Hotel Online  Special Report


  HSMAI Names the Frank W. Berkman Chapter Award Winners; 
HSMAI's Central Florida Chapter Receives New Chapter
of the Year Award 
MCLEAN, VA (March 23, 2007) – The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International’s (HSMAI) Annual Leadership Conference, held last week in Memphis, brought together an impressive mix of the organization’s top-level volunteer leadership for two days of strategic planning, discussions and brainstorming, as well as the presentation of the Frank W. Berkman Chapter Awards winners.

Attending the conference were the HSMAI Americas board of directors, members of the Special Interest Group Advisory Boards (SIGs), managing directors and presidents of more than 30 chapters, collegiate chapter presidents and faculty liaisons.

“This multi-faceted conference, whose agenda was driven by a ‘Flying in Formation’ theme, was designed to give our leadership ideas, innovations and the tools to assist them in their many endeavors on behalf of HSMAI and our constituency, as well as with their own personal career paths,” states Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.  “It was a tremendous experience of information sharing, forward-thinking and strategic planning.”
Winners of the annual Frank W. Berkman Chapter Awards, representing chapter excellence and performance, were handed out for three groupings – large, medium and small chapters – in nine categories as follows:

Category                                 Large Chapter            Medium Chapter        Small Chapter
Awards & Recognition             Arizona & Big Apple    Dallas/Fort Worth         Missouri
Communications                       Washington, D.C.         Central Florida             Colorado Springs
Customer Interaction                Arizona                        --                                 Mid-South
Educational Programming         SE Florida                    Georgia                       Missouri
Fundraising/Community            Arizona                        Central Florida             Carolinas
Leadership Development          Arizona                        Central Florida            Mid-South
Membership Retention             SE Florida                    Dallas/Fort Worth       Nebraska
& Development                        
Partnership Development          Arizona                        Central Florida           NE Florida
Web site                                  Big Apple                     Los Angeles               NE Pennsylvania
 A “new chapter of the year” award was presented to HSMAI Central Florida for their work in chapter management, which drove excellence in educational programming, communication, fundraising and community involvement.

New Chapter of the Year” award Presented to HSMAI Central Florida 
Additionally, the Los Angeles chapter made a special donation of $3,330 to the Gulf South chapter.  The money was raised by the Los Angeles chapter as a fundraiser to assist Gulf South in rebuilding their chapter educational programming following Hurricane Katrina.
Among the highlights of the multi-day event, were a “Welcome to Tennessee” from Susan Whitaker, commissioner of tourism of Tennessee, and an address from Kevin Kane, president & CEO, Memphis CVB. 
“Strategies for Success” was delivered by Dr. Lalia Rach, associate dean and HVS International Chair, Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University.  In a presentation tied to the “Flying in Formation” theme, she discussed four strategies for success: working together, recognizing possibilities through awareness, active leadership and fostering idea teams.  “Just like anything you want to get better at, you have to work at being a leader…incremental change is the key to long-term success,” she stated.
Discussing “Customers Trends: Data Driven Strategies,” Mike Pustateri, principal and founder, Vantage Strategy Consulting, said: “There is no mainstream out there anymore…you have to refresh your view of who is out there; build value from intangibles; put the customer in charge and think about having your sites in multiple languages.”
Gayle Christensen, managing director of FedEx global brand management, said that “consistency is the mantra of branding at FedEx,” and she spoke of using the master brand strategy to build value under the FedEx brand.  She also talked about FedEx’s approaches to “operate separately, market collectively,” and to look for non-traditional ways to get customers through the Web and sponsorship. 
Other presentations included:
  • Jack Withiam, executive vice president and general counsel, George Little Management (GLM) talked about “Connecting Members to Customers: Affordable Meetings.”
  • “Keys to Success” was presented by Matt Weinstein, founder of Playfair Inc., an international consulting firm based in Berkeley, CA.
  • Peter Starks, managing director, Training Technology International, presented the New Business Acumen and REV Simulation Training Program overview.
  • An HSMAI University Update was provided by Barb Taylor Carpender, managing director, HSMAI University.
  • HSMAI Foundation Update was given by Pam Streeter, chair, Fran Brasseux, executive director, HSMAI Foundation, and Jason Smith, HSMAI’s vice president of communications.
  • HSMAI presented the new HSMAI Leadership Online Community Center and the new HSMAI hosted chapter Web sites.
Also, a “Lessons in Leadership” luncheon welcomed the local chapter of the Business Travel Association, adding a customer participatory aspect to the conference. 
A full day’s agenda was dedicated to the HSMAI Special Interest Groups (SIG), which included leadership roundtables and discussion on strategies for membership growth, communications and partnership development.  In a joint SIGs/Chapter Leadership “Flying in Formation” panel, examples of unified efforts were presented, such as:
  • Mid-South chapter working with Faculty SIG to integrate students into the chapter, resulting in 18 new student memberships;
  • Dallas chapter working with the Hotel Directors of Sales & Marketing SIG to target program content for chapter events;
  • Big Apple chapter’s programming reflecting what is going on nationally with an emphasis on revenue management;
  • Central Florida chapter inviting area revenue managers to attend local program;
  • Canada chapter coordinating with the Internet Marketing SIG to build sales and marketing programming into the new Online Revealed Canada program to be held in Toronto, May 28-29, 2007. 
Sponsors of the HSMAI Leadership Conference are American Express, Grand Casino Resort, Nolan Production Group, Hicks Convention Services, Destination King, The Peabody Memphis, HSMAI Mid-South, Grand Events & Party Rentals, Air Tran Airways, Coach USA, Integrated Communications, and Memphis Entertainment and Resource Group.
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry.  With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®.  Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region.

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Also See:  HSMAI Names the Frank W. Berkman Chapter Award Winners for 2005 / March 2006
HSMAI Recognizes the “Best-of-the-Best” in Chapter Practices / April 2004

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