News for the Hospitality Executive
( St. Louis, MO ) – March 2010 -- The 29th annual gathering of The Americas Chapter of the International Association of Conference Centers was complemented by a three-hour Thought Leader Summit, comprised of technology experts who engaged in a spirited discussion concerning the theme, “Incorporating Advancing Technology into the Meeting Experience.”
Thought Leader Summit
IACC veteran John Potterton (VP, Education, Professional Convention Management Association) moderated the panel in their discussion of a wide range of topics including how the brain of a Millennial absorbs differently from a Boomer’s; incorporating advanced social media into a meeting agenda; measuring a meeting’s return on investment; adapting to the new meeting environment; and promoting interactivity among attendees. The panel also addressed questions that were sent via Twitter from within the IACC global community.
Denmark’s Rasmus Rasmussen, executive chef at Comwell Roskilde, captured IACC’s seventh Copper Skillet award to become Global Conference Center Chef of the Year. Tim Chudley, a member of the IACC Global Board of Directors and Managing Director, The Sundial Group, Northamptonshire, UK, presented the coveted Copper Skillet to Chef Rasmussen for his winning dish of Mallard duck roasted on potato galette & seared tuna with a sweet soy glaze.
The popular Copper Skillet competition was introduced in 2004 to highlight the artistry and skill of the best chefs from IACC-member conference centers around the world and to honor their contributions to the shared goal of providing an outstanding conference center experience. Competing chefs at the competition represented IACC Chapters in The Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Denmark and Canada as well as member conference centers unaffiliated with an established chapter.
Culinary themes in past have included Asian Fusion, Moroccan, Provencal, and Thai. Once again, the theme was abandoned in order to focus on creativity. Each competing chef received a “mystery basket” of ingredients at the start of the competition after which they were free to create any style of dish. Each chef was given 15 minutes to review the ingredients and strategize followed by 30 minutes to create their dish.
The Copper Skillet judges awarded second place to the United Kingdom’s Christopher Owen of Staverton Park, Daventry, Northamptonshire and third place to United States’John Kerkeslager of Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center in Atlanta, GA.
The Pyramid Award, IACC’s highest education honor, was presented to Jeff Loether, president of Electro-Media Design for his long-lasting contributions to IACC education including presentations at the Annual Conference, the Small Property Information Network (SPIN), and IACC Learning Network events. Loether currently serves on IACC’s Technology Committee; was one of the authors of “The Design for Great Technology;” and was influential in drafting virtually all of IACC’s Recommended Guidelines and Universal Criteria dealing with presentation technology, acoustics and noise vibration control.
The Award of Excellence went to the conference co-chair, Rosemary Jablonsky, (Director of Conferences at the Hilton DFW Lakes in Grapevine, TX) for her many years of service on the Annual Conference Planning Committee and for her work in launching the first Copper Skillet Competition.
Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service
IACC’s highest honor, the Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service, was given to industry consultant Joe Sebestyen, a 25-year veteran of Marriott International and past president of IACC North America. Sebestyen served on the Professional Development Committee, the Technology Committee and the Annual Conference Planning Committee and was instructor and director of the IACC-Cornell Course from 2000 to 2007. A past recipient of the Award of Excellence and Pyramid Awards, Sebestyen was involved with the development of the AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center on the campus of the University of Texas and worked intensively on a corporate conference and training facility for Lockheed Martin. IACC Americas president, Tom Cappucci (General Manager, University Place Hotel & Conference Center) lauded Sebestyen’s “illustrious service to IACC, the conference center industry and to his community” as he handed him the award.
Founded in 1981, the International Association of Conference Centres is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference center industry and to giving member properties the tools necessary to provide an exceptional meeting experience. Active members meet a set of stringent Universal Criteria and agree to a Code of Ethics. Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Japan. For more information, visit the website at www.iacconline.org. IACC = exceptional meeting experiences.
James M. Mahon
|Also See:||Recap: 27th Annual Conference of The International Association of Conference Centers; The Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service Presented to Rodman Marymor / April 2008|