April 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: People April 2003

Current Issue
April 2003

By Terence Baker

  Coffee With... Wendy Spivak

Wendy SpivakWendy Spivak is principal/ founder of The Castle Group Inc. (www.thecastlegrp.com), a Boston-based public-relations and event-management company that she helped establish in 1996. Previously, she served as the director of communications for a health-care firm and ran her own public-relations company.

Does also being a PR company help you with events? For some clients, yes. The larger companies have their own PR services, but some smaller firms find our two sides very complementary. I believe a PR-savvy company knows how to put on good events and also how to be strategic, and I enjoy becoming part of a client company’s team, learning its goals and objectives and creating the right type of event. What changes are you seeing in the incentive world? Companies want shorter programs yet ones that more employees potentially can win. They want to increase motivation and get more people involved. Plus, we’re doing more business as companies’ internal planning departments are being scaled back.

What kind of incentives are you developing now? We’re in the process of setting up an online rewards program, in which employees of clients can earn points and redeem them for incentives of their own choice. We’re hearing that companies want much more personalized rewards. Prizes might include rides in fighter jets or a French chef personally preparing a dinner for you.

Where are incentive groups going now? They love the Caribbean islands more and more, but Europe especially Barcelona, Dublin, London and Paris remains popular. If they want to stay domestic, dude ranches and adventure travel are the principal choices.

Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Regner hired by Community Policing Consortium
Peter Regner has been appointed director of administration and special projects for the Washington, D.C.-based Community Policing Consortium. Regner formerly served as vice president of Friday Systems Services and was president of the D.C. chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.

  • Thomas J. Bewley is the new director of sales and marketing at Kiawah Island (S.C.) Resorts.
  • Jay Burress and Tom Noonan have been promoted at the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. Burgess now is director of sales, while Noonan moved up to become vice president, convention sales.
  • Jack P. Ferguson has joined the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau in the position of vice president of convention sales and marketing.
  • Agnelo Fernandes is now director of sales and marketing for the 300-room Sonesta Coconut Grove (Fla.).
  • Martha Hernandez has been appointed director of sales at the El Paso, Texas, Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Catherine Hillerman has joined the 840-room Sheraton Seattle Hotel & Towers as group sales manager. The property also has appointed Mario Busquets and LeAnne Williams as sales managers.
  • Rick Hud has been promoted to senior director of sales at the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau. He will be based in the bureau’s Chicago office. In addition, Dawn Seay has been named director of sales at the bureau’s Washington, D.C., office.
  • Sydney Joung has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the 100-room Jefferson, a Loews Hotel, in Washington, D.C.
  • Esmé Pitard has been promoted to director of convention sales at the 506-room Homestead in Hot Springs, Va.
  • Keith Sycamore has become the new director of sales and marketing at the 237-room Sheraton Columbia Hotel & Conference Center in Columbia, S.C.
  • 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: terence_baker@ntmllc.com
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