March 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: People March 2001

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March 2001 people


  Coffee With...Evy Garcia

Evy Garcia

“The Big Easy” doesn’t begin to reflect Evy Garcia’s busy schedule, but the New Orleans-based second vice president of advertising and international relations for Pan American Life loves her work. She began her tenure at the insurance company seven years ago as a manager of the marketing, advertising and incentive departments for the firm’s international division. She eventually was promoted to head both the domestic and international efforts in those areas.

What do you miss most when you’re on the road?
My good cup of coffee. Drinking coffee in the morning is an experience for me. I like a strong Latin American blend. When I’m running off to a meeting and having coffee on the go, it’s just not the same.

What do you dislike most about your job?
Paperwork after the meeting. It’s a letdown. That adrenaline is gone, and yet we have to go back and look at surveys, reconcile our accounts and so on.

What has been your most rewarding moment?
I had a program in 1997 in Austria with an extension to Venice. The response was, “This was the best program Pan American has ever put together.” My company has been putting on conferences since 1950, and participants attend the incentives of other companies. They asked me how I would top Austria, so I took them to Bali and Singapore.

What has changed most about incentive planning?
The program dynamic has switched, because you have people who want to do mountain biking and white-water rafting; it’s not just about golf anymore. I also have to incorporate my Latin American clients, who don’t care about sports. They like to know about the culture of a place, the people, the history. I have to create a balance.

What are some of the stranger requests you’ve had from program participants?
People always are trying not to pay for optional activities or to squeeze into first-class seats when they’re supposed to be in coach. I’ve had people stay in the bars until the wee hours and then call me, wake me up and ask if I’ll pay the tab.


Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Ortiz-McGhee Heads AANP Meetings for AMG
Carmen L. Ortiz-McGhee has joined Association Management Group as director of meetings and continuing eduction for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. In her new position at the Tyson’s Corner, Va.-based association, she will oversee all meetings, conventions and trade shows as well as direct the organization’s continuing education program. Previously, Ortiz-McGhee held positions at J. Spargo & Associates and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Barba named Partner at AMR
Robert E. Barba, CMP, has been named partner and senior vice president at Association Management Resources in Ann Arbor, Mich. Formerly the vice president of customer services at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Barba will perform operational duties for AMR and will serve as executive director for two accounts, the Society of Automotive Analysts and the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

  • Jennifer Coto has been promoted to sales manager for the meetings and convention department at the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • Frank M. Doyle has joined the Washington-based American Society of Association Executives as vice president of professional development.
  • Barbara Dunn has been named partner at Howe & Hutton, Ltd., a Chicago-based law firm serving the meetings, hospitality and trade show industries.
  • Charlie Dunwoody has been appointed vice president, sales, for Renaissance Cruises, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Audrey Fan has been named director of group sales at The Elliott Hotel, opening in Seattle this spring.
  • Thomas Huffsmith has been appointed president of Regent International Hotels in Minneapolis.
  • Martina Kirchhofer has been named marketing manager for the United States and Canada at the Vienna Convention Bureau. She replaces Peter Martin, who has retired.
  • 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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