"I can't handle too much routine, so I enjoy having creative freedom and a diverse, dynamic role."
James Bland, 26, is the recipient of the International Association of Conference Centers' first global scholarship, which honors emerging young leaders in the conference center industry. A graduate of the University of Bristol in South West England, Bland now serves as marketing manager for the Sundial Group, a U.K.-based collection of conference centers, where he has been employed since his 17th birthday.
What do you like best about your job? Doing something that makes a difference -- either a campaign that's successful, a new way of working that reduces costs, or a process that improves upon something existing. I'm not a person who can handle too much routine or repetition, so I enjoy having creative freedom and a diverse, dynamic role.
What are some of the major trends in the conference industry today? Most noticeable for me at the moment is the continuing erosion of lead times. Companies will think nothing of organizing a meeting for 30 people at just a week's notice, whereas perhaps two or three years ago, that would have been unthinkable.
Where do you plan to take your career from here? At 26, I probably have to face the fact that I am never going to be an astronaut, a ghostbuster, rock star, superhero or any of the other things I wanted to be when I was 10. I think joining the Beatles is unlikely, too. At the moment, I am concentrating on completing a masters degree in professional marketing.
Dynami Group taps Munn
Atlanta-based meetings, events and incentives company Dynami Group LLC
has appointed Jenny Munn as marketing services manager. She will be
responsible for serving existing client accounts as well as generating
new business. Previously, Munn worked for the destination management
company Atlanta Arrangements Inc.
John Atkisson has been appointed national group sales manager for the 220-suite Clearwater Beach (Fla.) Marriott Suites in Sand Key.
Michael Beale has been hired as vice president of charter and
incentive sales at Paul Gauguin Shipping Ltd., a Fort Lauderdale-based
luxury cruise company.
Visit Jacksonville (Fla.) has hired Chris Bracken as vice president of sales and marketing and Kim Ritten as director of sales.
Don Chock is the new director of sales and marketing for the
157-room Shorebreak Hotel, which opened last month in Huntington Beach,
The San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau has named Leonard Hoops
executive vice president and chief customer officer. He will focus on
the convention sales, convention services and travel industry sales
The Long Beach (Calif.) Convention & Visitors Bureau has appointed Allison Lesser vice president of sales and promoted Jeffrey J. Forney to vice president of marketing.
Todd Ryan has been promoted to the position of director of sales and marketing at the 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.
The 1,010-room Parc 55 Hotel San Francisco has named Marlena Sender director of national accounts and Ronda Yerger executive meetings manager.
Hilton Hotels Corp. has promoted Robert Speck to regional vice president, sales and marketing, for the Western region of the United States.
Las Vegas Meetings by Harrah's Entertainment has appointed Scott Wilson director of sales for the Midwest region of the United States.