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Principal So Garcia Associates, LLC CDMP USA Trainer

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Executive Director CPL Events CDMP European Trainer

contents SPRING 2012 | VOL 14 | NO 1

COVER STORY 24 | NATIONAL HISPANIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION Hispanic Meetings & Travel interviews Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO of NHMA 4 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel




FEATURES 16 Florida Meetings Destinations 20 Industry Profiles 28 U.S. Travel Initiatives 30 Destination Spotlight: EAST COAST 32 International Destination Spotlight: MEXICO


34 New & Renovated Properties Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada; Ritz-Carlton New York; and the Occidental Vacation Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico


48 QUINCE Magazine

DEPARTMENTS 06 Publisher’s Letter 08 Editor’s Comment/Credits 10 Industry Briefs 14 Meeting Trends 23 Educational Initiatives 37 Cuisine El Rey de la Acordeón opens the world’s first Ramon Ayala’s Cocina & Cantina

38 Meeting Planner Incentives 40 Calendar of Events | HM&T 5



pring came early this year bringing beauty all around us and mass destruction all around us. Somehow we learn to take the beauty and the sounds of nature as though it is the norm. Yet for many of our neighbors this beauty has also brought tragedy as thousands of Americans have been impacted by the severe weather that is also part of spring. Is it just me that thinks our planet is under attack by Mother Nature? Is she trying to awaken us to the peril of the planet? Is there some truth to the Mayan Calendar? What do you think? Hispanic Meetings & Travel is all about bringing awareness of the pleasures of travel, whether it’s in your own city or across the vastness of America. It’s also about travel to other destinations within our own hemisphere. To the north is beautiful Canada and to our south is historic Mexico with endless beaches and resorts and colonial cities that take your breath away. Further south we have the beauty of Central America and South America. There is so much to see and we marvel at those who have built the cities and destinations we enjoy today. Hispanic Meetings & Travel is here to inspire you to get traveling. Hispanic Meetings & Travel is also about the “Meetings World.” Each year thousands of Hispanics travel to attend meetings, conferences and symposiums. If you belong to a national association you can enjoy these events and the destination chosen to hold these events. When Hispanics travel to these events they tend to take their entire family so many groups plan their events in the summer when children are no longer in school and can travel with their parents. In our own family, our children grew up attending conferences for the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Annual Symposium for the Society of Mexican American Engineers & Scientists. There were

several other associations that we also participated in so we looked forward to the travel as much as the meetings. Later on I would plan these meetings and had a say on where to hold the events. As a result I have been lucky enough to hold meetings throughout the USA, Puerto Rico, Mexico and in Europe and become a part of the “Meetings World.” Meeting Planning as a profession was not recognized by the Department of Labor until 1990 so all things considered it is a fairly “new” profession. Most recently it has been named one of the top professions and one of the most satisfying careers in the hospitality industry. So what do meeting planners earn? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics a meeting planner can earn as mush as $55,000 to $65,000 per-year, but some can earn much more. Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment Employment RSE Mean hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage


1.9 %




Employment per/1000 jobs

California New York Texas Illinois Florida

7,150 6,600 5,130 3,530 3,460

0.51 0.78 0.50 0.63 0.48


Wage RSE

0.6 %

Location Quotient

Hourly Mean Wage

Annual Mean Wage

1.02 1.57 1.00 1.27 0.97

$25.45 $26.81 $22.61 $23.50 $23.26

$52,930 $55,760 $47,020 $48,870 $48,370

When I started planning meetings over 30 years ago you did not go to school to be a meeting planner. Today, many colleges and universities have “Hospitality Schools” that provide training for meeting planning and many other careers that are a part of this industry. In the next issue we will focus on those careers and encourage our readers to learn more about the lucrative careers in the hospitality industry. Margaret Rodríguez de González Publisher – Editor-in-Chief

In the Next Issue


Summer 2012 • Texas Meetings Destinations • Networking with CVB’s for Success • Gulf Coast Destinations • Bahamas __________________________________________

Want to write for Hispanic Meetings & Travel Magazine? We occasionally accept contributed articles and essays. Contact the managing editor with your pitch.

6 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

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EDITOR’S COMMENT el we aim to highlight the best of both sides of the meetings industry – those associations and companies holding events and meetings as well as the providers and suppliers of great meetings, especially those in the Hispanic community. We feature the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, and The Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando. This feature begins on page 16.

