide the organization on a more strategic level. “As SPIN enters its 10th year, we have decided to add this team to deliver SPIN’s vision, set priorities and assist with the search for a new Executive Director,” said Suckow.

Current SPIN members applied for the Advisory Board and were selected by Suckow. “I’ve been a SPIN member since its inception, said Tracey Smith, CMP, CMM. I’ve always had some type of leadership role in the organization and am excited to continue in helping to shape SPIN’s future.”  Noted Rachel Clarke, “This is my first foray into SPIN leadership, although I’ve been a member for years and have enjoyed many annual conferences. I am honored to have been chosen to work on the next chapter of this association.”

SPIN has had a larger leadership team in the past, comprised of volunteers at the national and branch levels. The creation of an Advisory Board will allow a smaller core group to work with the Executive Director more efficiently.

SPIN recently changed its planner-only policy to add senior-level suppliers into the association; they will be represented on the Advisory Board as a third of the team.  “I’ve been a SPIN supporter as a sponsor for several years,” said Deborah Cohen, CMP of the Branson Lakes CVB. “When the announcement came that SPIN was inviting senior-level suppliers to join, I jumped at the chance and was flattered to be asked to be a part of the first Advisory Board.”

2018 SPIN Advisory Board members:

Tom Anderson, CMPTechnology Service Industry Association, San Diego, CA
Mozella Brown, CMPM.L. Brown & Associates, Dallas, TX
Rachel ClarkeRachel Clarke Events, Las Vegas, NV
Linda Hurtley Linwood Group Meetings, Minneapolis, MN
Terry Mathews-Lombardo, CMPTML Services, Orlando, FL
Wendy PorterWendy Porter Events, Minneapolis, MN
Tracey Smith, CMP, CMMAmerican Express Meetings & Events, Austin, TX
Greg BriceSmartSource Rentals, Orlando, FL
Deborah Cohen, CMPBranson Lakes CVB, Branson, MO
Dan YamanLive Spark, Minneapolis, MN

The SPIN Advisory Board will have their first meeting preceding the association’s annual conference, SPINCon, in December.

About SPIN

SPIN:Senior Professionals Industry Network is the world’s third largest association for meeting planners and the largest for senior-level planners. SPIN has recently invited all hospitality professionals who have at least 10 years of experience to join their ranks.


For more information:

Carolyn Browning, Director of Communications, SPIN –

Shawna Suckow, Founder & CEO, SPIN –

Catherine Jensen, VP Operations, SPIN –



The Centre Wins Highest Number of Medals at Culinaire Malaysia 2017

It was a sweet victory for the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) Culinary Team when they bagged The Most Outstanding Team in Culinary, Most Outstanding Chef, Most Outstanding Artist and Most Outstanding Apprentice at the recent Culinaire Malaysia 2017!

The team recorded its highest number of medals won at the competition, which it has now competed in 5 times, with 10 gold, 11 silver and 6 bronze medals reflecting the Centre’s continuous commitment in developing and nurturing young talent with world-class culinary skills.

The 26 junior chefs proved their mettle in skills, creativity, quality, delivery and presentation as the team won gold in ‘Ethnic Malay Cuisine’, ‘5-course Western Set Menu’, ‘Plated Appetiser’, ‘Buffet Platter’ and ‘Selection of Tapas’ categories, among others.

“We are proud of our junior chefs and these tremendous wins they brought home! Unlike other years when we entered with a full team, this year we gave the opportunity to our junior chefs as it exposes them to higher standards of food safety, hygiene, time management and food presentation skills. The record-breaking victory clearly showcased our junior team’s skill and level of commitment,” commented a delighted Chef Hisham, the Centre’s Executive Chef.

To prepare themselves, the 26 junior chefs began their groundwork some three months prior to the competition under the guidance of their more experienced head chefs to ensure everything from conceptualisation of proportion, taste, colour, texture and cutting were perfect when the time came.

The competing team was led by Chef Nur Mohammad Bin Zahar, Hot Production Sous Chef; Chef Fairus Raudzi bin Mohamad Jabar, Garde Manger Chef; Chef Amir Mohamad, Malay Chef, Chef Dzulkarnaen bin Amiruddin, Pastry Chef and Chef Patrick Ooi, Chinese Banquet Chef.

Playing host since 2005, the Centre once again opened its doors for Culinaire Malaysia 2017 which was held in late September. The Culinaire Malaysia 2017 brought together more than 1,000 chefs, bartenders and F&B personnel from leading hotels and restaurants, as well as students of culinary academies. It is held alongside Food & Hotel Malaysia (FHM) and aims to recognise the country’s best culinary arts and food and beverage service skills.