by Kaylee Hultgren | April 01, 2008

Gore joins American Public Transport Association

Lenay Gore has been named director of meetings and trade shows for the Washington, D.C.-based American Public Transportation Association. She will oversee all meetings and trade shows as well as handle overall management of the convention department. Previously, Gore was director of national accounts for the San Diego Convention Center.


Jolene Butler has joined Washington, D.C.-based Associated Luxury Hotels International as director of sales for the Mid-Atlantic region. Also on the Mid-Atlantic sales team is Corinne Routhier, who was promoted to national sales manager.

Randall Ha has been named general manager of the 337-room Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort. The property will debut this fall in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Keith Hensley was hired as director of sales and marketing at the 1,663-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

David Jackson has been promoted to director of sales for the Pocono Mountains (Pa.) Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Edward L. Mendoza, CMP, CTC, has been appointed director of sales for the 294-room Sheraton Albuquerque (N.M.) Uptown hotel.

Lynnette Offen, CMP, and Lindsey Hestad have been hired as regional managers for global meetings procurement company HelmsBriscoe. They will be based out of the company’s MidWest regional office.

David Perkins has joined Champion Exposition Services, a Boston-based event services company, as executive vice president of sales.

Norbert Relecker has been appointed general manager of Benchmark Hospitality International’s 156-room Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Keith L. Station has been named national sales manager for the sports and entertainment market at the Irving (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau has promoted Zita Steglich to director of convention sales.

If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Kaylee Hultgren, People Page, M&C, 100 Lighting Way, Secaucus, N.J. 07094; fax: (201) 902-2032; e-mail:

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Larry Karel“My reward is a successful show, when exhibitors have done well and will return to the next one.”

Larry Karel is president and founder of Karel Exposition Management, an Aventura, Fla.-based regional furniture and accessory trade show company. Aside from devoting 48 years of service to the industry, Karel is best known for catering to independent, local retailers throughout the country by bringing smaller shows to their own backyards.

What is most satisfying about your job? Walking around the convention center floor and seeing order pads out, with my exhibitors smiling away as they write up an order from an attending buyer.

How did you get started in the industry? My father started this company, and I joined at the age of 21. I remember saying to my father back then that I felt like a secretary with all the typing he had me do. But as the months and years passed, I stepped up the ladder, especially when he passed away in 1972. I was in my 30s then, and I wondered how I was ever going to do what he was able to do so well. But I’m happy to say that now I sell from 5,000 to 7,000 booths yearly.

What’s the best professional comment you’ve ever received? Christopher Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy’s youngest son, once said at a show I produced for him in Chicago, “When I die, I want to come back as Larry Karel.”

How do you reward yourself for a job well done? My reward is a successful show, when I know that the exhibitors have done well and will return to the next one. Of course, I cherish dinners with my wife to relax and appreciate it all.