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ESPA Achieves Highest Conference Attendance in the Last Six Years
The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA), an organization dedicated to elevating the event and convention services profession, achieved the highest attendance for its Annual Conference in the last six years. The Conference, held in Boston, Massachusetts last month, also marked the start of the ESPA presidential term of Julie Pingston, CMP, CTA, Senior Vice President of the Greater Lansing CVB.
The Conference, themed "Going the Distance," played host to topics directly affecting event service professionals including safety, ethics, security management, servicing sporting events, F&B trends, best practices in event services and event apps and solutions. A keynote by former White House Director of Events Laura Schwartz offered a dynamic kick-off to the event. A meeting planner session concluded the Conference which enabled members to ask planners their most pressing questions. New this year were expanded interactive session formats, giving members beneficial opportunities for dialogue and sharing ideas.
"Year after year ESPA strives to make the Conference a place for event service professionals to learn, network and grow," said Pingston. "It's rewarding to see how much our members and their venues value the association and the Conference and its role in their professional development."
Pingston has been at the Greater Lansing CVB for 20 years and works with the Bureau's overall organizational operations with direct oversight over convention services, Sports Authority, membership and special events. She has also provided leadership to ESPA through a variety of roles including as the 2014 Annual Conference Chair.
ESPA also announced the following changes for its 2014 officers: Denise Suttle, CMP, Albuquerque CVB will serve as President-Elect while former President Robert Desautels, CMP, Visit Indy will move into the position of Past President. Madonna Carr, CMP, Meet Minneapolis will serve as First Vice President and Paul Ruby, CMP, Sheraton Dallas, as Second Vice President. ESPA Director Kathy Denkenberger, CMP, Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau will move into the position of Secretary/Treasurer.
The following ESPA members were elected to serve on the Board of Directors:
o Julie Brakenbury, Greater Raleigh CVB
o Zack Davis, CMP, Louisville CVB
o Rebecca Moore, The Westin Indianapolis
The following ESPA members will continue to serve on the Board of Directors:
o Amy Cabe, Visit Spokane
o Jamie Huckleberry, David L. Lawrence Convention Center/SMG
o Joan Kremer, CMP, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
o Lois McLaughlin, Music City Center, Nashville
o Carla Quercioli, Northern Kentucky CVB
o David Raymond, CMP, Westin Charlottev
o Gary Stauffer, Freeman
o Advisory Director (Ex-Officio), Vanessa Kane, CMP, CMM, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Also during the Conference, You Han, a student from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was recognized as the recipient of the Donald S. Freeman Jr, ESPA Conference Scholarship where she contributed to on-site Conference management tasks and gained exposure to the Conference's vast educational and networking opportunities.
The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) is dedicated to elevating the event and convention services profession and to preparing members, through education and networking, for their pivotal role in innovative and successful event execution. The association has over 400 members from convention centers, hotels and convention and visitors bureaus from across North America. For more information, visit www.espaonline.org.
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