People News: Destinations International, IAEE, Offprice and More Make Hires

September 10, 2019

Summer’s coming to a close, the kids are back in school, and companies in the meetings and hospitality space are ramping up hires for the last third of the year. Take a look:

The Offprice Show, the leading U.S. retail trade event, announced two new senior appointments last month. Tricia Barglof, formerly U.S. director, is now executive director of Offprice, while current CEO Stephen Krogulski is now director of business development. The announcement was made the week of the 50th edition of the biannual show, which is produced by Tarsus Group.

Lindsay Berezan

Lindsay Berezan has returned to ConvExx, a Las Vegas-based trade show and consumer event producer, as meetings and events director. She previously served as show coordinator for ConvExx, and most recently spent two years with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. 

Destinations International has brought on Rori Ferensic as senior director of education. She began her new role Aug. 12 after most recently serving as director of education and credentialing for the National Automatic Merchandising Association. Also at DI, Caitlyn Blizzard was promoted to vice president of communications after serving as director of communications since May 2017. 

Kim Willis has joined tfconnect, based in the UK. She has deep experience in the exhibition industry as a senior executive, working in the Middle East in various roles in Dubai and Bahrain. In her new role, she will assist the team in growing their database of clients to include more Indian, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian exhibition industry clients.

360 Live Media, a Washington, D.C.-based experience design and marketing agency for associations, added Jack Macleod to the team in the newly created role of chief growth officer. Most recently serving as publisher and chief revenue officer at Inside Higher Ed, Macleod will focus on helping association accelerating growth and increasing performance of their organizations.

Ron Pellerine

Ron Pellerine has been appointed general manager of Metro Toronto Convention Centre. He was most recently GM at Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, and will officially begin his new role on Sept. 16.

The International Association of Exhibitions and Events has brought on Anja Loetscher as an international consultant to assist the partner relations team in global growth. She has more than two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, including helping to launch the Geneva (Switzerland) Convention Bureau in 2007.

Raleigh (N.C.) Convention Center has added two new team members: Brian Clark is director of operations, most recently serving as assistant stadium event manager at Rentschler Stadium in Connecticut; and Ryan Bonifas is director of events, having held similar roles with Fair Park in Dallas and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

Cloud-based association management software company MemberSuite appointed Marcus Underwood chief operating officer on Aug. 22. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in growing digital businesses to his new role and was most recently COO and chief information officer of Naylor Association Solutions.

Pholeta Alexander

Atlanta CVB promoted four team members last month. Pholeta Alexander is now vice president of technology and facilities; Sheretha Bell is brand vice president; Kristin Delahunt is vice president of convention services and Cynthia Mokotoff is vice president of human resources.

Louisville Tourism had several new sales department hires this summer. Sarah Underwood and Ally Crain are convention sales assistants, both coming from Louisville hotels; while Steven Cabezas is small meetings manager, handling group bookings of 300 or less rooms on peak.

St. Charles, Mo.-based Milestone Equipment Holdings, a transportation equipment leasing company, hired Josh King, Brian Tyrrell and Ronnie Hynes in late August to continue driving growth of the company’s mobile warehousing and storage trailer division launched in December 2018.

Justine Evans joined UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, as marketing and communications manager. She takes over for Monika Fourneaux-Ceskova, who relocated to Dubai.

Visit Spokane hired Kyle Minor as director of national accounts on Sept. 3. Prior to this new role, he worked as senior manager of citywide convention sales at Destination Cleveland.

Brian Baker

Atlanta-based full-service exhibit house Exhibitus has brought on Brian Baker as partner and vice president of creative and strategy. He brings more than 25 years of experience to his new role and was most recently vice president at Highmark TechSystems.

International Market Centers in Las Vegas has several changes to its Las Vegas market trade show leasing team. Elizabeth Moss, now director of trade show sales, will oversee the Home, Design Home and Discoveries: The Antique Vintage Marketplace destinations. In addition, Priscila Gilburg, executive director of trade show sales, will manage the Gift and Design Lifestyle destinations; Michelle Karol, director of trade show sales, will handle the Handmade and Cash & Carry destinations; and Jenna Henderson is the department coordinator for tradeshows in Las Vegas.

Carlos de Sebastian is now director of association relations in Latin America for MCI Group. He was most recently managing director with Kenes Group Spain and LATAM, Tilesa Kenes Spain, and will be based in MCI’s Buenos Aires office.

The Kentucky International Convention Center has welcomed Blake Henryas its new general manager. Henry most recently served as the general manager of the Cross Insurance Center Arena and Convention Center Complex in Bangor, ME. An industry veteran, he has more than 20 years of experience leading major convention, sporting and entertainment facilities across the country from Los Angeles to Owensboro, Kentucky to New York City.

Dana Kramer

Dana (Collins) Krameris now senior development manager of SportsPITTSBURGH.In her new role, Kramer is responsible for promoting Pittsburgh to sports event and meeting planners. With more than 13 years of hospitality, events and sales experience, she most recently served as sales manager for the Omni William Penn Hotel where she oversaw the corporate and collegiate sports markets, including multiple 2018 NCAA events.


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Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact