People 5-1-1998

Meetings & Conventions: People May 1998 Current Issue
May 1998 People


  UpClose: Al Sears

Stacia Gault Politically correct: Al Sears doesn't miss an opportunity to assist those in need.

Planning 350 meetings a year worldwide would seem to leave little time for anything else. But Al Sears, assistant vice president of meetings for the National Fire Protection Association in Quincy, Mass., has managed to fit in charity work, politics, and a game of golf here and there.

"A favorite project of mine is the Give Kids the World Village based in Kissimmee, Fla.," says Sears. The organization, which was once an official charity of MPI, supports several charities that benefit children, such as The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sears coordinates silent auctions and other local fund-raising efforts for the group.

"What is special about Give Kids the World is we not only accommodate the child in need but also the family. If the child wants to go to Disney World, the whole family goes," he says. "And we make sure the siblings get gifts as well so they don't feel left out."

When Sears is not supporting his favorite charity, he's supporting his favorite community: Amesbury, Mass. The recently elected councilman works with the mayor to attract new businesses and interests to the town and helps to balance the budget, among other responsibilities. "Politics is a hobby for me," says Sears. "I enjoy it a lot, and I like being active in my community." In fact, in order to fill the councilman post, Sears had to give up his position on the hospital board and as an auxiliary police officer.

Sears also values home life and makes family time a priority. He'd like to consider future political aspirations, but when asked if he will run for re-election when his tenure ends in 2000, Sears responded: "If my wife lets me."

Grey Separator LinePlanners

Ann Bennett of Ann Bennett & Associates, a San Francisco-based meeting planning company whose clients include the Pepsi-Cola Company, Del Monte and the Keebler Company, has joined with Mary Frevele and Vicki Mork, CEOs of Moonlighting, a Bay-area event planning company, to offer corporate and high-end planning services to international clients.

Mike Kabo has founded Solutions Inc., a travel and meetings management consulting firm in New York City. Kabo was formerly travel and meetings manager for Consolidated Rail Corp., based in Philadelphia, and New York City-based Avon Products.

Denise Ker was recently hired to manage the meeting planning department for PacifiCorp Trans, Inc., a Portland, Ore., utility company. Ker previously managed Paradigm Meeting and Travel Management, a meeting planning consultancy in Beaverton, Ore.


  • Debbie Bureau has been named sales manager in charge of association accounts in North Carolina and South Carolina for the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C.; Ron Stulen is now group sales manager for the resort.
  • Dan Fitzgerald Jr. has been named director of sales and marketing for the Doubletree Hotel/Orange County Airport in Costa Mesa, Calif.
  • Janis Osbon and David Steely are the new Orlando, Fla.-based account executives for Creative Management Services, Inc., a Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.-based trade show design and marketing firm.
  • Roberto Paulino is the new director of sales for the Meliá Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
  • Stacy N. Perkins is now group travel consultant for the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, based in Little Rock, Ark.
  • Julie Porter and Vickie Tsiantis have been named convention services managers for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Jane Rice has been promoted to convention services specialist for the CVB.
  • 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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