February 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: People February 2003

Current Issue
February 2003

By Terence Baker

  Coffee With... Robert Frank, Ph.D.

Robert Frank, Ph.D.

Robert Frank, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology and chair of the Behavioral and Social Studies Department at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Ill., plans the annual At-Home Dads’ Convention ( He also is the author of Parenting Partners: How to Encourage Dads to Participate in the Daily Lives of Their Children (St. Martin’s Griffin;, written with Kathryn Livingston.

How did the dads’ conference come about? It started around a newsletter written by Peter Baylies ( Plus, I was a stay-at-home dad for 12 years; my children now are 13 and 15. The first convention, in 1996, drew 38 people; the latest one, this past November, drew 100 attendees from 25 states and Canada.

What’s on the agenda? We discuss parenting skills, financial planning and being more creative with children, among other issues. One man came only to see that we were normal, regular people. When he saw that we were, he said that he didn’t need to come again.

Is there a stigma associated with being a stay-at-home dad? Unfortunately, yes. The Census Bureau does not record the numbers of such people. Some refer to themselves as “consultants” on their census form, so it is impossible to gauge numbers. I would estimate there are as many as 2.5 million in the United States. I say these people are “too scared to come out of the pantry.”

As an academic, have you found meeting planning difficult? I do get help, and we are financially supported by Oakton College, but I didn’t anticipate how much hard work is involved. As a teacher, I know about juggling, but meeting planning is the ultimate juggling exercise. I always feel exhausted when the conference is over.

Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Schuette joins Cygnus Expositions Sean R. Schuette joined Burnsville, Minn.-based Cygnus Expositions, a division of Melville, N.Y.-based Cygnus Business Media, this past November as conference coordinator. Previously, Schuette served as an administrative assistant with meeting planning responsibilities at Minneapolis-based Target Corp.

Chan goes to Assoc. of Performing Arts Presenters Kim Chan has been hired by the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Performing Arts Presenters to serve as vice president, programs. Previously, she worked as director of programming for the Washington Performing Arts Society, also in the nation’s capital.

  • Chad Chappell has been promoted to regional director of sales, from director of national accounts, Washington, D.C., office, for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. Mary Grimley Rosenbaum has joined the CVB as Chappell’s replacement; she is based in Dallas.
  • Dawn Bevier Giorgio, CMP, has joined the 404-room Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport as director of catering and convention sales.
  • Elena A. Gladstone has joined the Greater Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Convention & Visitors Bureau as national convention sales manager.
  • John R. Hawley has been named director of marketing and sales at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va.
  • Katia E. Ono has been appointed convention sales manager at the Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau in Tacoma, Wash.
  • Melissa Radovanic has accepted the position of director of conference sales at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center in Johnstown, Pa. The center is scheduled to open in May.
  • Karen Tatro has joined the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in the position of senior convention sales manager.
  • If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Terence Baker, People Page, M&C, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094; fax: (201) 319-1796; e-mail:
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