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International Association of Conference Centers Expands the Role of Millennials,
Appoints 24 Year Old Melissa Bell to Board of Directors to Advise the IACC
Board on Emerging Trends from the Perspective of Millennials
and Generations X and Y

St. Louis, MO -14 January 2008 ) - Neil Pompan, President of the North American Chapter of the International Association of Conference Centers has announced the creation of a second Board Associate position and the appointment of Melissa Bell to Board Associate of the IACC, NA Board of Directors.  

Created early in 2007, the position of Board Associate was established with "a particular focus of identifying and advising the Board of Directors on emerging trends from the perspective of Millennials and Generations X and Y" said Pompan.    

The Board's Executive Committee recommended that a second Board Associate position be established along with extending the term of the position to 18 months, where service begins on January 1 and ends with the Annual Conference in the following year.  Board Associate service will include six Board meetings and two conferences.

The Board Associate position has been immensely beneficial to the IACC Board and has prompted the creation of the Green Task Force and the Emerging Trends Task Force, both of which have involved the participation of Warren Call, IACC's first Board Associate.

Twenty-four year old Melissa Bell is currently employed by Dolce International as Conference Manager at BMO Financial Group, Institute for Learning in Toronto.  She is actively involved in the property's Green Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Canada East Chapter.  In 2005, Melissa was the recipient of the IACC Conference Centre Industry Award.

In nominating Melissa for the position, Institute for Learning General Manager Scott Johnston said, "Melissa stands out as an example of the high quality performer that the conference centre industry is capable of attracting, developing and retaining.  She is a valued member of the team, has a wonderful genuine personality, and would absolutely progress the value of the position to its fullest potential."

Melissa received her Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hotel & Food Administration from the University of Guelph in Ontario.

Melissa Bell

Emily Heckaman

Melissa joins 26-year old Emily Heckaman on the IACC Board to represent the voice of the younger generations.  Emily is currently employed as a Conference Planner for the University Place Conference Center and Hotel in Indianapolis, IN.  Emily was nominated by General Manager and IACC, NA First Vice President Tom Cappucci, who said, "Emily consistently brings creativity and innovative ideas to constantly improve the meeting experience.  Her enthusiasm and energy always manage to exceed customer expectations."

Heckaman, who holds a BA in Communications with a concentration on Public Relations from Purdue University, also participated in the recent IACC study on the Future of Conference Center Marketing which examines how Millennial-age meeting planners research and selects sites for their events and how their approach differs from other age groups.

According to Pompan, "It is imperative that we maintain a cutting-edge perspective on technological and societal trends that affect our industry and not only embrace those trends, but get ahead of that curve and project trends. Adding a second Board Associate will help IACC to make a significant impact on our industry and our association."
Founded in 1981, the International Association of Conference Centers 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, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, France, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Japan. 


James M. Mahon
Global Director of Marketing 
  & Public Relations
914 548 5835

Also See: Reaching and Attracting the New 21st Century Traveler; Hotel Distribution Industry find personalization, peer-to-peer info is key to capturing Gen Y consumers / May 2007
IACC Appoints First Board Associate; 27 Year Old Sales Manager Warren Call to Bring Google Generation Perspective / March 2007


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