by Terence Baker | April 01, 2004

"For a French group, we re-created a Washington, D.C., event held 42 years ago."

Ellen Burnett (left), a board member of the Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Linda Simon, a Destination Management Certified Professional, jointly run The Best of Boston (, a destination management firm celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

How did the two of you meet? In college, but after graduation we moved in different directions. Then, 10 years later, sitting around the kitchen table, we started talking about careers that would also be fun at a time when women were beginning to be entrepreneurial.

What’s one particularly memorable event of yours? For a French group, we re-created a Washington, D.C., event held 42 years ago in honor of the novelist André Malraux, who was then the French minister of cultural affairs. President John F. Kennedy had been in attendance. The re-created event was held at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. The library was built in 1993, but everything life-size cutouts of JFK, Jacqueline Kennedy and Malraux, the music, the linens referred to 1962.

How is the pending July arrival of the Democratic National Convention affecting Boston? Things have not reached hyper stage yet. But that will change soon; plus the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center opens just before.

What is your single favorite piece of advice? When planning, always keep in mind the company’s goals. Do not think of it just as a party, especially when companies increasingly are interested in returns on investment.