Spring has sprung and with it a sense of renewal is born. New initiatives, new events and new meeting destinations come to light. The U.S. itself has proposed new initiatives to the U.S. Travel agenda. This year began with President Obama making a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida to unveil a national tourism strategy to make the United States the world’s top travel destination. Emphasis will be placed on increasing travel from the middle class of emerging markets such as China, Brazil and India. Hispanic Meetings & Travel covers the President’s tourism strategy beginning on page 28. The cover story of this Spring issue of Hispanic Meetings & Travel highlights one of the most prestigious Hispanic associations in the country, the National Hispanic Medical Association. The NHMA has a formidable membership of over 40,000 with a mission to help elevate Hispanic physicians and empower the Hispanic community with knowledge and resources to better manage our health. We are proud to have the president of the NHMA on the cover, Dr. Elena Rios. With a remarkable academic history and impressive resume Dr. Rios is a great role model not only for Hispanics in the medical field but to all young Hispanics who are contemplating a career in medicine. Hispanic Meetings & Travel has the honor of interviewing Dr. Rios about her medical life and the organization she leads. This interview begins on page 24. As is customary, in every Spring issue Hispanic Meetings & Travel features the best in Florida meetings. This year we highlight hotels in Florida that can cater to any Hispanic organization that aims to have a great meeting in the Gator State. But we are not featuring just any hotels – we are featuring Hispanic owned and operated hotels. At Hispanic Meetings & Trav8 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

We also continue our series of Industry profiles with Mr. Jose Hernandez, President & COO of GlobauxSource, Ms. Barbara J. DesMarteau, Acting President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, and Ms. Rosa M. Duke, National Sales Director, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau (pages 20-22). A new meeting planning educational initiative is in the works between the International Association of Hispanic Meetings Professionals (IAHMP) and Nõun Events Professional Training, of Santa Fe, Argentina, and CaseNEX, LLC, of Charlottesville, Virginia (page 23). Newly renovated properties are highlighted in this issue beginning on page 34 with the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada; the Ritz-Carlton New York; and the Occidental Vacation Club in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Millions of dollars have been used in renovating these properties and it looks like it was worth every penny. Time to pack those bags and check these properties out for yourself! This issue’s Quince Magazine cover girl and feature is Ms. Kayla Regalado of San Antonio, Texas. Kayla and her parents gave us great insight on the planning and execution of this blessed event. From the benefits of working with an event planner, to showing us different Quince traditions, to realizing that your quinceañera is not all about the young girl turning 15, the Regalado family sheds a great light on planning your Quince. They reveal to us that this event is about the whole family and ensuring they are comfortable in participating in the quinceañera fiesta. What struck me the most about this Quince is that Kayla’s damas were escorted by their fathers or grandfathers! Instead of placing her damas in an uncomfortable situation of being escorted by strange teenage boys, Kayla made it easy for her friends and cousins to enjoy this day as well. Perhaps, if all event planners had this type of thought process of putting the guest first more people would enjoy attending meetings and events. ¡Piensalo! María de la Luz González Editor

PUBLISHER GVR Public Relations Agency, Inc. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Margaret Gonzalez EDITOR María de la Luz González DESIGN & PRODUCTION BAY AREA MEDIA SERVICES / SCENE MEDIA CREATIVE DIRECTOR - John Ennis ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR - Betsey Ennis / ADVERTISING STEVEN GONZALEZ MARIA GONZALEZ CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AMResorts , Areomexico, Associated Luxury Hotels International, Benchmark Hospitality International, Emerald Coast Convention Center, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, GlobauxSource, Margaret Gonzalez, Maria Gonzalez, Steven Gonzalez, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals, JW Marriott Marquis Miami, National Hispana Leadership Institute, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Institute of Flamenco, Occidental Vacation Club, Platinum Hotel and Spa, Primm Valley Casino Resorts, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park, The White House Office of the Press Secretary PHOTOGRAPHY Ken Abernathy of Nelva Studio, AMResorts , Areomexico, Associated Luxury Hotels International, Benchmark Hospitality International, DigPicPhoto, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Emerald Coast Convention Center, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, GlobauxSource, Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, JW Marriott Marquis Miami, MGM Resorts International, National Hispana Leadership Institute, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Institute of Flamenco, Occidental Vacation Club, Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert, Platinum Hotel and Spa, Primm Valley Casino Resorts, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Janet Regalado, Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park ADVERTISING SALES OFFICE GVR Public Relations Agency 2600 South Shore Harbor Blvd., Suite 300 League City, Texas 77573 Telephone - 281-245-3330 Fax - 281-668-9199 W E B PA G E WEB MASTER - Margil Villarreal Hispanic Meetings & Travel ISSN #1527-8387 is owned and published by the GVR Public Relations Agency, Inc., at 2600 South Shore Harbor Blvd., Suite 300, League City, Texas 77573 C 19992010 All Rights Reserved. Hispanic Meetings & Travel cannot by held responsible for unsolicited material. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited material and will return only those accompanied by stamped self-addressed envelope. We reserve the right to edit all copy. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Subscription rates: $30.00 per year within the USA, $52.50 in Canada, and $75.00 elsewhere. All subscriptions must be paid in U.S. currency. Single copies: U.S. $5.00, Canada $8.75, and $12.50 elsewhere. Produced in the USA.


N E W * F R E S H * P R O G R E S S I V E

Aeromexico Invites Adventurers to Discover the Beauty and Excitement of Mexico

As of May 21st, Aeromexico will be offering direct flights between Washington, D.C. & Mexico City


hether you're looking for an adventurous escape or to try something new, Aeromexico invites travelers to experience all the adventure and wonder that Mexico has to offer. On March 17th -18th, Aeromexico – Mexico's global airline – exhibited the latest travel options and adventure trends throughout Mexico at the Washington, D.C. Travel Adventure Show at the Washington Convention Center. If adventure is what you are looking for, connect to some of Mexico's most exciting destinations through the Aeromexico's Mexico City hub. Mexico is known for its canyons, plateaus, waterfalls and rivers that are ideal for trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting, rock climbing and rappelling, as well as top beach destinations. In Cancun, scuba dive at the world's largest Underwater Museum or zip line through the trees at Selvatica Adventures. Meanwhile, Mexico City is the Latin American capital of culture, art and bustling action. This direct flight that Aeromexico offers is ideal for business travelers that need to be in Mexico City. As of May 21st, Aeromexico will be offering direct, daily flights between Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. and Mexico City International Airport. This flight gives passengers the option to spend time in the capital city or to connect through Aeromexico's extensive network of flights to over 40 destinations throughout the country, as well as Central and South America's most exciting capital cities. The flight will be operated on Boeing 737 aircraft with the following schedule:

Washington, D.C. - Mexico City Departure Arrival Frequency 01:15 am 05:00 am Daily 10 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Mexico City – Washington, D.C. Departure Arrival Frequency 6:00 pm 11:20 pm Daily

in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Central and South America, as well as Europe and Asia.

Offering award-winning service and hospitality, Aeromexico invites all adventurers to take advantage of this quick and direct connection and experience all the excitement and splendor that Mexico has to offer.

Aeromexico is a founding member of SkyTeam, the global airline alliance comprised of the following 15 airlines: Aeroflot, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, TAROM Romanian Air Transport and Vietnam Airlines. SkyTeam offers all partner airline passengers a large global network with more destinations and frequencies, and improved connectivity. Passengers can accrue and redeem miles with the different partners' loyalty programs and enjoy the convenience provided at 490 airport lounges worldwide. SkyTeam offers its 487 million annual passengers more than 14,000 daily flights to 926 destinations in 173 countries.

About Grupo Aeromexico Aeromexico, S.A.B. Ltd., is a holding company whose subsidiaries are engaged in commercial aviation in Mexico and the promotion of passenger loyalty programs. It has a fleet of Boeing 777, 767, 737 and the latest models of Embraer 145 and 190. As of this year, an important expansion plan began that includes the incorporation of 20 new planes and properties over the next 24 months. Grupo Aeromexico operates its main hub out of Terminal 2 in the Mexico City International Airport. The Group's airlines operate over 550 daily flights to different cities

