November 01, 2000
Meetings & Conventions: People November 2000

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November 2000 people


  Coffee With...Peter Hanley

Peter Hanley

Peter Hanley founded McLean, Va.-based PlanNet, an independent meeting planning company, in 1992. PlanNet handles approximately 200 meetings annually. Previous work included sales positions for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. and a classical-music radio station, as well as a job managing a gourmet shop.

How did you get into meeting planning?
In college, I interned with the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.’s marketing department and got an offer to work in the agency’s meeting planning department. I got the exposure, and when I came back to school, I changed my major from biochemistry to hotel and restaurant management.

How have your past job experiences helped you in your current position?
They taught me that in order to grow, I would have to acknowledge that change is good. And in order to excel, I would have to anticipate and proactively affect the impact of change on the company.

If you could pass off one of your job responsibilities, what would it be?
I think anyone who “passes off” anything is doomed for failure. Success comes from being willing to perform and being passionate about all responsibilities, including those you delegate. I like the opportunities, the challenges, the rewards and the sense of accomplishment that come with being passionate about whatever you are doing.

What is the most important trait of a successful meeting planner?
You have to smile and never, ever say no to anybody. Success is based on your ability to be resourceful and to provide solutions. Understand that your role is to find solutions and options for your customers and at some level, everyone can be called a customer.

What do you do to relax?
Laugh, play tennis, work out and cook. I lean toward Italian food, and I like getting creative on the grill.

What is your beverage of choice?
That depends what I’m doing, but a vanilla shake, carrot juice or a great cabernet will encompass just about all. • MARTHA COOKE

Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Gail Mutnik has been appointed vice president, convention services, at the Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation. In her new post, she will oversee management of the association’s major meetings, conventions and divisional conferences. Prior to joining the NRF, Mutnik served as director of meetings at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, also in Washington, D.C., for five years.

Gail Tannenbaum, CMP, has been named director of meetings for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association, based in Falls Church, Va. She has more than 15 years of industry experience, serving most recently as director of meetings and conventions at the Washington, D.C.-based National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.

  • Rene Angeles has been named convention sales manager at the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Amy Copeland has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Loews L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • Phil D’Amico has been named national sales manager at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
  • Laura Griffith has been appointed national corporate sales manager for the 143-room Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C.
  • Pride Haggerty has been named convention sales manager and Robin O’Connor has been appointed national accounts manager at the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Jeannie Lee has been named sales manager at the Hilton Anaheim (Calif.).
  • Patricia Lesko has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, in Lake Oconee, Ga. The property is scheduled to open in late 2001.
  • If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Jennifer Philburn, People Page, M&C, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094; fax: (201) 319-1796; e-mail:
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