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ACOM conference helps attendees overcome recession blues

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2009 ACOM President, Lyan Tassler (right) presents Amanda Tess Bonvechio, CMP, Convention Services and Housing Manager at Positively Cleveland with the first Annual William H. Just CAE, CMP Memorial Award.

The Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM), an organization dedicated to advancing the practice of convention services management in the meetings industry, held its 22nd Annual Conference Jan. 8-10 at the Westin City Center in Dallas. Marilyn Healey, CMP, Convention Services Manager at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, was announced as ACOM’s 2010 President at the Conference.


The conference offered a variety of educational sessions to help attendees overcome current economic challenges. “The Sign of the Times Part I: Sharing Strategies” session led by meetings industry veteran, Joan Eisenstodt, helped attendees learn how to maintain good service despite industry changes. Mike Rayburn’s keynote address and Izzy Gessell’s session on generational differences and cultural diversity were among the highlights of the conference, according to attendees. Attendees also learned how convention services managers (CSMs) can better service their meeting planner clients, ultimately leading to more successful events.

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2009 ACOM President, Lyan Tassler (left) passes the torch to Marilyn Healey, 2010 ACOM President.

“The conference program provided attendees with an accurate picture of the issues currently facing the convention services industry and how we as an organization can come together and help each other succeed,” said Marilyn Healey, CMP, ACOM president. “I look forward to working with everyone involved in the organization to help ACOM flourish in the new year.”

During the 2010 Awards Luncheon and Business Meeting, several industry awards were presented. Given out in conjunction with Successful Meetings magazine, the CSM of the Year Awards were announced and honored Robin Wilczynski, Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort; Susan R. Schwint, Visit Charlotte and Kimberly S. Kreml, University Center of Lake County.

Also, Melissa Laskowsky, CMP, Event Services Manager at the Georgia Mountains Center received the Member of the Year Award; Julie Pingston, CMP, senior vice president at the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau received

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Eric Blanc, CMP, Senior Sales Manager at Freeman (left) presents University of Alabama student, Jennifer Matthews (right), with the 3rd Annual Donald S. Freeman, Jr. ACOM Conference Scholarship.

the President’s Award; Gary Musich, vice president, convention development at the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority received the Executive Excellence Award and Gwen Davis, director, meeting services at the Paralyzed Veterans of America received the Meeting Professional of the Year Award.

ACOM also presented Amanda Tess Bonvechio, CMP, Convention Services and Housing Manager at Positively Cleveland with the first Annual William H. Just CAE, CMP Memorial Award, and Jennifer Matthews from the University of Alabama received the 3rd Annual Donald S. Freeman, Jr. ACOM Conference Scholarship.

For more information about the Annual Conference, visit www.acomonline.org or contact Lynn McCullough at (609) 799-3712.

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