May 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: People May 2001

Current Issue
May 2001 people

Edited by Jennifer Philburn

  Coffee With...Steve Kemble

Steve Kemble

Steve Kemble is a very busy man. Not only does he own Dallas-based Steve Kemble Event Design, but he is active in many industry organizations. Just a few of his roles outside the office include president of the Dallas chapter of Meeting Professionals International, chair of the Special Event Industry Aid & Response for Care & Hope Foundation and member of the International Special Events Society Board of Governors. Somehow, he found time to talk to M&C.

What advice would you give to a novice planner?
Just because you planned your daughter’s wedding and have a four-inch binder filled with paper does not mean you are now an event planner. Join and become active in industry organizations, which will give you superior networking opportunities, a top-level industry education and the chance to meet some wonderful people.

What is your best travel tip?
FedEx your luggage. It is picked up at your door and waiting for you when you check in to your hotel. I learned the hard way that with the petty sum the airlines give you for lost luggage, you will be hard-pressed to buy a decent pair of shoes, much less replace the five suits (and the ball gown) that were in your bag.

If the sky were the limit, how would you reward yourself for a meeting well done?
I’d run away with Enrique Iglesias.

Describe the (hypothetical, of course) attendee from hell.
He missed his flight because he didn’t read his itinerary (of course, he never got it); drank way too much house wine at the welcome reception and missed the opening general session (of course, it was jet lag); got upset at the kick-off luncheon because we did not have a vegetarian plate for him (of course, the night before at the welcome reception, he had more than his fair share of beef kabobs), and demanded we change his room because he was put in a smoking room (of course, he smokes, he just doesn’t like the smell of smoke in the room).

What would you be doing if you were not a meeting planner?
I’d be the attendee from hell.

• J.P.

Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Bari Pollack, CMP, has joined Expocentric Inc. as vice president, client services. In her role at the Short Hills, N.J.-based virtual reality exposition firm, Pollack works with convention and visitors bureau executives and trade show organizers and managers to expand their show attendance to the Internet. She previously served as director of event management for Cahners Travel Group, the parent company of M&C, where she worked for 12 years.

Kevin O’Brien has been named national account manager at HelmsBriscoe. O’Brien joins the meeting and conference management firm from Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix, where he was director of sales. Jenny Summers has been promoted to regional vice president of HelmsBriscoe, where she has worked since 1994. Both are based at the company’s Scottsdale, Ariz., headquarters.

David Votta has been named director of events for the Gospel Music Association, a 5,000-member group based in Nashville. His responsibilities include overseeing the Dove Awards, a televised awards show recognizing achievements in all genres of gospel music. Votta most recently was regional director for the Nashville office of HelmsBriscoe. The association also promoted Cara Becerle to events associate.

  • Anne Bergen has been appointed sales manager and Marcus A. Cade Sr. has been named national sales manager for the Atlantic City (N.J.) Convention & Visitors Authority.
  • John Cassady has been named executive director of the Newport Beach (Calif.) Conference and Visitors Bureau.
  • Jude Gillie has been appointed association marketing manager at the London Convention Bureau.
  • Michelle Skolnick has been appointed director, group and incentive sales, for the Radisson Cable Beach Resort, Nassau, The Bahamas.
  • 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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