THE SUPPLIERS 

Richard Harper

 

Richard Harper 
Executive Vice President // HelmsBriscoe
Specialties: Industry advocacy, executive

Industry veteran Richard Harper has graced many “top people in the meetings industry” lists in his career in executive positions at MGM Resorts International, Westin Hotels & Resorts and since 2012 at meetings procurement and site selection company HelmsBriscoe. His most recent efforts touting the value of meetings as a co-chair of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition during a presidential election year translated into his recognition as a 2017 Trendsetter, however.

Larry Needle

 

Larry Needle
Executive Director // PHL Sports
Specialties: Destination sports sales and marketing

Philadelphia had a banner year in 2016 with the 2016 Democratic National Convention, but its efforts in the sporting events and conventions segment answered the bell, too. Leading the sports charge for the Philadelphia CVB, Larry helped land marquee events such as the ESPN X Games, NBA All-Star Weekend, NCAA Women’s Final Four, Major League Baseball All-Star Weekend and 2017 NFL Draft, which brought 250,00 people to the City of Brotherly Love.

David Kliman

 

David Kliman
President // The Kliman Group
Specialties: Speaking, international meetings, advisory board facilitator

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing David lend his years of meetings industry expertise and concise thinking to panel discussions at major MPI events or via webinars and other educational vehicles, you really need to get out more. As president of The Kliman Group consultancy, David facilitates customer advisory boards for major organizations such as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Cvent, among many others, but one of his transcendent trendsetting powers is his expertise as a thought leader in the ever-changing world of global meetings. See our Profile of him in March’s Meetings Today magazine.

Ellen Sinclair

 

Ellen Sinclair 
Senior Vice President, Operations // Benchmark
Specialties: Destination sales and marketing

Ellen gives back to the industry through participation in efforts such as IACC’s Conference Center Management Certificate Program and by sitting on Virginia Tech’s Board of Directors for its Hotel and Travel Management School. Recent trendsetting accomplishments include chairing IACC’s Meeting Room of the Future initiative.

Jake Megrikian

 

Jake Megrikian
Director of Sales & Marketing // InterContinental Los Angeles Century City
Specialties: Hotel sales and marketing

A 15-year hospitality veteran, Jake has been recognized for outstanding achievement by continuously attaining record-breaking sales. Additionally, he was awarded the SITE Kevin Forde Spirit Award for his involvement in the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence. With a strong passion for meetings and dedication to exceptional service, Jake is not only a role model for his own team, but his community of meeting professionals as well.

Ashley Lowe

 

Ashley Lowe
Director of Sales // Caesars Entertainment
Specialties: Casino resort sales

In 2016, Ashley was awarded the Las Vegas Hospitality Association’s Rising Star Distinction Award, which honors those who have made a difference in the hospitality industry. She is passionate about the city of Las Vegas, the importance of face-to-face meetings and the continued growth of the meetings industry. Ashley brought her more than 10 years of expertise to the Caesars Entertainment family in April 2015 and currently oversees the on-property sales efforts for all meeting and convention groups across Caesars’ nine Las Vegas properties.

Ryan Simonetti

 

Ryan Simonetti
Co-founder and CEO // Convene
Specialties: Conference centers

Convene has disrupted the traditional conference center formula by infusing hotel-like services and amenities into commercial office buildings. Ryan has been recognized for his achievements in Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30,” was named “Top Entrepreneur” by Crain’s New York, and was a finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year New York Awards. Convene, which says 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies partner with them, operates 13 spaces in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and in the D.C. metro area.