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by F. Andrew Taylor

When Alyson Lyden moved to Las Vegas five years ago, she had no idea she would find a job in a new career and excel so much that she would be awarded as an influential member of the community.

The Las Vegas Hospitality Association honored influential members of the community during its 2018 Distinction Awards on Sept. 20. The nonprofit organization dedicated to driving the city’s hospitality industry forward awarded Las Vegans making a significant impact on their organizations and the community. The awards went to one game changing organization, The Vegas Golden Knights, and four individuals. Stacey Purcell of Caesars Entertainment took home The Spirit Award, John Unwin of The Drew Las Vegas was honored with The Industry Leader Award and The Legacy Award was presented posthumously to Mark Hellrung of the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas.

Lyden was selected to receive the The Rising Star Award, which recognizes an LVHA member, who has been extensively involved on committees, participated in meetings and with the development of LVHA over the past five years. Among the reasons she was chosen was that she has exhibited ambition and drive to become a future leader in the hospitality industry. Lyden served for a time on the LVHA board of directors and yet she was both surprised and delighted to be chosen for recognition.

“The award was such an honor and I’m humbled by that,” Lyden says “I think that they recognized that I try to do a lot in the community with associations and that I’m always out trying to promote Las Vegas.”

Since 2014 Lyden has been a national business development manager for Freeman, but her career started in the hotel industry in New Jersey and New York. From there she segued into events and catering. But her situation changed so she decided to change it further by moving. “I said to myself, ‘Why not got to Las Vegas and get back into hotels?’ so that’s what I did,” Lyden says. “Basically I knew just two people in Las Vegas and the rest is history. I fell into tradeshows.”

For Lyden, her work experience was secondary to her outgoing personality. She says she got her current position because somebody saw something they liked in her and wanted her to work with them. “”I’m a master networker,” she explains. “I’m not afraid to talk to people. I throw myself into any situation. I like to meet people, talk to them and get a feel for what they do. I love to learn about different industries.”

Lyden particularly enjoys the creative side of the industry. “I like to create experiences for my clients,” she says. “I like meeting and exceeding my expectations. I like making awesome events for my clients and making them look good.”

She’s up to facing the challenges associated with the work. She’s aware there are many moving parts to any event and a lot of personalities and variable involved. “There are a lot of opinions in any event planning,” she admits, “so it’s a just a matter of navigating that and finding a way to make everybody happy.”

This story originally appeared in the November/December issue of Exhibit City News, p. 72. For original layout, see our digital flipbook after November 1 at https://issuu.com/search?q=exhibit%20city%20news .

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