ASAE Senior VP of Public Policy Jim Clarke to Retire in January; Cunningham Named Successor

ASAE Senior Vice President of Public Policy Jim Clarke, CAE, has announced his decision to retire from his post at the end of January 2019 after more than 20 years of service to the organization.

Clarke, who came to ASAE in 1997 after a prestigious career on Capitol Hill, has overseen a public policy operation that has recorded numerous legislative and regulatory wins on behalf of ASAE and the association community. Most recently, Clarke led the charge to protect associations from several onerous tax changes originally proposed in last year’s tax code overhaul. On Sept. 20, Clarke was honored as CEO Update’s “Lobbyist of the Year” during the publication’s annual Association Leadership Awards luncheon.

“I’m very grateful to my mentors, staff, and family who have helped support me in my career throughout the years,” Clarke said. “I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished on the advocacy front, and thankful for the many wonderful relationships I’ve developed through this role at ASAE. I believe strongly in ASAE’s purpose and in ensuring associations are at the table when policy decisions are being made. I know ASAE will continue to be that strong voice for association interests in the years ahead.”

Prior to his arrival at ASAE, Clarke served in numerous staff roles for now-retired Rep. William F. Clinger Jr. (R-PA), including chief of staff from 1988 to 1994. In 1995, he became staff director of the Government Reform and Management Committee where he managed operations of a 52-member committee and oversaw 75 staffers and seven subcommittees.

“Jim has been an exceptional advocate for the association community over the years and has helped raise the profile of ASAE on Capitol Hill,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham, FASAE, CAE. “I want to personally thank Jim for his passionate defense of association interests and for helping to amplify ASAE’s voice in the political process. We are working to ensure a smooth transition for our advocacy team when Jim departs early next year.”

ASAE has named Mary Kate Cunningham, CAE, currently senior director of public policy, to lead the Public Policy team as vice president starting in January 2019. Cunningham has been integral to ASAE’s efforts in tax reform and in combating threats to voluntary certification around the country. She also led ASAE’s efforts to fight discriminatory legislation in the states and to protect federal employee attendance at association meetings.

Prior to joining ASAE, Cunningham worked in Congress at the House Armed Services Committee and for the Federation of American Scientists. She serves as a member of the Tax Coalition and the American Ireland Funds Young Leaders Society. In 2013 she received the “Up and Coming Practitioner” award from the Professional Women in Advocacy Conference.

“It’s a dynamic time in the association community right now, but it’s not without its policy challenges. I’m eager to work with ASAE members across the country and amplify The Power of A message. The voice of association leaders is more important than ever,” Cunningham said.

“I have worked with Mary Kate for nearly six years and feel strongly she possesses the skill sets that are vital to direct ASAE’s public policy operation,” said Graham. “She has the leadership, policy, and communication tools that make her a natural for the position. Importantly, she is passionate and committed to volunteer involvement.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505. ASAE Twitter: @ASAECenter.

About ASAE

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 44,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Its members lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. Together, they create a vibrant community that makes the world smarter, safer, and better every day. 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. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.

New IMEX America app – the simplest and fastest way to find what you want at the show

Want to view your appointments with exhibitors at IMEX America, find a booth on the show floor or learn about cybersecurity at one of the education sessions?

The new IMEX America app is the simplest, fastest and most convenient way to find what you need at the show. It’s now ready to download.

Powered by EventReference.com, the new app is lightweight – it takes up little space on a phone – and is available offline – it doesn’t need a wifi connection.

It also has features that will be valuable to exhibitors. Booth coordinators and partners can view their own and their staff’s schedules on the app.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group says: “The app will be a great “go to” guide to help everyone to stay tuned in to what’s happening across the show, in the evenings and with their own schedule of appointments.  There is so much to see, do and attend so the app is designed to make finding and plugging into all that easier.”

To download the app, search for ‘EventReference’ in the Apple App Store or Google Play and chose events code ‘IA18’.

PCMA announces 2019 ’20 in their Twenties’ class

PCMA has announced the “20 in their Twenties” class of 2019, as the next generation of business events leaders and 20 of the brightest and most talented young professionals.

PCMA’s 2019 class of “20 in their Twenties” come from around the world and from boutique to global organizations.

