Under sunny and warm Las Vegas skies, 140 meeting industry professionals and suppliers hit the links at the 6th Annual Las Vegas Corporate Invitational Golf, held April 13 to 15.
The 36-hole scramble — hosted by The Meetings Group of Primedia Business Magazines & Media (which publishes Insurance Conference Planner and its sister magazines) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — featured 35 four-person teams teeing up at two of the finest golf courses in the Las Vegas area: Highland Falls and The Legacy.
With a two-day net score of -30, the team sponsored by Walters Golf walked away with the top prize. Team members Brennan Blednick, director of sales, Walters Golf, Las Vegas; Brooke Dunn, senior vice president, Shuffle Master Inc., Las Vegas; Andy Anderson, director of business development, Walters Golf; and Jeff Brodsky, president, HHG Brands, Merion, Pa., each won a set of clubs, an HHG Brands leather briefcase, a trophy, and, of course, bragging rights.
For posting the low net score on the first day of the competition at The Legacy, the team sponsored by OB Sports won a set of irons and an HHG Brands leather Sunday golf bag. Dave Strawbridge, director of resort sales, OB Sports, Las Vegas; Jason Aslanian, manager of business development, Meetings and Events USA, Chicago; John Miller, planning, Kaiser Permanente, Downey, Calif.; and Tom Wamberg, CEO, Clark Consulting, N. Barrington, Ill., played on the OB Sports team.
The team sponsored by Las Vegas Paiute Golf Club was the day-two winner at Highland Falls. Norm Stalzer, sales executive, Las Vegas Paiute Golf Club; Dianna Morrison, executive assistant, Brown-Forman Beverages, Louisville, Ky.; Lowell “Bud” Smith, vice president, travel, design, and purchasing, BI Worldwide, Bloomington, Minn.; and Daniel Hope, director oftravel management, Stryker Corp., Mahwah, N.J., each won a set of woods and an HHG Brands leather golf shoe bag for their efforts.
Elvis, well, an Elvis impersonator, and a Las Vegas showgirl greeted the foursomes as they made the rounds, posing for photos with each of the teams.
While golf was the main event, it was only part of the festivities. Attendees were wined and dined by the MGM Grand at the opening night reception under the stars at the property's Director's Pool. The awards ceremony was held on the final evening in the lavish Estancia Ballroom at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Casino and Spa.
More than a third of the guests walked away from the event with prizes in tow as, in addition to golf awards, 44 other gifts were raffled off at the closing banquet. The prizes, which ranged from golf packages and gifts to overnight accommodations at Las Vegas hotels, were awarded by the event's sponsors, including more than 20 hotels, 10 golf courses, and seven industry suppliers. (See box, right, for complete list of sponsors.)
The grand prize of the evening — given by the LVCVA in honor of the city's Centennial celebration — went to Rhonda Heninger, user group program manager, Trimble, San Jose, Calif. She won a 3-night stay at the new Wynn Las Vegas Resort (July 1 through July 4), round trip airfare, airport transfers, and two tickets to a concert by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also, Gretchen Doner, senior manager, special events, ADP, Roseland, N.J., won a set of clubs for booking the most room nights in Las Vegas over the past 12 months and Rose Horcher, communications events coordinator, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, Ill., won a similar prize for booking the most golf rounds in the city.
Overall, about 170 people attended the event, including approximately 100 meeting professionals from companies like Microsoft, Ticketmaster, Federated Investors, and Coca-Cola. While attendees were pleased with the activities and festivities, many were even more enthusiastic about the networking opportunities at this casual and fun event.