The Greater New York Chapter was named Chapter of the Year and the University of Memphis was honored as Collegiate Chapter of the Year. Other “Chapter Best of the Best” award winners were honored throughout HSMAI’s annual Mike Leven Leadership Conference, held in the same venue September 5–6, 2017.
“Our chapters and their creative approaches to revenue optimization have strengthened HSMAI’s commitment to fueling hotel sales over these past 90 years,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI Executive Vice President. “We are proud to recognize these achievements and are appreciative of these chapters’ hard work.”
Held the final evening of this year’s Mike Leven Leadership Conference, HSMAI’s 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner recognized and honored HSMAI leaders and innovations. Fifteen Past Presidents and seven HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Award honorees were on hand for the celebration. The evening included remarks and remembrances from past and present HSMAI leaders including HSMAI Lifetime Award Winner Roger Dow, US Travel Association; Past Chairs Bruce Himelstein, BJH Group; Barb Bowden, Loews Hotels; Dorothy Dowling, Best Western Hotels & Resorts; current HSMAI Board Chair Jeff Senior, KSL Resorts; HSMAI Foundation Chair John Fareed, Horwath; incoming Chair Mark Thompson, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau; and HSMAI President & CEO Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA.
“We may be celebrating a major milestone tonight, but we’ll also recognize a number of outstanding leaders and some special guests who have helped to grow HSMAI over the last two decades,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President & CEO of HSMAI, in his opening remarks. “We really feel HSMAI is 90 years young. Tonight is the celebration of many industry feats and firsts—but it’s also the beginning of a new chapter for our game-changing organization.” (For a brief recap of HSMAI’s 90 years of innovation, view the six-minute video, “Celebrating 90 Years: An HSMAI Video Story.”)
A special part of the anniversary celebration was devoted to presenting HSMAI’s first-ever Hotel Sales Professional of the Year Awards. Adreana Bailey, National Sales Manager, Hilton DFW Lakes, was recognized as the HSMAI Hotel Sales Professional of the Year in the On-property category. Jane Pearsall, Senior Manager of Worldwide Sales, Global Business Travel, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, received the HSMAI Above-property Hotel Sales Professional of the Year Award. HSMAI’s annual Advisory Board & Council Chair’s Leadership Award recipients were also annpounced:
Sales Advisory Board: Michelle Crosby, CMP, the Senior National Sales Manager at Allied PRA Dallas
Marketing Advisory Board: Katie Briscoe the Executive Vice President of Client Services at MMGY Global
Revenue Management Advisory Board: Kelly McGuire, Ph.D., and Senior Vice President of Revenue Management for MGM Resorts International
Digital Marketing Council: Isaac Gerstenzang, CHDM, the Assistant Vice President of Corporate E-commerce at Two Roads Hospitality
HSMAI honored chapters in the Americas Region for leadership, communications, membership, educational programming, and community involvement. The Frank W. Berkman Best of the Best 2016–2017 winners are as follows:
Chapter Leadership Award Winners
Greg Bodenair, Boston Chapter
Erik Dorr, Arizona Chapter
Jason Edwards, North Carolina Chapter
Blair Green, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Chapter
Large Chapter Winners
Arizona, Special Events
Greater New York, Membership, Partnership
South Florida, Education
Washington, D.C., Communications
Medium Chapter Winners
Boston, Education, Membership, Partnership
Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Communications
Missouri, Education, Special Events
Small Chapter Winners
British Columbia, Communications, Membership, Partnership
Florida Keys, Special Events
North Carolina, Partnership
Collegiate Chapter of the Year
University of Memphis
Conference highlights included “deep dives” into critical topics such as volunteering, partnerships, recruiting, educational programming, and profitability. The conference kicked off with an executive interview with conference benefactor Mike Leven, CEO, Georgia Aquarium & Former President and Chief Operating Officer, Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Attendees were treated to an insightful discussion on harnessing the headwinds by Col. Nicole Malachowski USAF, first woman Thunderbird flyer, former White House Fellow, and former executive director of Joining Forces—the Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden military and veterans initiative. As part of the HSMAI Helps service program, attendees hand-stuffed more than 100 bears to give to a children’s hospital.
The conference was renamed the HSMAI Mike Leven Leadership Conference following a generous donation from the Mike and Andrea Leven Foundation in 2013. This year leaders came together at the Lansdowne Resort & Spa September 5–6. The conference was made possible by Conference Partners: The Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, Anniversary Partner: Accor Hotels, Two Roads Hospitality, Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Booking.com, Visit Fairfax, and Visit Loudoun.