Positive People News, Despite It All: Hires at NEXT Events, Centerplate, JCK and More
At a time when many companies are grappling with severe layoffs and figuring out how to keep things afloat until the COVID-19 crisis ends, it’s tough to talk about new hires. However, with the goal of spreading more positive news during this challenging time, here are the latest companies with people news to share. Congratulations to everyone on this list!
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida (which was closed through March 31 at press time), has announced Kathleen Bernesby as director of sales for the entire complex. Together with the sales team and director of sales and marketing, she’ll oversee the 2,270-room resort with 330,000 square feet of meeting space—including an upcoming expansion, The Cove at the Walt Disney World Swan, which will be a 349-room tower opening next year.
NEXT Events, a New York-based company focused on industry networking and matchmaking experiences, hired Krishe Van Der Walt (pictured in main image) as client services manager last month. In her new role, she’ll oversee client service coordination and act as a liaison between vendors and industry stakeholders. The company’s first experience, originally slated for March, has been shifted to December and will offer a one-to-one industry matchmaking experience aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.
Gregory Pittman has been named new executive chef at Baltimore Convention Center, which has 300,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space and has used Centerplate as its exclusive F&B provider since 2009. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Pittman will bring Southern flavor to his menu of world-refined cuisine when the convention center reopens for business. (At press time, the center had been designated as an “alternative care” facility and may be used as a hospital in coming weeks).
Bourne, Massachusetts-based Convention Data Services has named Aimee McBride sales account executive for the Washington, D.C. area. A 13-year industry veteran, she will oversee client relationships and account management for the company, which focuses on helping event organizers attract, engage and understand their audience with registration and lead management tools.
National Grocers Association, the national trade association representing independent retail and wholesale grocers (that’s busier than ever as supermarkets remain among the few businesses open throughout the country right now), has promoted Christopher Jones to senior vice president of government relations and counsel. He will focus on advocacy efforts for NGA.
Lauren Thompson was appointed group marketing director of JCK Las Vegas, Luxury and JCK Tucson shows, both part of the Reed Jewelry Group, last week. In her new role, she’ll oversee the integrated marketing strategy for the shows and work closely with the programming, sales and executive teams to support show development and enhanced communications. (At press time, JCK Las Vegas, Luxury, which was scheduled for June, has been postponed, with new dates TBD.)
IMC_di, the new digital innovation division of International Market Centers, last week announced more than a dozen recent hires including new staff for development, implementation, marketing and customer success. IMC CEO Bob Maricich says IMC is accelerating its investment in digital at this time. Among the new hires are Marisa Garcia, senior director of customer success; Andrew Meeks, director of marketing; Mary S. Moore, consultant (part time); and at least nine other staff positions supporting programming, development and customer support needs. IMC_di says it plans to hire for many more positions, as well; see career opportunities here.
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