by Morton D. Rosenbaum | December 01, 2005

Make-a-Wish’s Epstein promoted
Amy Epstein, of the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s New York City chapter, has been promoted from special events coordinator to special events manager.

James Alfaro; Chuck Berkhimer, CMP; Terence Donnelly, CMP; James McAvoy,
and Wendy Smith have all been hired as national sales managers for Conferon Global Services. 
Roy T. Benear has been named senior vice president of the Austin (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Bridget Dunwell is the new sales manager for the Long Island (N.Y.) Convention and Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission. 
Beth Javens is the new director of sales for the Oxnard (Calif.) Convention & Visitors Bureau. 
Scott Lane has been named director of sales and marketing for the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, set to open in 2008.
Rick Leson is the new director of sales for the Palm Springs (Calif.) Convention Center.
Amber Levy has been named director of sales for the Hyland Group, a Washington, D.C.-based site-selection firm.
Nancy Lindemer has been promoted to Aramark Harrison Lodging’s regional director of sales and marketing. 
Fara McKinley has been named convention sales manager for the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association.
Christine Nord has been appointed director of national accounts for Hershey Resorts. Jeff Rudder is the new director of resort sales. 
Jim Perrin has been named director of sales and marketing for the upcoming Westin Boston Waterfront. 
Terry Rufer has been named vice president, sales and marketing, North America, for Corinthia Hotels International. 
Tom Santora has been promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Kor Hotel Group.
Shirley Smith was appointed director of sales at the Jacksonville (Fla.) & the Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Alina Dalmau"I don’t see it as a staff; it’s much more of a team. Especially in events, you all have to work together."

After 14 years of planning events for M&C and its sister publications, Alina Dalmau brought her planning talents to Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines and then Pembroke Park, Fla.-based MPBid. In October, she took the reins as senior meeting planner for MasterCard International. M&C caught up with her as she was packing up her MPBid office. 

How exciting is the new post? Very. One of the first questions they asked in the interview was if I was flexible with travel, because there are so many events in South America and Europe. I’ll be in Germany for a month this year for the World Cup, since MasterCard sponsors it. And now that my son is grown, I love traveling. I love working in new places.

You started your career in marketing. How has that training influenced your planning? It’s crucial. With marketing, it’s all about the message. And especially now that meeting planners are responsible not just for the logistics, but for the overall success of an event, it’s important to get your message conveyed. Even with advertising your sessions the thing that makes people go to one seminar or another is that one little paragraph that tells them what they can expect.

Does MasterCard International’s senior meeting planner get a staff? Yes, she does. But I don’t see it as a staff; it’s much more of a team. Especially in events, you all have to work together. You can’t really hope to have a successful event unless everyone knows exactly what’s going on.