June 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: People June 1998 Current Issue
June 1998 People


  Coffee With...Mary Cavallini

Mary Cavallini

Mary Cavallini has been with the American Bar Association in Chicago for 25 years - 11 as the director of meetings and travel. Her department organizes two conventions a year, the largest with as many as 13,000 attendees, plus 300 smaller off-site meetings and more than 5,000 in-house meetings.

What was your first job?
I was a carhop at an A&W. I got fired for what I now do well - delegating. A car would pull in and I'd say, "You get that one."

What surprised you most about meeting planning?
How the things you learned in first grade came rushing back. It really is what you did in Girl Scouts. The refreshments are a little more sophisticated, but we're still sitting around telling camp stories.

Pick a celebrity planning partner.
Madeline Albright, because she'd make everything work, everything peaceful. But if we were meeting on a desert island, it would be Mandy Patinkin.

What popular song would make a good meeting planning anthem?
(singing) "Show me the way to go home. I'm tired and I want to go to bed."

What books are by your bedside?
London: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd, The Partner by John Grisham and the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

The sky's the limit: How would you reward yourself for a great meeting?
Sometimes the best reward is a bologna sandwich, because you've been living so high on the hog.

Sarah J.F. Braley

Grey Separator LinePlanners

Corinne S. Dacus, CMP, has launched The Dacus Group, a meeting management and consulting firm in Minneapolis. Dacus was formerly director of meetings for the St. Paul, Minn.-based American Association of Cereal Chemists, the American Phytopathological Society and the American Society of Brewing Chemists.

Jim Fausel, CMP, CMM, owner of The Conference Connection, an independent meetings consultant company in Scottsdale, Ariz., has expanded the company with a new office in Ashville, N.C. The office is managed by Elizabeth Woodruff.

Amber L. Fitzgerald has joined International Meeting Network's Arlington, Va., office as director of meetings, responsible for site selection and hotel contract negotiations. Fitzgerald was previously sales manager for the Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Tysons Corner, Va. Ardyce Myhre, CMP, has joined IMN's Milwaukee, Wis., office as director of educational services, where she will plan association meetings. Myhre was previously senior director of education for the Brookfield, Wis.-based International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


  • Wayne Ayres has been named executive meetings manager for the Marco Island (Fla.) Marriott Resort & Golf Club.
  • Deborah Curtis is now convention sales director for the Greater Buffalo (N.Y.) Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Ron Haven is now the director of sales for the Palm Beach Shores Resort in Lake Worth, Fla.
  • Darlene Moore has joined the Amarillo (Texas) Convention and Visitor Council as director of convention sales.
  • James W. Skillings is the new F&B/catering director for the Chateau Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans.
  • Frances McChlery is now director of business development, conventions for the Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) Convention and Exhibition Centre.
  • If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Chrystal Ingram White, Managing Editor, M&C, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07096; fax: (201) 319-1796; e-mail:
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