“This passionate group inspires me every year as they represent the future of the business events industry,” said Meredith Rollins, executive director of the PCMA Education Foundation. “I have no doubt this class of bright, skilled professionals will achieve success and PCMA is proud to assist them at every stage of their career.

The 2019 class, supported by the PCMA Education Foundation and Experience Columbus, will be honored at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference taking place Jan. 6-9, 2019 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Each of the “20 in their Twenties” class members is selected by a committee comprised of veteran industry professionals and “20 in their Twenties” alumni. Applicants were required to be full-time employees in the business events industry and no older than 29 on Jan. 9, 2019. They must have provided examples of industry leadership, a video statement and professional references.

Members of the 2019 “20 in their Twenties” class will receive recognition as the next generation of industry leaders and a scholarship to attend Convening Leaders, PCMA’s annual signature event. Individuals will also receive complimentary registration for the 2019 PCMA Education Conference in June in Los Angeles, PCMA membership and educational products.

The 2019 ‘20 in their Twenties’ class will also be featured in PCMA’s Convene magazine and other PCMA communications.

Here is the PCMA’s ‘20 in their Twenties’ class for 2019:

Edward Bagsic, CMP, DES

Manager, Conventions VIP Events and Budgets

National Business Aviation Association

Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Raul Cavazos-Binder

Account Executive

Development Counsellors International (DCI)

New York, New York, USA

Jared Chambers

Strategic Account Manager

Experient, a Maritz Global Events Company

Frederick, Maryland, USA

Emily Dietrich

Manager, Business Events

Niagara Parks Commission

Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Molly Holt, CMP

Manager, Meeting Operations

Heart Rhythm Society

Washington, D.C., USA

Kara Hsu

Convention Sales Manager

Destination DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Veronika Ivanova

Marketing and Meeting Architecture Specialist

Kenes International

Sofia, Bulgaria

Andrea Lane, MTA

Meeting Planner

National Defense Industrial Association

Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Janelle Lewis

Meetings and Events Manager

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

North Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Chad Manhertz, MTA

Event Manager

Events DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Femke Morelisse

Sales Manager

GES

Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Greg Morris, CMP

Director, Meetings and Education

Destinations International

Washington, D.C., USA

Laura Neufeld

Account Manager, Meetings and Events

MCI Group Canada Inc.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Khadijah Nimrod

Convention Sales Assistant

Destination DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Olivia Pelzer

Senior Strategic Account Analyst

Cvent

Delaware, Ohio, USA

Gita Pun

Client Relations Team Manager

Shocklogic

London, England

Giulia Ineke Sarri

MARCOM and Social Project Assistant

AIM Group International

Milan, Italy

Erin Simcox

Senior Manager of Housing

Visit Knoxville

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

Kevin J. Thompson

Event Manager

Events DC

Washington, D.C., USA

Lindsay Williams

Sales Manager

GES

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Technological innovators invited to exhibit at new Tech Zone in IMEX America

As part of its aim to be a testing ground for new event technology, the IMEX Group is introducing the Tech Zone at IMEX America. New and innovative technology will be tried and tested by attendees in this new area of the show which takes place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas.

Companies offering ground-breaking or disruptive technology are invited to exhibit and present at the Tech Zone – for free. This opportunity is open to organisations who have never exhibited at IMEX America before and aims to provide opportunities for attendees to experience the latest developments and uncover new tools.

Companies are invited to contact James Johnson-Miller, director of event technology at the IMEX Group, with an email or video pitch explaining who they are, what they do, why their offering is important and what they can bring to the Tech Zone.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains:

“As part of our mission to educate and innovate we want to open up our show to new and exciting technology companies. If they’re breaking boundaries and innovating, we want to hear from them!

“So many of the benefits that technology can bring to our industry are still untapped potential; we want to help event planners at IMEX America this year to see and understand what technology can do for them.”

IMEX America takes place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® in Las Vegas, preceded by Smart Monday, powered by MPI, on October 15.

Registration is free.

AHLEF Awards Record-Breaking $1.3 Million in Scholarships

Over 70 Percent Female Recipients; Highest Number of Hospitality Students Rewarded to Propel Career Development

Washington, D.C. — The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AHLEF), the philanthropic arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), announced $1.3 million was awarded via 420 scholarships this year – the highest amount ever awarded to students seeking a career in the hospitality industry. More than 70 percent of scholarship recipients are women, and more than one-third of the total recipients are minority students.

