October 01, 1998
> Meetings & Conventions: People October 1998 Current Issue
October 1998 People


  Coffee With...Jason McGraw

Jason McGraw

Jason McGraw of Milwaukee, Wis., is director of expositions for the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association and exposition director for CONEXPO - what he calls the "little boys' dream expo" because it features dump trucks, cranes and bulldozers.

You don't drink coffee; Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. I will avoid restaurant chains and airlines that serve Pepsi.

How did you meet your wife?
On America Online five years ago. She lived in Milwaukee and I lived in Virginia. We now live a mile from where she lived when I met her.

Do you do anything to make your hotel room like home?
No - it's temporary lodging. It's very neat, unlike my home. I feel like I'm a guest at someone else's house.

Who's the perfect attendee?
Someone who doesn't stand in front of registration and say, "Where's registration?"

What sport is like meeting planning?
Football. You have a coach, who is maybe me, you have star players, supporting players, guards and defense. In the beginning you're exploring the playing field. Time becomes more and more critical as you come to the actual event.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The interaction with exhibitors and members and vendors. I enjoy talking to people.

How do you relieve stress?
I go to shopping malls. I'm a mallaholic. I shop; I don't buy a lot. I enjoy the people-watching. It's one of the things I enjoy about a trade show.


Grey Separator LinePlanners

Christine Smrtka was named regional manager for the Southern California (San Diego) office of Helms Briscoe, a full-service meeting and conference management company headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. Smrtka, a nine-year veteran of the hospitality industry, was most recently with the Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in Redondo Beach, Calif.


  • Susan Babich was promoted to director of convention sales for the Sacramento (Calif.) Convention & Visitors Bureau. The bureau also appointed two new convention sales managers: Chad Ammon and Brian Bannister.
  • Kathy Boyd is now director of conference planning for the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center in Peachtree City, Ga.
  • Richard Cimilluca was promoted to director of sales and marketing at the Forrestal at Princeton (N.J.).
  • Michael Collins has joined the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority as national convention sales manager, responsible for the corporate and incentive markets; Janice LeGarde holds the same title at the bureau's new convention sales office in Washington, D.C.
  • Yvonne Kaulback has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental, Hawaii. n Michelle Keil was named sales manager for the Loews L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., responsible for the association and corporate markets in the northeast; Julie Nacke was named access sales manager, overseeing small groups of up to 40.
  • Kathy McAdams has been promoted to associate vice president of Washington, D.C., regional sales for the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Michael Metts was promoted to director of catering and convention services at the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Ky.
  • Todd Sherstad was appointed director of sales and marketing, brand strategy, for Marriott Conference Centers, based in Washington, D.C.
  • Dan Quandt, CAE, has been named executive director of the South Padre Island (Texas) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Loren G. Edelstein, Executive Editor, M&C, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07096; fax: (201) 319-1796; e-mail:

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