by Allen J. Sheinman | June 01, 2011

Robyn M. Mietkiewicz, CMP
Meeting Sites Resource As director of accounts and global meeting management services for Irvine, Calif.-based Meeting Sites Re­source, Robyn M. Mietkiewicz, CMP, is responsible for strategically partnering with clients on all facets of global site research, custom hotel contract negotiations and meeting support services. She has been with the company since 2004, and recently took some time out from her busy schedule to discuss her job and the state of the industry with M&C.   

How has the nature of your business evolved in recent years? There are increased expectations for meeting planning and procurement teams to drive more meetings value, generate cost savings, and reduce risk and liability. The upshot is our big focus now is on strategic meetings management.

What, in your view, are the biggest challenges facing planners today? With fewer hotels in the pipeline and a big spike in hotel occupancy, finding the right availability and value can be a challenge -- plus planners' budgets remain flat. So we're working with our customers to start the site search process sooner than later and expanding the search to all destinations that fit their profile.

Which destinations are hot now? In the U.S., Las Vegas, Boca Raton [Fla.], Grapevine [Texas], San Diego and Washington, D.C., are hot, while overseas, it's the Riviera Maya and Cabo San Lucas [Mexico], Oslo [Norway], Amsterdam [Netherlands] and London. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? Most of my spare time is spent volunteering for the MPI Orange  County Chapter, where I serve on the board of directors as president. But whether for business or personal reasons, I love to travel, and I enjoy learning about different destinations and cultures.

On the Move

PlannersBarb HarrisAt Chicago Travel Consultants Inc., Barb Harris has been promoted to the position of senior account executive.

Paul Miller has been hired as regional vice president of the Scotts­dale, Ariz.-based Hos­pi­tality Performance Network Global, a site-selection and meetings procurement company.

Suppliers Visit Charlotte (N.C.) has named Lyn Acocella-Bagley as its new national sales manager. She is based in Chicago.

Mark BarbieriAt the Seattle Con­vention and Visitors Bureau, Mark Barbieri has been named chair of the board of directors.

Lee Chipman has been hired as managing director of the 351-room Hilton Panama and 220-room Hilton Panamera, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, both of which will open in the Central American nation by year's end.

Lauren Diaz has joined the 1,606-room Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas as Southeast regional sales manager.
Daniel J. Dolce
Daniel J. Dolce, the former vice president of global sales at Dolce Hotels and Resorts, as been appointed vice president of sales for the U.S. region for Millen­nium Hotels & Resorts. He is based in the company's New York City office.

Ann EllisonAnn Ellison has been named sales director for the Chi­cago national sales office of Dis­ney Destinations.

At the 582-room Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Agnelo Fernandes has been appointed vice president of marketing and sales.

Emily Koch has been named executive meetings manager of the 600-room Las Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.

Christine Madden has returned to the Santa Fe (N.M.) Convention & Visitors Bureau, assuming her former position as director of sales. She recently spent two years as the bureau's East Coast sales representative.

Ashley Shimer has been named convention sales manager for the Vancouver (Wash.) USA Regional Tourism Office; also, Kelsey Chappelle and Debbie Picard have been promoted to senior convention sales managers.

The Michelangelo, a 179-room hotel in New York City, has appointed Glenda Simmons general manager. 

Maryanne WhiteAt the 248-room Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center in New Brunswick, N.J., Maryanne White has been appointed general manager.

Diane Yost has been hired as director of sales and marketing at the 392-room Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas.