Movers & Shakers - Profile
While women have an outsized representation in the hospitality industry—especially in the role of meeting planners—the number of females in upper management and c-suite roles continues to lag behind those of men. Charlotte St. Martin, president of The Broadway League, is a hotel, CVB and meetings industry veteran who took a hammer to the glass ceiling years ago.
With a background in financial analytics, one could argue that Mulberry Development Principal & CEO Michael Buono was as equipped as anyone to weather the economic collapse of 2008 that tore through the construction and real estate industry like a Category 5 hurricane.
One thing is undeniable: The close-shave timing of his entry into the hospitality development business couldn’t have been worse. “The word on the street was we were the last project that was funded [as a lender] in Manhattan by HSBC before the financial meltdown took place,” Buono said of his Ace Hotel New York project. “What I saw was fear and lots of instability because the market just imploded.”
The expert of record for all things meetings tech for more than 20 years, Corbin Ball—owner of Corbin Ball & Co.—has ingrained himself in the meetings industry on a global level. An inveterate traveler—he spends about a third of his time on the road every year—Ball recently received the highest honor in the industry after being inducted into the Events Industry Council’s (EIC) Hall of Leaders.
At the helm of a lifestyle boutique hotel brand that is poised for a sizeable growth spurt in by 2020, Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein literally worked his way up from the kitchen, craving to cook up inspiration to start some type of career.
Being the female leader of a travel company featuring an all-woman team of six travel counselors, London-based Crossing Travel CEO Sangeeta Sadarangani is quite aware of the challenges women face when traveling for business.
John H. Richardson, general manager of 320 Guest Ranch near Big Sky, Montana, lives and breathes the hotel life, with a father that worked for Sage Hospitality, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. “When I tell people I’ve moved around a lot they ask if my dad was in the military and I say, ‘No, he was in the hotel business,” he quipped.
What does high-stakes international diplomacy have to do with meeting planning? A lot, as it turns out. Meet Pamela Eyring, owner and president of The Protocol School of Washington, a nationally accredited educational institution that offers international protocol, cross-cultural awareness, business etiquette and image training for business professionals and, increasingly, meeting planners of top organizations that perform on a global stage.
Forty-six-year meetings and hospitality industry veteran David Bruce, managing partner of Ft. Worth, Texas-area’s meeting planning company CMP Services, knows and cares enough about his profession that he realizes it’s time for a big change.
A new day is dawning for the embattled tourism promotion industry in Puerto Rico, as CVB veteran Brad Dean, who helmed the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce as CEO for 15 years, is set to take the reins of the newly created Puerto Rico Destination Marketing Organization (PRDMO).
Taking the reins of PCMA in January after serving as COO, Sherrif Karamat can leverage more than 14 years with the association to both recognize why and what it was and also propel it to where it needs to be in the future.