People 9-1-2002

Meetings & Conventions: People September 2002

Current Issue
September 2002

By Terence Baker

  Coffee With...Sara Cant, CMP

Sara Cant, CMP

Sara Cant, CMP, is executive vice president of Talking Point Inc., a United Kingdom-based event management company. In 1997, she opened an office in Chicago (www.talkingpointusa. com), which grew from one employee (herself) to 12 today. She was born in Cambridge, England.

What brought you to Chicago? After college I worked for a tour operator with a meetings and incentives division. I got hooked on meetings logistics and eventually moved to Talking Point. We had a prominent U.S. client who told us it would be beneficial to them if we had an office in the States so here I am.

What was most challenging about opening an office here? This is a different culture, which I had to appreciate, and I do not think I initially understood the competition. I also had to do a crash course on U.S. human resources regulations. On the other hand, we do a lot of events with an international element, so coming from Europe helps in that regard.

What changes have you seen in the market? More companies are doing internal strategizing meetings, hunkering down and seeing what their next steps will be. Also, companies are less flashy; they’re concerned with not spending money. Even if a high-profile hotel is offering great rates, they might decide to meet somewhere less prominent. There is a definite air of caution.

How far afield do you travel? Recently I have been to Shanghai, China. I was surprised by how developed it was. Also, lately I have been to Tibet, which is like the 12th century, and the Viet Cong tunnels in Vietnam, which are hot, dirty and narrow, even after being enlarged for tourists. I’m now planning a trip to Kenya and Tanzania.

Grey Separator LineON THE MOVE


Turner moves up at ACP-ASIM
Bobbie Turner has been promoted to director of conventions and meeting services at the Philadelphia-based American College of PhysiciansAmerican Society of Internal Medicine. She is responsible for approximately 250 meetings a year, including the annual meeting, which attracts 10,000 members. Previously, Turner was the association’s exhibit manager.

Felsher joins University of California, San Francisco
Louise Felsher, CMP, CMM, has joined the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Medicine, as director of marketing, continuing medical education and conference services. A 20-year veteran of the meetings industry, she was most recently responsible for event marketing and planning for the Certive Corp., based in Redwood City, Calif.

  • Martin Finch has been named regional director of sales for Mexico City-based Grupo Posada’s Fiesta Americana Grand Hotels & Resorts chain. Finch, based in Los Angeles, is responsible for sales in the Southwest United States.
  • Jason Fulvi is the new national sales director at the Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Stephanie Mays-Boyd has been promoted to director of sales and marketing at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
  • Victoria Molina and Scott McCabe have joined the 300-room Sonesta Hotel & Suites Coconut Grove in Miami, which opened in April. Molina is director of international sales, while McCabe is national sales manager.
  • Pam Smith has been appointed group director of sales at the 404-room Radisson Plaza Hotel at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which is due to open in January 2003.
  • Scott White has been promoted to vice president of sales at the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau. Andrew Hatton was promoted to associate director of sales.
  • 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:
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