by Kaylee Hultgren | November 30, 2009

Nathan Tollett recently rejoined the sales team at the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau as director of sales, following a stint as national sales manager for The Golden Nugget hotel in Las Vegas. During his early years at the bureau, Tollett was known for orchestrating customized, quirky site visits, many of which successfully lured groups to Houston.

Tell me about your creative site visits. One of the most memorable was the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association. They were here for just three hours, which is a short time to make an impact. We dressed up in deli outfits with hats and aprons; put a sheet cake with their logo on it in a meeting room; and we even rented a cow from a petting zoo, named "Moo Baby." They asked me to ride the cow around the exhibit hall. Luckily, it had a saddle.

What do you like best about the industry? I enjoy the relationship side of the business. There are so many moving parts: the hotels, the CVB, etc. The rules change, but the relationships stay the same. I like going to a trade show and seeing the same people, perhaps working on different projects.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would visit the Mediterranean and tour the coastal cities. Anything by the water brings me peace of mind.

Any advice for newbies? It's OK to be different, but do it with an understanding of the customer; make sure they can relate to it.



On the Move

PlannersSayoc joins Relevé Unlimited
Gaspar Louis Sayoc has been hired as sales manager for Relevé Unlimited, a destination, meeting and event management company headquartered in Los Olivos, Calif. Sayoc will focus on group program development and sales in cooperation with partner properties in the Napa and Sonoma communities. Additionally, he will work directly with corporate groups as a third-party meeting planner. Previously, Sayoc was director of catering, sales and marketing for Real Catering at the Vintage Estate in St. Helena, Calif.

SuppliersAnnie Almas has been hired as catering events and wedding manager of the 124-room Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

Mike Curd has been appointed general manager of the 174-suite Hilton Suites Lexington (Ky.) Green.

The 219-room Warwick Denver Hotel has hired Devona DeVault as group sales manager and Jill Klocek as business travel sales manager.

The 187-room Glen Cove (N.Y.) Mansion Hotel and Con­ference Center has named Andrew Helliwell as executive chef.

White Lotus Productions, an event design company based in San Diego, has appointed Brian Kelly to serve as design director.

Molly Lieberknecht has been named sales manager at the 301-room Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center in Branson, Mo.

Tom McKenny has been hired as general manager of the 430-room Boston Marriott Newton Hotel.

Steve Miller has been named associate director of sales at the 257-room Silvertree Hotel in Snowmass Village, Colo.

Visit Tallahasse, the tourism marketing organization for Tallahassee and Leon County, Fla., has hired Kerri Post as senior marketing director.

The Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau has appointed Kelly Saling as national accounts director. She will manage the bureau's corporate, trade show, religious, sports and labor-union markets.

Rob Smith has been named general manager of the 354-room Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa.