HSMAI Honors Chapter Excellence at Annual Leadership Conference

  • 03.02.10
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored 17 of its chapters with "Chapter Best of the Best Awards" during the 2010 Frank W. Berkman Chapter Awards Program at the Annual HSMAI Leadership Conference held at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Louis, Mo., February 9-11, 2010.

HSMAI presented 29 "Chapter Best of the Best Awards" in 10 categories for large, medium and small chapters. HSMAI received 106 entries from 20 of HSMAI’s 40 Americas Region chapters for the awards, which honor chapter excellence and performance.

HSMAI Chapters are managed by leading hospitality sales & marketing professionals who volunteer their time to help the industry and members fuel sales, inspire marketing and optimize revenue."The Frank W. Berkman awards allow HSMAI to recognize excellence in Americas Region chapters and each chapter’s dedication to the hospitality industry,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. "The awards recognize chapters that embody HSMAI’s strategic planning techniques and creative programs designed to enhance members’ skills and professionalism."
The Greater New York chapter received the “chapter of the year award,” which honors the year’s most accomplished HSMAI chapter. The “chapter of the year” award is the highest honor bestowed at HSMAI’s Leadership Conference and honors a chapter that displays commitment and dedication to the improvement of the hospitality field. Leaders of HSMAI’s Greater New York Chapter accept the chapter of the year award from HSMAI Americas Chair David Atkins.This year's Leadership Conference program included an array of speakers within the hospitality industry who spoke on the theme of rebuilding after the economic downturn.
Nancy Schwartz, managing director of Bear Marketing at Build-a-Bear Workshops discussed how the company managed to grow, even during the recession.“We are always working to make an emotional connection to our customers. We listen to what our guests are telling us and we take it to heart,” said Schwartz.
“To stay ahead in the recession we tried to stay relevant with our consumers, refresh the customer experience and create value.”Christine Duffy, president and chief executive officer of Maritz Travel spoke about transforming meetings, events, and incentives in a post-AIG world. “We must actively shape our operating environment or others will shape it for us,” said Duffy. “You need to know what the stake holder is trying to accomplish so you can help assist them in reaching their goals and measure specific business results.”
Bruce Himelstein, former Senior Vice President of Marketing at The Ritz- Carlton Hotel Company and former HSMAI Global and Americas Chair discussed ways to keep brand designs relevant.“Brands have to adapt to ever changing consumer lifestyles,” said Himelstein. He advised attendees to focus on a few things that have the most impact, and to keep the customer at the center at all times.
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.

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