San Diego– February 14, 2020 — Women in Tourism & Hospitality (W.I.T.H.) is proud to announce its impactful and inspiring 2020 Honorees. This community of exceptional, ambitious women are the hospitality and tourism industry’s visionaries, leaders, go-getters and futurists who are radically transforming the hotel and tourism landscape.
Clara Carter, President and founder of the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network, a meeting management firm, and also the founder of W.I.T.H., will host its inaugural conference March 19 through 20 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Diego-Mission Valley, to include the 5th Annual W.I.T.H. Awards Luncheon. The W.I.T.H. luncheon will again, honor six phenomenal women in San Diego leading the industry forward, as well as offer educational learn-and-grow sessions, executive thought leaders men panel, motivational and inspirational world-class speakers including Caroline Beteta, President and CEO of Visit California and Hattie Hill, Global Diversity & Inclusion + Gender Equity Pioneer and President & CEO of T.D. Jakes Foundation, an exhibit marketplace with the latest trends and cutting-edge products and services, and powerful networking receptions with industry professionals, corporations and elected officials.
“We are proud to honor these trailblazing women who are shaping our industry and celebrate female empowerment,” said Clara Carter, founder of W.I.T.H. Conference. “By bridging the gap, we are bringing the best and brightest women in hospitality and tourism together who can share their insider insights and be career mentors while providing a source for attendees who will gain confidence in their abilities, attain access to entrepreneurs and C-level mentors, and reach the next level of their careers through powerful connections.”
The 2020 W.I.T.H. honorees include:
Carlin has been serving valued hotel guests as Chef Concierge at the elegant Westgate Hotel in Downtown San Diego for nearly 16 years. She is the president of San Diego Concierge Association where she promotes philanthropic work in the community, supports the local hotel and resort properties, shares industry news and knowledge, and mentors concierges embarking on their new careers to better serve hotel guests.
Arjmand is currently the Director of Operations at the Greystone Prime Steakhouse & Seafood and Butchers Cut Steakhouse in the Gaslamp quarter for over a decade. Arjmand manages all the marketing and public relations for San Diego Dining Group. Sara has been a member of the Gaslamp association for over 13 years and serves on the special event committee’s board in the Gaslamp quarter.
Makeda “Dread” Cheatom
Cheatom has dedicated her life to music, art, culture and wellness for over 45 years. She established WorldBeat Cultural Center, a non-profit multi-cultural center in Balboa Park where she is the Executive Director. Cheatom opened the first world-renowned Prophet Vegetarian restaurant in San Diego. She is also the founder of WorldBeat Center’s Children’s Ethnobotany Peace Garden which is used as an outdoor classroom to bring families outdoors and teach children of the origins of their food and science.
As President/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Becker is responsible for management, as well as, the operating and capital budget. Her career in aviation and airport management spans more than 30 years and has included operations and environmental positions. She serves as a U.S. Policy Council Member and Large Hub Committee Member for Airports Council International – North America, where she participates in policy discussions that affect U.S. airports.
Blackinton is the Regional Vice President of Operations for Hersha Hospitality Management. With over 20 years in the industry, she leads all hotel operations efforts in the West Coast region including both branded, Marriott and Hyatt, and independent hotels. Blackinton served as the Chairperson of the San Diego Hotel Motel Association with over 100 hotels and also served as a board member and executive officer for the San Diego Tourism Authority, a private, nonprofit funding vehicle to stimulate hotel room demand through tourism marketing and advertising programs.
Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA is Senior Vice President of Experience for Meeting Professionals International, leading its events and education teams. She has over 20 years of experience in the meetings and hospitality industry, serving in executive level positions for corporations, associations and non-profits. Gregg has taught at several universities and is currently a Program Advisor for San Diego State University’s Meeting and Event Certificate Program.
At the 5th Annual W.I.T.H. Awards Luncheon on March 20, newly announced honorees, all exceptional women industry leaders, will participate in a moderated candid panel discussion facilitated by Karima Zaki, Founder and CEO at ZenZone™ by sanctuate! and W.I.T.H. Advisory board member, about their journey to the top, their vision for the future and tips on what it takes to get there.
Tickets to the conference range from $249 to $439 and will increase after February 28th. For more information about the honorees, workshop speakers, conference tickets or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.sdwithit.com.