Meetings & Conventions: People July 2000
EDITED BY LISA GRIMALDI
Coffee With... Sheila Lowrey
Sheila Lowrey is the convention manager for COMMON A
Users Group, a Chicago-based association for organizations and
individuals with an interest in IBM-related technology. She has 16
years of experience as a planner.
How many conventions do you plan
I plan two events spring and fall. Each conference lasts five
days, with approximately 3,200 attendees and 800 educational
sessions, including labs, lectures and interactive classes for
every level of the computing environment, plus an exposition
featuring demonstrations of the latest mid-range software, hardware
How did you get into the meetings
My first position was membership coordinator for a large medical
association. When I attended my first major medical conference, I
was amazed at all the details and teamwork it took to produce a
successful conference. And at that moment, I knew my professional
career was going to be in the meetings industry.
If you could hand off one planning
responsibility, what would it be?
Packing up after the closing event. Your adrenaline has come to a
complete stop. And you are so exhausted, the last thing you want to
do is pack boxes.
Which celebrity would you pick as a meeting
I would choose Tina Turner. I like to consider myself a strong
African-American woman, like her. I am motivated by her
determination and success, despite all her life’s
How do you reward yourself when the meeting is
I take off from work for three or four days to reconnect with my
family; they are my life support. We have a night of good home
cooking and laughter. I also set aside one or two days for total
peace and relaxation no phones, e-mail or faxes.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your
When members attending the conference give me recognition. Hearing
things like, “This is a really great conference” or “Thank you for
all your hard work” at the end of an event makes it all worth
L.G.ON THE MOVE
JOHNSON PROMOTED AT E. HARDEN &
Judy Benaroche Johnson, CMP, has been promoted to president of E.
Harden & Associates Inc., a meeting and incentive travel
planning firm based in Carrollton, Texas. She previously served as
the company’s vice president of meetings and marketing and has 16
years of industry experience.
WURSCHMIDT APPOINTED V/P FOR ASAESUPPLIERSLeslie Aldrich and Heather
Hersley have joined the Dallas Convention & Visitors
Bureau as convention sales managers.Pamela Armstrong has been named sales manager,
national accounts, and Bob Schuler has been appointed director of
sales for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.Noel Day has been named executive meeting
manager at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach,
Fla.Jim LaBadie was named vice president of sales
for the Grand Rapids/Kent County (Mich.) Convention & Visitors
Bureau.Jennifer Landers has been named national sales
manager for Merv Griffin Resort’s luxury properties. She is based
in Scottsdale, Ariz.Cherai Lewis has been appointed senior
convention sales manager at the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention
& Visitors Bureau.Robert Van Ness has been named vice president
of sales for Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, based in
Chicago.Jerry Pagliari has been named general manager,
and Richard Bravo has been appointed vice president and creative
director of the New York City office of PGI, the event management
and communications firm based in Arlington, Va.
If you would like notice of a career
move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Lisa
Grimaldi, People Page,
Todd Wurschmidt, Ph.D., has been named vice president,
professional development for the Washington, D.C.-based American
Society of Association Executives. He will be responsible for
ASAE’s certification programs and for professional development,
including conferences, symposia, seminars and distance learning.
Prior to joining ASAE, Wurschmidt spent 15 years as executive
director of the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
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