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HSMAI Honors Chapter Excellence at
 Annual Leadership Conference

South Florida Chapter Awarded 2008 Chapter of the Year Honors

MCLEAN, VA (April 23, 2009) – The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored 15 of its chapters with "Chapter Best of the Best Awards" in the 2008 Frank W. Berkman Chapter Awards Program at the 2009 Annual HSMAI Leadership Conference at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va. April 13-15, 2009.

HSMAI presented 29 "Chapter Best of the Best Awards," an award representing chapter excellence and performance, in three groupings – large, medium and small chapters – in 10 categories. HSMAI received a record number of entries, 125, from more than half of HSMAI’s 40 Americas Region chapters.

"HSMAI Chapter leadership is comprised of some of the most talented minds in the hospitality profession,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. "The awards program recognizes chapters that embody HSMAI’s values and implemented strategic and creative programs for professionals to help the growth of the profession and organization."

Robert A. Gilbert, HSMAI president & CEO,
presents South Florida Chapter leaders, Julie Wernick (left)
and Stacie Faulds, with the 2008 Chapter of the Year honors.

Recipients of the "Chapter Best of the Best Awards" include:

Large Chapter Winners
  • South Florida won awards for Communications, Membership, Partnership and best use of the web. The South Florida chapter was also named HSMAI Chapter of the Year for 2008.
  • Arizona Chapter won awards for best Awards and Recognition, Fundraising/Community Involvement and Customer Interaction
  • Central Florida received awards for Collegiate Chapter and Educational Programming
  • The Greater New York Chapter received the award for Leadership Development
Medium Chapter Winners
  • Mid South Chapter won for Customer Interaction, Educational Programming and Membership
  • The Georgia Chapter received the award for Fundraising/Community Involvement
  • Mexico Chapter won the award for Partnership
  • The Dallas Chapter took home the awards for Communications and Awards & Recognition
  • Greater Houston Chapter was honored for Collegiate Chapter programming
  • The San Diego Chapter received the award for Leadership Development
  • Greater Los Angeles Chapter won the award for Web Site
Small Chapter Winners
  • Missouri Chapter won for best Awards and Recognition, Partnership and Fundraising/Community Involvement
  • Southern Colorado Chapter received the best awards for Educational Programming and Membership
  • Curacao chapter received awards for Communications, Customer Interaction and Web Site
  • Minnesota Chapter received the award for Fundraising/Community Involvement
In addition to the “Best of the Best” Awards, chapters were also given Chapter Assessment Report (CAR) awards. Chapters had to excel in all their performance areas to receive a platinum ranking. The following chapters received Platinum designations.

  • Arizona Chapter
  • Central Florida Chapter
  • Greater Los Angeles Chapter
  • Mid South Chapter
  • Greater New York Chapter
  • San Diego Chapter
  • South Florida Chapter
  • Southern Colorado Chapter

In addition to giving out the chapter awards, members of the HSMAI Americas board of directors and Special Interest Group Advisory Boards (SIGs), managing directors and presidents of more than 32 chapters, collegiate chapter presidents and faculty liaisons gathered together for two days of leadership bootcamp that focused on the theme “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going!”

Each year, HSMAI hosts chapter, SIG and student leaders at this special conference to meet with other association leaders, discuss common issues and hear from renowned industry leaders on best practices related to key hospitality issues.

This year's program kicked off with Major Nicole Malachowski, the first woman USAF Thunderbird pilot, to energize and motivate conference attendees to be leaders within the organization and for their team. The conference was moderated for a second year by John Parke, President and CEO of Leadership Synergies, who led one-on-one discussions with Bill Connors, executive vice president and COO of the National Business Travel Association and Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI.

The first panel of the conference, “A View from the Top,” included HSMAI’s Americas Executive Committee members and generated lively conversation amongst panelists and attendees about the current economic state and best practices.

Additionally, Karen McSteen, president of brandMatters, emphasized the importance of a personal brand as well as a company brand to define success. McSteen left attendees with guidelines to help them create their personal brand in 2009.

On the final day, Edelman senior vice president, Cathleen Johnson, presented on Good Purpose and how chapters can incorporate social causes into chapter activities. The conference concluded with a chapter best practices exchange.

Sponsors of the HSMAI Leadership Conference were American Express, Newmarket International, and the Marriott Westfield Washington Dulles.


HSMAI is the hospitality industry source for knowledge, community, and recognition for leaders committed to professional development, sales growth, revenue optimization, marketing, and branding. 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. For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, Va. 22102; (703) 506-3280; fax (703) 506-3266, or visit the website at


Media Contacts:

Rachel Rosenberg, Edelman Atlanta, 404-832-7711, 

Harper Cornell, Edelman Atlanta, 404-460-9661,

Also See: Exhibitors, Planners Optimistic at HSMAI'S Affordable Meetings® Mid-America /April 2009

Bernadette Dennis Appointed the New Managing Director of HSMAI Asia Pacific / February 2009

HSMAI Charters New Asia Pacific Chapter; Christine Toguchi, the Managing Director of HSMAI Asia Pacific in Singapore / November 2006

Six Month Old HSMAI Asia Pacific Names Leadership & Board of Directors, 2006 Agenda / March 2006

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