“With students taking on crippling loans to deal with the rising cost of college, the hospitality sector is leading the curve in developing talent and providing career pathways for students who would not otherwise be able to access education,” said Rosanna Maietta, AHLEF President. “As an industry supporting more than 8 million employees, we are focused on creating lifelong career opportunities for aspiring hospitality students. We’re especially excited to empower, promote and encourage a diverse workforce for the industry through these scholarship awards, which are emblematic of our mission to ensure a strong future for the entire lodging sector and build the next generation of hoteliers.”

AHLEF administers 9 scholarship programs for students enrolled in hospitality-related degree programs at colleges and universities across the country. The Foundation received and evaluated more than 2,000 applications based on financial need, academics, relevant work experience, extracurricular activities and personal attributes. Scholarships, up to $7,500 are awarded based on the university program and student’s enrollment status.

Since its founding, AHLEF has distributed more than $14 million in scholarship funds to promising hospitality management students. Scholarship funds are available to incoming freshmen through graduate level for students studying hospitality management. The AHLEF Annual Scholarship Grant Program, the Foundation’s largest, includes funds provided by the AHLEF General Campaign, AHLEF Hospitality 2000, Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), AHLEF New Century, the National Restaurant Association, Melinda Bush Mentors, John Clifford Memorial, Cecil B. Day Memorial, Handlery Hotels, Conrad N. Hilton Memorial, Creighton Holden Memorial, Hospitality Asset Managers Association, Steve Hymans Extended Stay Scholarship, Richard Kessler, J. Willard Marriott Memorial, Joseph McInerney Scholarship, Curtis C. Nelson and AHLEF’s Annual Giving Program.

Additional scholarship programs include The Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students; the Rama Scholarship for the American Dream Program; the American Express Scholarship Program; the Ecolab Scholarship Program; the Karl Mehlmann Scholarship; the Graduate Scholarship Program; the Arthur J. Packard Memorial Scholarship Program; the Incoming Freshman Scholarship, which awards PepsiCo Foundation and ALIS Scholarships; and the Opening Doors to Opportunity Scholarship, which awards Minaz Abji Scholarships.

For more information about AHLEF scholarships and other programs, visit www.ahlef.org or contact Michelle Poinelli, senior vice president, foundation programs, at (202) 289-3181 or mpoinelli@ahlef.org.

About AHLEF
AHLEF is the industry’s philanthropic organization, dedicated to helping people build careers that improve their lives and strengthen the lodging industry. Created in 1953, AHLEF initially focused on providing scholarships to a small group of promising hospitality students. Since that time, the Foundation has taken on a much greater mandate: ensuring a strong and viable future for the entire lodging industry. Underscoring the industry’s stories of opportunity, growth, and success, AHLEF priorities include scholarships, research and career development programs.

First venue in Malaysia to present an immersive Virtual Reality experience to clients

The Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC) is taking event engagement to the next level with the unveiling of fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and being the first trade and exhibition centre in Malaysia embracing the technology.

The VR-based app will bring a glimpse of exciting virtual reality and 360-degree experiences to life showcasing MITEC’s venue and halls, presented through a special headset device utilising the latest standalone VR, Oculus Go with improved visual clarity, comfort, quality audio and a built-in software. Being the first to Malaysian market, the Oculus Go rises above the various competitors in the mobile VR category because for the first time, it allows both Android and iOS users run VR content as it does not need to be paired with either a mobile phone or tethered to a PC.

The VR headset not only allows the entire 45,000 sqm Venue to be explored virtually but also provide users with an interactive navigation to get a feel for nearby attractions and amenities.

Meeting planners can expand the immersive experience to also discover Kuala Lumpur city using the user-centric friendly menu-driven interface.

Gunther Beissel, Chief Executive Officer, MITEC said: “We are committed to enhancing and delivering amazing innovative client experiences and the VR further demonstrates our monumental stride to drive technology initiatives as the leading exhibition venue in Southeast Asia.

When it comes to planning events, organisers can view virtual experiences of exhibition halls and the venue’s capacity to get a life-like idea of their event at MITEC will be like,” he added.

