by By Terence Baker | September 01, 2004

DeVine and SmithBucklin welcome ICPA
Jeff DeVine, CMP, has been appointed the new director of events for ICPA (formerly the Insurance Conference Planners Association). An employee of Chicago-based association management company SmithBucklin, DeVine is responsible for ICPA’s educational forum and annual meeting. In May, ICPA outsourced its meetings to SmithBucklin and moved its headquarters to Chicago.
Connery is promoted at EIBTM
Julie Connery has been promoted to event manager for EIBTM, the European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, which moves to Barcelona, Spain, as of this year. She formerly served as manager of hosted programs for London-based Reed Travel Exhibitions, the company that produces EIBTM.

Jamie Cox
has been named national sales manager and incentive sales specialist at the 1,500-room Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, due to open in September 2006 in Orlando. Also joining the staff are Travers Johnson, sales manager, SMERF market, and Doug Thomas, sales manager, Southeast region. 
Catherine A. Cumings has been appointed the new director of sales and marketing at the 480-room Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena, Ill.
Cynthia Draws-Smith has been named director of sales and marketing at the 100-room Jefferson, a Loews Hotel, in Washington, D.C.
Dwayne E. Keller has been appointed regional director of group sales, North America, for London-based Millennium Hotels & Resorts. He is stationed in New York City.
Alison McGowan has joined the 950-room JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix as senior sales manager.
Ana Maria Viscasillas is the new president and CEO of the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau in San Juan.
Eric Williams has been hired by the 1,067-room Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta as corporate group manager.

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Stephanie Cunningham, CMP

"Attrition remains an issue. Increasingly, I am training staff to ‘own’ their travel dates."

Stephanie Cunningham, CMP, is event coordinator at Avid Technology Inc., a Tewksbury, Mass.-based technology company serving the media industry. She has been an event planner for 10 years, the past five at Avid.

How do Avid’s products affect your role as an event planner? Avid’s trade show booths are intricate, and setup takes time, especially at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, the biggest show at which we exhibit. Our booth there is 11,000 square feet. This is where we tell the world about our new hardware and software solutions.

What are your responsibilities at the show? I manage housing for 500 to 1,000 Avid worldwide staff. Even though we manage the housing process in-house, attrition remains an issue, although each year I get a better handle on the actual number of people and room nights. The major challenge is that sometimes staff attendees can go only for a day, change their arrival and departure dates on the fly, or are redeployed and do not come at all. Increasingly, I am training staff to “own” their travel dates and require them to fill out a housing form that puts the onus on them in understanding how their nonattendance will affect their own cost centers.

How did you arrive at your job? I started out as an account rep at an electronics company, and part of that job was to train regional reps in new products. Then I took some meetings-management classes.

What do you do in your spare time? I really enjoy mountain biking and hiking, especially in Vermont, near Killington and Stowe.