Starwood Hotels and Resort's Worldwide Global Account Director Michael Carlson, CMP, hosted the company's 2008 Northeast Financial and Insurance Planners Summer Cruise Event and Education Session July 31 to August 1 in New York City. The gathering of industry planners and Starwood hotel reps enjoyed an evening of sailing, networking, and dining onboard World Yacht's M/V Destiny. Lovely summer weather drew participants out on deck for spectacular views that included the Statue of Liberty at sunset.

Attendees regrouped the next morning at the St. Regis New York for an education session that included an overview of Starwood property news and a keynote presentation by Chris Gasbarro, chief creative officer, C3 Creative Community Connections. Gasbarro's engaging talk covered ways that planners can creatively integrate corporate objectives — and corporate social responsibility — into meetings and events.