The VR experience is developed by a homegrown agency Flytone Agency Sdn Bhd, a member of the Malaysia Digital Association (MDA).

MITEC’s VR experience is coming your way soon.

Watch this space! #justdifferent

ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Highest Attendance Since 2007

WASHINGTON— More than 6,000 association professionals and industry partners gathered in Chicago, August 18–21, for the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. Participants heard from keynotes Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler and World Champion triathlete Siri Lindley, participated in more than 110 education sessions, experienced five game changers, and explored a packed expo hall with 450 companies.

The final attendance breakdown: 3,554 executives, 2,120 exhibitors, 418 others, including guests, spouses, press, vendors, and staff, for a grand total of 6,092. A total of 450 companies representing 713 booths exhibited in the expo hall, which resulted in a strong ratio of 63 percent buyers (association staff) to 37 percent sellers (industry partners).

“Throughout the conference, our attendees heard from two fantastic keynotes, five Game Changers, engaged in 115 learning labs, and networked with industry partners in the expo hall.  Participants found new ideas, strategies, and solutions they could take back to their organization,” said ASAE President & CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE.

Strickler kicked off the conference as the opening keynote. He gave insights on how he started Kickstarter and ensured it was designed to reflect trust, value, and culture of the organization. He stressed how financial maximization isn’t permanent, and it’s critical for organizations to focus and articulate other values including community, knowledge, human capital and security.

For the closing keynote, Lindley told her inspirational story about how she became a triathlete champion. She stressed how we all need to be willing to fail, and by making that decision, let go of being afraid and embrace finding the gift in the struggle reaching goals in life because we learn something about ourselves in the process.

ASAE presented five game changers: Gabby Rivera, Author, Juliet Takes a Breath and Marvel Comic Series America; Rich Karlgaard, Publisher & Columnist, Forbes and Author, The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success; Seth Mattison, Cofounder and Chief Movement Officer, Luminate Labs and Co-author, The War at Work; Tina Tchen, Partner, Buckley Sandler and former Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama; and Manjit Minhas, Cofounder, Minhas Brewery & Distillery Dragon, CBC Dragons’ Den.

ASAE raised $71,000 for two charities: The Greater Chicago Food Depository and Little Brothers: Friends of the Elderly. The total weight of the food donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository Food Drive was 6,687 pounds, which translates to 8,693 meals.

Next year’s ASAE Annual Meeting will be in Columbus, Ohio, August 10-13, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

ASAE thanks the following Alliance Partners and Global Partners for their continued support of the association community:

Strategic Partners
Atlanta CVB
Canada Business Events
Choose Chicago
Experience Columbus
Community Brands
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
Naylor Association Solutions
Visit San Jose

Corporate Partners
Visit Austin
Visit Baltimore
Destination Cleveland
Visit Dallas
DelCor Technology Solutions
Fonteva
GEICO
Louisville Tourism
Visit Omaha
Visit Salt Lake

Event Partners
iMIS by Advanced Solutions International
The Broadmoor
CliftonLarsonAllen
Experient
Higher Logic
Johnson Lambert LLP and Vault Consulting
Manifest
MemberClicks
Mexico Tourism Board
Discover The Palm Beaches

Global Partners

Dubai Association Centre

Korea Tourism Organization

MEDIA CONTACT: Sabrina Kidwai, APR, CAE skidwai@asaecenter.org, 202-326-9505

About ASAE and the ASAE Foundation

ASAE is a membership organization of more than 42,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,300 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 www.asaecenter.org.

SPIN Launches Small Business Community

Offering Tools to Help Members Survive & Thrive

SPIN:Senior Planners Industry Network recently launched the SPIN:Small Business Community, offering strategies and tools to members to survive in this uncertain business world.

“The recent commission cuts by the major hotel chains has hit many of our members hard,” said Tracey Smith, SPIN Executive Director. “Based on a recent survey we conducted, 36% of our members rely on a commission/fee structure. In order to keep their doors open they need to change and develop new ways to market their services. Our Small Business Community will offer tools and tactics to help them pivot.”

The SPIN:Small Business Community will provide on-demand education for its members from experts on business growth strategies. Current offerings include “Mindset Strategies for Business Growth” with Debbie Peterson and “Strategies to Fill Your Pipeline” with Charlene DeCesare. More sessions will be added throughout the year and there will be an entire track devoted to business growth at SPINCon 2018 (SPIN’s annual conference).

