by Kaylee Hultgren | February 01, 2008

Sananes and Echterhoff launch incentive company

Eli Sananes and Gudrun Echterhoff have launched Global Meetings & Incentives, a boutique meetings management organization specializing in pharmaceutical sales, marketing and physician-attended meetings. GMI has offices in Boca Raton, Fla., and Fort Lee, N.J.


Gregor Andreewitch is the new general manager at the 290-room Conrad Tokyo.

Joe Bedsole has been named director of corporate and government accounts for the Arlington (Texas) Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Todd Greenwood has been appointed vice president of convention center sales and marketing at the Greater Springfield (Mass.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Nicole Rodrigue has been named sales manager of the 600-room Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans; at the same property, Nikki Jackson-Jones has become sales coordinator for small meetings.

Velton Showell has been appointed director of sales at the 693-room Doral Golf Resort & Spa, a Marriott Resort, in Miami.

Bob Stergos is now head of sales and marketing at Reveal, a St. Louis-based trade show and event marketing firm. Also new to the company is account manager Dana West.

Ken Tippie has been named director of group sales for the 363-room InterContinental Los Angeles Century City. Patricia Hurley also joins the hotel as group sales manager.

Robert Trotter has been appointed general manager and Kristen Pryor as director of sales and marketing at the 210-unit Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa, scheduled to open this summer in Avon, Colo.

Robert-Jan Woltering has been appointed general manager of the 182-room Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Mara Xenos is now director of conference services for the 295-room Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Ill.

read more

Thomas "Mac" Gregory“I like to look at past successes and translate that framework into the present.”

Thomas “Mac” Gregory is the new food and beverage director at the 468-room Phoenician, a 250-acre resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., which features nine restaurants, a 27-hole golf course and a spa complex. Gregory is a certified sommelier and a published, oft-quoted mixologist. Previously, he ran F&B at the 654-room Hyatt Regency Orange County at Disneyland Resort in Garden Grove, Calif.

What first inspired you to get involved in the food and beverage business? One summer internship at Club Med, and I fell in love with the industry. I’m not a cubicle kind of guy, so I really enjoyed involving my business sense in this manner.

Will you use some of the drinks you’ve invented? Yes, to some extent. But I strongly feel that each destination should tell its own story, so my past creations don’t always make sense for my new environment. I will develop a whole new set of cocktails that tell the Phoenician story.

What is your approach to F&B? I try not to reinvent the wheel with wildly extreme food and beverage items. Instead, I like to look at past successes and translate that framework into the present. I believe things work in cycles, and what was a success in the past will be again.

What is your favorite aspect of the job? Every day is a different experience. Being innovative and having people enjoy what I have literally brought to the table is very satisfying. It’s fun making people happy and seeing them take pleasure in the moment.