September 01, 2000
> Meetings & Conventions: People September 2000

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September 2000 people


  Coffee With...Evelyn Laxgang

Evelyn Laxgang

On July 1, Evelyn Laxgang, CMP, began her yearlong term as chair of the board for Dallas-based Meeting Professionals International. Her day job is director of strategic programs and events at Motorola in Schaumburg, Ill. Laxgang has been with the company since 1981, but began her meetings career on the association side, at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

What one thing about you would surprise most people?
I don’t think most people know that I didn’t have a college degree until 1998. I started at DePaul in 1992 after running a department for Motorola and hiring people with degrees. I was scared to do it.

How did you find the time for school?
They had a program where you could take courses on the weekend, and I did one year that way. I finished half the coursework in one year, but I was exhausted.

Were you planning to change jobs?
I thought I wanted to be a cultural anthropologist. I did a paper on the environment in China. I sent it to the president of the university, and the next thing I knew, I was on my way to China. But in the end I decided I didn’t want to live in the jungle and do field work, although I did learn that culture has a lot to do with all of our learning styles. I’ve combined that knowledge into what I do now.

What did you do after high school?
I went to work. I went through a lot of jobs, trying to find myself before I landed at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons as an administrative assistant. I found that I fit in. I started doing meetings, and I was good at it.

What was the last book you read?
The Lion’s Game by Nelson DeMille. It was a mystery thriller. The author has a really fun writing style. It’s serious but also funny. How do you relax? When I do have free time, I love to be home, which is a little odd for someone who loves to travel. But sometimes I just sit. We have a lovely porch where I like to sit and read.


Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Nicole Jacobson has been named account planner for the Washington, D.C., office of Conferon, an independent meeting planning firm headquartered in Twinsburg, Ohio. She has six years of industry experience. Most recently, she served as the meetings and marketing manager for the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Melissa Freeman has been appointed marketing events coordinator for, a cable connectivity provider based in Dayton, Ohio. She will be responsible for all the firm’s special events, meetings and trade shows. She has nine years of experience in the hospitality industry.

Patricia M. Rivera has been promoted from meeting planner to director of meetings and travel for the New York City-based Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. She has been with the association for 16 years and with the meetings department for six.

  • George Bush has been named director of sales at Nordic Hills Resort in Itasca, Ill.
  • Rhea Campbell has been appointed national sales manager at The Fairmont Hotel, Chicago.
  • Melissa Gilbert and Mary Reed have been named sales managers at Hershey Resorts in Hershey, Pa.
  • Deborah Graham has been appointed director of sales and marketing at both the Hilton Rye Town in Rye Brook, N.Y., and the Hilton Tarrytown in Tarrytown, N.Y.
  • ,b>Joseph Hirsch has been named director of sales at the Wyndham Drake Hotel in Oak Brook, Ill.
  • Dick Martinez has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president, convention sales, at the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Hal Powell has been named director of sales and marketing at Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va.

  • If you would like notice of a career move considered for inclusion in this column, contact Lisa Grimaldi, People Page, M&C, 500 Plaza Dr., Secaucus, N.J. 07094; fax: (201) 319-1796; e-mail:
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