“46% of our members are small business owners”, remarked Shawna Suckow, SPIN Founder. “We’re ensuring they have the strategies they need to not only survive but thrive despite a few major hotel chains’ unilateral decision to change their income model.”

About SPIN

SPIN:Senior Planners 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.

AHLA REACTS TO NEW YORK CITY PASSING STRONG SHORT-TERM RENTAL ORDINANCE

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) president and CEO Katherine Lugar today issued the following statement in response to new short-term rental legislation passed unanimously by the New York City Council to bring strong platform accountability to the home sharing market:

“Today the New York City Council passed an industry-setting measure to force greater transparency and responsibility for short-term rentals while helping to protect the fabric of New York neighborhoods and preserve residents’ access to affordable housing. Municipalities large and small are following the leadership demonstrated in the Big Apple to protect their residents and take back their neighborhoods.

“Today’s vote comes on the heels of a wave of cities across the country, from Boston to San Diego, who are finally saying, ‘Enough. It’s time for Airbnb to be held to the same standards, rules and regulations as every other American company – large and small.

“We commend New York City’s Council Members and the many local neighborhood and housing groups who have been working hard to preserve affordable housing and safe neighborhoods for the city’s workforce and hold Airbnb accountable.”

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s Executive Chef Will Showcase Malaysia’s Culinary Distinction during the Congress

In conjunction with the hosting of the Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s (the Centre) 52-strong culinary team, led by Executive Chef, Hisham Bin Jaafar, is showcasing the best produce and ingredients Malaysia has to offer to over 1,000 of the culinary world’s crème de la crème.

Malaysia won the bid in 2014 upon presenting the very best in culinary diversity in the country apart from successfully meeting the stringent requirements. Further boosting its international presence as a culinary paradise, hosting the prestigious event reiterates Malaysia’s exceptional appeal as a global food destination.

The award-winning culinary team at the Centre and its track record in culinary distinction, coupled with its experience in hosting many major high-profile global events were a major factor behind the venue being chosen to host this esteemed congress.

“We are honoured and excited to host the Worldchefs Congress, which is the global authority on food and the congress is a hallmark tradition of the association and has been organised in over 20 cities across the world throughout its illustrious 82-year history. The 2018 edition will be its first time in Malaysia and only the second occasion in the organisation’s history that the event will be held in South-east Asia,” shared Chef Hisham.

To celebrate the occasion, the Centre will offer registered delegates a complimentary authentic Malaysian breakfast treat unlike any other in the world, a truly home-grown favourite, Nasi Lemak (Traditional Malaysian rice dish cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaves and served with chicken rendang, quail egg and assorted condiments) throughout the four-day congress.

Chef Hisham continued, “Food brings everyone together, especially in Malaysia where it is often the centre-piece of an event. Over the past few months, our award-winning chefs have left no stone unturned when researching and developing the four-course Guestravaganza menu for the Gala Dinner to ensure these culinary experts enjoy a truly unique gastronomic experience they will never forget.”

Inspired by Malaysia’s rich culinary and cultural heritage, the menu infuses local ingredients to deliver an exquisite fusion of Western and Malaysian flavours, designed to take diners on a culinary journey that goes beyond taste, and satisfies all five senses, creating a stunning dining experience that will leave an unforgettable impression.

Elaborating on one of the unique dishes, Chef Hisham concluded, “The Gala Dinner menu will feature a local favourite Asam Pedas (traditional sour and spicy fish stew cooked in tamarind juice and spices), but we cannot divulge too much as we want to surprise and delight our guests.”

In addition to preparing the mouth-watering four-course Gala Dinner menu, Chef Hisham will also be overseeing the Global Chefs Challenge, which is a Battle of Chefs for Chefs with over 70 nations competing to win the title.

Organised by the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (Worldchefs), the biennial event gathers culinary heavyweights from around the world to discuss developments in the culinary field and compete in the Worldchefs Global Chefs Challenge. Founded in October 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris, France, Worldchefs is a global network of chefs associations dedicated to maintaining and improving the culinary standards of global cuisines through education, training and professional development of her international membership.

For all the latest news and information on the Centre, visit www.klccconventioncentre.com.