"Rachael Ray would be the best planning partner. She has high energy and a creative flair."
Beverly Laing, CMP, CTC, is senior account manager at Irvine, Calif.-based JNR Inc., a company that runs meetings and incentive programs for Fortune 500 clients. She has nearly 20 years of experience in the meetings industry, including serving as director of professional development for the Southern California chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Earlier this year, the chapter voted her Meeting Planner of the Year for 2007-'08.
Over the years, who has inspired you? My first mentor was my first boss in event management -- Mike Davis, senior director of rules and competitions at the United States Golf Association. More recently, Haley Powers, CMP, has been a mentor for me in MPI. She got me involved in the association's membership committee.
Why were you named Planner of the Year? Among other things, I revamped the Awards & Recognition department of our chapter to recognize additional volunteers.
What celebrity would make the best planning partner? I'd say Rachael Ray [of TV's Food Network fame]. She has a down-to-earth style, high energy and a creative flair.
What makes a perfect attendee? I love enthusiasm and high energy. When someone comes to an event with these qualities, it shows that they really want to take part.
How would you reward yourself for a meeting well done? Take a long vacation and just stay at home, since I am not there as much as I would like to be.
Russell promoted at Meeting Sites Resource
Robyn Russell, CMP, has been promoted from account manager to senior manager of accounts and meeting services at Irvine, Calif.-based Meeting Sites Resource, a meeting planning and site selection company. In her new post, Russell will retain her current clients and will take on additional management roles in meeting services, contract review and personnel process management.
Atlanta-based luxury hotel company Capella Hotels and Resorts has appointed Karl Chase as director of sales and marketing for the 100-room Capella Telluride (Colo.), to debut in spring 2009.
Alwyn Dawkins has been promoted to senior vice president of Gartner Events, a global conference technology company based in Stamford, Conn.
Three new sales managers have joined the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association: Amra Elmore as national sales manager, D. Morales as group tour sales manager and Will Trokey as regional sales manager.
Diana Gonda has been appointed national sales director for Disney Resort Destinations' Chicago office. In her new position, Gonda will target the Midwest association and corporate markets.
Jennifer Lewis was recently appointed associate director of sales at the 573-room Hyatt Regency Monterey (Calif.) Resort & Spa.
Pico, a global event marketing company, has named Paul B. Mullen as president of its Atlanta-based North American division.
The Mobile Bay (Ala.) Convention and Visitors Bureau has hired David Randel as vice president of sales.
Margaret Sitton has joined the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau as senior vice president of sales, a new position heading up the hotel meetings sales division.
The 494-room JW Marriott New Orleans has appointed Etienne Tardy as director of sales and marketing.
The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau has hired Sara Turkowski as convention sales manager.
If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Kaylee Hultgren, email@example.com.