This month presented an incredible opportunity for me to discuss the hospitality industry with an accomplished veteran and true pioneer, Joyce J. Ginsburg. With over 40 years of experience as both a supplier and a professional planner, Joyce’s story is very interesting and compelling. Her dedication and passion for meeting planning is immeasurable. After speaking with her, I realized that in this learn-as-you-go business, it’s oftentimes more about who you know than what you know.
With the recent celebration of Earth Day, I was reminded of the approach many corporations are taking to institute sustainable practices not only into their organization, but also their meetings and events. This month’s profile focuses on a planner who is determined to make a difference. Joe Salazarte is manager of the meeting and event services department for Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the nation’s leading media companies and providers of automotive services. He is responsible for overseeing the strategic meetings management for all businesses of Cox (Enterprises, Communications, Auto Trader, Cox Media Group and Manheim). Additionally, Joe serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Meeting Industry Council – Atlanta Chapter and the Atlanta’s Table Advisory Board of the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
eff Rasco, CMP, is a multi-honored, veteran meeting professional with over 25 years of experience. Currently, Jeff is the president of Attendee Management Inc., which provides online registration solutions and housing, as well as travel and e-marketing services. As an educator and speaker on how technology impacts meetings and benefits those who plan and support them, Jeff’s goal is to increase the quality of meetings, and elevate the strategic value of meeting professionals through the intelligent use of technology. This month, I peered into his background and industry insights.
Kevin R. Johnston, CMP, is a 25-year veteran of the meetings and events industry, and a long-time friend and contributor of Plan Your Meetings content. He frequently contributes articles in our annual publication and writes an online, monthly advice column on venue contracting and procurement. Kevin also speaks at many of the PYM LIVE Events. This month, I wanted to uncover some things that our readers may not have known about Kevin.
The holidays are upon us. This month’s planner profile introduces us to Erica Prewett, a true superwoman of planning social events, as well as a person who keeps the spirit of “giving back” in her heart and mind throughout the year.
Erica Prewett, owner of A Big To Do Event, has been in the business of creating memories through events since 1999. Organizations such as IBM, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Mississippi, as well as individual families, have experienced stress-free social and corporate events because of this “Checklist Queen.”
This month, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to Marla Watson-Werst, CSEP, the president and creative force behind PeaPod Productions & Smashing Success Events (soon to be known as The PeaPod Group).
After graduating from University of North Texas, she began a career as a helicopter traffic reporter, reporting for some of the best stations in Dallas-Fort Worth. As she grew with the company, she made the transition behind the scenes, as a producer. After several years in radio, she made the move to television, working for KXAS Channel 5, the Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate, and then went on to become a reporter/producer for AOL/Time Warner.