June 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: People June 2003

Current Issue
June 2003

By Terence Baker

  Coffee With... David Heilbrunn

David HeilbrunnDavid Heilbrunn is vice-president of Lifestyle Events Inc. in Bellevue, Wash., where he spends most of his time planning the company’s Coffee Fest (www.coffeefest.com), a trade show promoting coffee and gourmet tea that takes place annually in Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Seattle.

How did Coffee Fest come about? Back in 1990, when Lifestyle Events was a production company putting on outdoor shows, we noticed there were espresso and coffee carts on the corners of most Seattle intersections and that gave us the inspiration. At first, I was skeptical about starting Coffee Fest, but thankfully our owner was not.

What was the first show like? It was held during a horrible rainstorm. The state warned people not to leave their homes, but 2,000 came. After a few shows in Seattle, we started staging shows in Philadelphia and Boston. Finally, we decided to have permanent shows so attendees could plan further in advance. Our last Seattle show drew 7,000 consumers and 280 exhibitors.

When did the show become successful? About five years ago. I listened to a speaker say that getting attendees to the show was not a question of their money, but of their time. Inspired, I asked myself, “What can I provide in the way of critical programming at Coffee Fest?” We’ve had four shows since Sept. 11, and attendance is up 30 percent for consumers and 25 percent for exhibitors.

Do you like coffee? Of course. I am not a fan of flavored coffees, though.

Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


New temp service for meeting planners
Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, president of St. Louis-based MAC Meetings, has formed a subsidiary company called Current Temp, a global temporary staffing service for the meetings and events industry. Other key personnel include Michael Schaumann, managing director, and Kate Zipf, manager of client and member relations. Details are online at www.current-temp.com.

  • Patricia Armstrong, Jim VanDevender and Stephanie Eppler have been named global sales directors for Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. Armstrong and Devender are based in New York City; Eppler is in Irving, Texas.
  • Christopher Bragoni has been appointed sales manager, Western United States, for Kempinski Hotels & Resorts. He is based in Los Angeles. Kempinski also has hired Julie Ostergren as a sales manager for the Midwestern United States division. She is headquartered in Chicago.
  • Jacqueline A. Goldy been hired by MGM Mirage, the casino hotel company, as director of incentive sales, a newly created position based in Chicago.
  • Theresa Gonzales was named area director of sales and marketing for four Tishman Hotel Corp. boutique properties in New York City: the Franklin, the Mansfield, the Roger Williams and the Shoreham. Gonzales will be based at the Shoreham Hotel.
  • Carol Motley has returned to the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau as director of salesnational accounts. She is based in the bureau’s Silver Spring, Md., office.
  • DeAnn Rezentes and Kris Tsunoda have joined the 1,310-room Waikiki Beach Resort in Honolulu as sales managers.
  • Tom Thorn has been hired by Kimpton Boutique Hotels as director of sales for the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, Mass. The 236-room hotel opened in March.
  • Linda Valinsky has been appointed assistant director of sales at the Richmond (Va.) Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • 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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