People News: Bevy of New Hires Marks Beginning of Spring

March 17, 2016

Suppliers ranging from convention and visitors bureaus to electrical services to display companies either promoted from within or added onto their ranks to mark the beginning of a busy spring season.

Claude Molinari has been named by SMG the general manager of Cobo Center, effective immediately.

Since SMG assumed operations management of Cobo Center in 2010, Molinari has been the assistant general manager of Cobo under Thom Connors.

Connors will continue his corporate role with SMG, including oversight of the Cobo Center account. “This is a natural transition,” Westley said, SMG’s president and CEO.

He added, “Both Thom and Claude will continue to bring their leadership strengths and industry vision to Cobo Center.”

In addition, Cedric Turnbore has been promoted to director of operations for Cobo Center, and his responsibilities will expand to include the oversight of production, sustainability, and janitorial services.

Turnbore came to Cobo with more than 20 years of experience with top brand properties including the Westin Book Cadillac and Marriott Hotels.

Freeman has named two new top leaders, Jeff Singsaas as senior vice president of global business operations and Adam Charles as senior vice president for its brand experience agency, FreemanXP.

During the last three years, Freeman has broadened its global presence by expanding into Central America, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and launched its Global Partner Program to service clients in all regions. 

After creating a strong foothold in the EMEA market, Freeman now is expanding its Asia-Pacific leadership team after acquiring Staging Connections Group, a well-respected global event services company.

A former executive at Microsoft, Singsaas brings a client-first perspective to Freeman and global event marketing expertise. Freeman officials said his skills will be invaluable in formulating strategy and extending the company’s reach with expanded programs that drive continued international growth in Asia-Pacific.

“We intend to continue our international business growth,” said Bob Priest-Heck, president and COO at Freeman. “We’re building a strong leadership team and plan to increase our staffing on the agency side by 11 percent this June. To do this, we’re investing in exceptional talent and attracting the right people.”

Adam Charles will serve as senior vice president for FreemanXP, providing Freeman’s international client base with resources in Asia. Charles will lead offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Singapore.

Julie Pazina has been promoted to national director of sales for Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services. She joined Edlen in 2006 and is responsible for sales in the Las Vegas and San Antonio markets, in addition to overseeing regional and national sales efforts.

“Julie has been a key part of Edlen’s success and we were thrilled to promote her to this important position,” said Mary Ellen Chapdelaine, vice president of sales.

Pazina has 15 years of hospitality and meeting experience and has been actively involved in the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Las Vegas Hospitality Association and the International Association of Venue Managers.

In addition, Melanie Carter was promoted to assistant general manager of Edlen’s Mandalay Bay office. Carter has been part of the Edlen team for 14 years and has spent the majority of that time producing events at Mandalay Bay.

Visit Indy has hired Brooke Godsey as Meetings Express Manager. In this role, she will be responsible for managing all meetings and events with peak room nights of 10 – 75 rooms.

Godsey is a graduate of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis where she studied Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management.

She joins the Visit Indy team from the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Downtown where she was a Catering Sales Manager.

Nth Degree promoted Bree LaBollita to director of content and learning in an effort to continue the development of its Attendee Learning and Content capabilities.

As director, LaBollita will continue to drive this service offering forward for the benefit of Nth Degree’s customers – helping them attain attendee growth goals with strong content offerings and an elevated learning experience.

She will be tasked with further development of methodologies that foster engaging learning environments and long-term comprehension of materials by attendees.

VizCom Media & Nimlok Michigan, grand format printing and custom display companies based in Michigan, announce the addition of Chris Caulk in the position of account executive tin the company's sales department. 

Caulk comes to the company with previous experience in board relations, management and sales.  

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: