* San Antonio Hosts GolfThat Raises $20,000 For Scholarships The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau coordinated a golf tournament this past April that featured teams organized by both the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (IACVB) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).
Proceeds of roughly $20,000 were donated to IACVB's and PCMA's scholarship foundations. Tournament participants were flown to San Antonio by Continental Airlines, stayed at the Marriott Rivercenter, and golfed at the Westin La Cantera Resort and the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort.
* Chicago Bureau Convenes Customer Advisory Council The Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau is meeting with conference organizers to help boost the Windy City's image. The first meeting of its 32-member Customer Advisory Council was held in March at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. It brought together corporate, association, andplanners who are " thinkers, people who are attuned to what is happening in our industry," says Deborah Sexton, vice president, sales and service, for the Chicago bureau.
An unusual aspect of the meeting, Sexton adds, was a "silent gallery" of city officials, including representatives from labor unions, the police department, and transportation companies, who listened to meeting planners' opinions of Chicago's strengths and weaknesses as a meeting destination.
* Atlantic City Saves Time for Corporate Meeting Planners The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority has kicked off a new service, AC Meetings Express, which provides the planners ofwith available dates and rates within 24 to 48 hours of their initial phone call. Participating hotels include Bally's Park Place, Caesar's Atlantic City Hotel Casino, Harrah's Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel, Sands Hotel & Casino, Tropicana Casino & Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, Trump Taj Mahal Casino & Resort, and the Holiday Inn Boardwalk.
* Innovative Career Training Program Launched in Cleveland Responding to the high employee turnover rate plaguing local hotels and restaurants, the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland initiated a 10-week hospitality training program designed to take local residents off of public assistance and into hospitality industry careers. When students complete the course of study, they are placed in entry level positions and--if they continue to work in the industry--are eligible for scholarships towards a degree in hospitality management at Cuyahoga Community College. The training includes life and workplace skills, a hospitality industry overview, and hands-on skills training, and on-site experience at a local hotel or restaurant.
* Chicago, Palm Springs Remembered in Song Ray Kelley of Resort Music in Palm Springs, Calif. wants you to come back from your next meeting or incentive with a song in your heart, preferably one that reminds you of the place from whence you came. Kelley has deals with the Palm Springs/Desert Resorts CVB and several hotels in Greater Chicago, including the Hyatt Regency Chicago, to promote their destinations through CDs of instrumental music numbers that he performs with his band, the Palm Strings (he's producer and cellist).
Both Palm Springs and Chicago ("Windy City" includes "the Loop" and "Water Tower," in addition to "My Kind of Town") use the CDs as atool with major clients, who can in turn purchase them as VIP gift amenities for their corporate or incentive guests. The Sears Tower Skydeck in Chicago has purchased and personalized the Windy City CD as a special amenity. And even Mayor Richard M. Daley has chosen Windy City to musically represent Chicago in his special gift basket.
The Palm Springs CD, called "A Strand of Desert Pearls," comes with a 20-page booklet with maps, highlights, local attractions, and a brief history of the Coachella Valley.
Kelley is currently at work on a musical CD featuring themes of the State of Wisconsin; and "Only The Sky's the Limit," a music CD saluting 100 years of American aviation.
FYI * The Ames, Iowa Convention & Visitors Bureau and Iowa State University have teamed up to produce a meeting planner guidebook and an interactive CD-ROM. The three-ring binder has detailed destination information and data on meeting and lodging facilities that includes color photos, floor plans, room sizes and capacities, available equipment, and contact information. The CD-ROM helps users to visualize the various meeting sites and local venues through video, photography, and maps. Call (800) 288-7470 for a copy.
* The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitor's Bureau's 1998-1999 Professional Meeting Planners Guide is the biggest ever: 240 pages of up-to-date information on the area's meeting facilities, social and group events, accommodations, transportation, and dining and leisure activities. Call the bureau at (407) 363-5843.
* The Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau has debuted the Santa Monica Official Visitors Guide 1998/'99. The 80-page insider's guide to local attractions includes a meeting planning section. Call (800) 771-BEACH.
* The Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau has published the Charlotte Destination Planning Guide. It includes information about area hotels, facilities, venues, and group services provided by the CVB, as well as information on various local attractions. Call (800) 722-1994.
* The San Diego North Convention & Visitors Bureau has released its 1998 Official Visitors and Meeting Planner Guide. The 110-page pictorial travel planner includes information on meeting facilities as well as on destination attractions. Call (800) 848-3336.
* The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau's Pasadena Planning Guide has information on the area's meeting and lodging facilities, as well as on leisure activities. Call (626) 795-9311 for more information.
* The Scottish Convention Bureau has launched its Conference and Meetings Guide, which complements the bureau's existing www.convention.scotland.net.Travel Planner. The guide includes information on Scotland's array of meeting venues and properties that range from city hotels to historic castles to state-of-the-art convention centers. For more information, visit the Scottish Convention Bureau's Web site at
* The Louisville and Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau now offers its Meeting Planner's Guide in a user-friendly CD-ROM that includes three-dimensional animation of Louisville's meeting facilities. Call (800) 626-5646 for a copy.
* The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau has released an interactive CD-ROM that provides a virtual tour of the destination and 50 high-resolution photographs. It is accessible in five languages: English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Call (813) 464-7200.
* The San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau has published a luxe brochure targeted to the corporate meeting and incentive market. The visually striking guide provides an overview of what San Antonio has to offer as a meeting site. Call 210-207-6700.
* The Singapore Tourism Board--formerly known as the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board--has a new name, a new corporate logo, and a new Web site: www.stb.comsq . The changes reflect a more comprehensive and multifaceted role for the tourism board. Call the New York office at (212) 302-4801.
* The Acapulco Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched its first Web site at www.Acapulco-CVB.com. Surfers can learn about the destination in English, Spanish, or French and access full-sound videos for a virtual tour of the area.
VIP People * Merrett R. Stierheim, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, recently announced that he will be resigning his post at the CMCVB. Stierheim has accepted Mayor Alex Penelas' offer to take over as Miami-Dade County Manager. Merrett's successor has not yet been announced.
* The Washington County Visitors Association, in Beaverton, Ore. has promoted Colin Ross to executive director. He had been convention sales manager.
* Steven Paganelli has been promoted to executive director at the Coastal Fairfield County Convention & Visitors Bureau in Norwalk, Conn. He had been director of sales and marketing.
*The Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, Calif., has promoted Debbie Megna to executive director. Previously, she served as vice president of sales.
* The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau has announced two promotions. Felix Laboy has been promoted to executive vice president. He had been vice president, sales and marketing. Toby Pike has been promoted to senior director of sales. He had been director of sales.
* The Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau in Covington has announced two promotions. Don Roesch has been promoted to director of sales. Most recently, he served as convention sales manager-national/regional. Stacey Moher has been promoted to director of convention and visitor services. She had been manager of services.
* The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Christine Wise director of convention sales and services. She previously served as director of convention and sports marketing for the Tulsa (Okla.) Convention and Visitors Bureau.
* The Hong Kong Tourist Association has promoted Lily Shum to regional director--the Americas. She had been general manager--marketing communications.
* The Forth Worth (Texas) Convention & Visitors Bureau has appointed Douglas Boone, Jr. director of group sales and multicultural development. Boone most recently served as national sales manager with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.
* Stephanie A. Zeverino has been named national corporate sales manager for the Pasadena (Calif.) Convention & Visitors Bureau. A 17-year hospitality industry veteran, she most recently served as national sales manager for the Ritz-Carlton, Huntington Hotel, also in Pasadena.
* The Providence/Warwick (R.I.) Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced several staff changes. Ardena Lee-Fleming has been promoted to senior sales manager in the convention sales and marketing department. She had been national sales manager, and will continue to handle the religious and multicultural markets. Kathleen Ceseretti has joined as national sales manager. Ceseretti, who will handle the corporate market, is a 20-year hospitality industry veteran. She most recently served as director of sales for the Holiday Inn Mansfield in Mansfield, Mass.
* The Orlando/Orange County (Fla.) Convention & Visitors Bureau has named Jane Chaney vice president of convention sales and services. Chaney, who will oversee corporate and incentive accounts, previously served as director of sales for the Orlando World Center Marriott.
* The DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau in Atlanta has promoted Janet Rodgers, CHSP, to vice president of sales and marketing. She had been director of marketing.
The International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus' (IACVB) Destination Showcase will be held Sep. 29, 1998, at New York's Sheraton Hotel and Towers and on Feb. 12, 1999, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.