Upgrades Represent Hyatt’s Long-term Goal of Becoming the Most Preferred Hospitality Company through Innovation that Enhances the Guest Experience


yatt Hotels Corporation recently announced it is transforming the standard in-room television into a fully connected, interactive entertainment center and virtual concierge at its full-service properties across the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Once the installation is complete, guests will have access to a range of offerings that, depending on location, include interactive entertainment, hotel services, local information, and advanced features that go well beyond the technology guests today expect to see. “Imagine a world where you can use your hotel room television to place your room service order, book a local tour, stream a movie from your Netflix account, and download a document to be printed at the front desk,” said Pete Sears, senior vice president of North America operations for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. “This is the future hotel experience at Hyatt.” The systems have already been installed in the nearly 1,800 guestrooms at Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Andaz 5th Avenue in New York, and most recently at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. Over the next two years, the technology will be installed in up to 60,000 guestrooms across Hyatt’s North America properties. The upgrade will allow properties to welcome their guests to the room with a personalized greeting and mood-setting music, and offer new features that include the ability to browse the Internet to visit Facebook, Netflix, YouTube and other popular websites; manage and print documents, spreadsheets and presentations; make hotel room service orders and housekeeping requests, such as new towels or extra robes; access local directions; and make dinner reservations. Meeting and group planners will also be able to use the service to send customized messages, information and updates directly to the rooms of guests

attending their function. In preparation for the upgrades, Hyatt evaluated how technologies would meet its guests’ needs and expectations during a hotel stay. Insights from the research showed that guests want to use technology that match, and even go beyond, the ways in which they enjoy technology in their homes. Guests consistently cited several capabilities as especially important, including more diverse channel lineups, an interactive program guide, streaming video capability, engaging games, the ability to connect portable devices to a television, and the opportunity to access hotel information and make hotel service requests. The new technology will be provided by Roomlinx Inc, a leading provider of premium hotel and resort in-room media, entertainment and business solutions. Hyatt is the first major hospitality brand to integrate Roomlinx’s service across such a large number of properties and brands. “Hyatt’s decision to offer guests expanded technology and entertainment services marks a bold transition within the hotel industry,” said Michael Wasik, CEO of Roomlinx. “The consumer appetite for new and fun in-room technologies has been far outpacing what most hotels offer. Hyatt will now be able to further satisfy that appetite.” Hyatt has recently launched a number of additional technologies to help enhance the guest experience, including: • The Hyatt app for iPhone®, which allows users to search and explore hotels, book new and view existing reservations, as well as check-in and check-out while on-the-go. Guests can join, get special offers and track point balances through Hyatt Gold Passport.

• Hyatt has deployed iPads® to speed up and simplify check-outs; guests can use this technology to review their folio and have it printed or emailed without having to wait in queue for an available front desk agent. • Hyatt’s Andaz hotels use iPads® to perform check-ins, accept payment, and provide room keys even before guests set foot in the front door or while walking to their hotel room. • Hyatt’s Express Welcome, currently in a pilot program, allows guests at participating hotels to check-in online before arrival and retrieve their room number. Upon arrival at the hotel, guests can use their personal keycard, a special issue Gold Passport loyalty card, to open their room door. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation: Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The Company's subsidiaries manage, franchise, own and develop hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place® and Hyatt HouseTM. Hyatt House is changing its brand identity from Hyatt Summerfield Suites®. Hyatt Residential Group, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops, operates, markets or licenses Hyatt ResidencesTM and Hyatt Vacation Club®, which is changing its name to Hyatt Residence ClubTM. As of December 31, 2011, the Company's worldwide portfolio consisted of 483 properties in 45 countries. For more information, please visit | HM&T 11


Hyatt Transforms In-Room Television into Connected, Interactive Entertainment and Concierge Service


25th Anniversary of Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque to take place June 8-16, 2012 Albuquerque recognized as center for flamenco in U.S.


he National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque, New Mexico, proudly announces the 25th anniversary celebration of Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque, June 8-16, 2012. Featuring nine days of performances by Spain’s greatest living artists, Festival Flamenco is an exciting opportunity for newcomers to entice their curiosity about the art form, and for aficionados to indulge in a flamenco immersion experience.

For 25 years during the month of June, the romantic lure of flamenco has drawn artists and visitors from across the globe to Albuquerque, which is known as the center for flamenco in the United States. “I’ve realized this is one of the most important festivals in the world because of their tradition, their respect, and the love they have toward flamenco,” said José Maya, a past festival artist. The spectacular Festival Flamenco exposes arts patrons and students to over 50 of the most highly revered flamenco artists in the world. These talented artists have traveled the world performing on stages in Sevilla, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Past festival artists include: Antonio Canales, members of the Amaya family dynasty and the Farruco family. During the festival, the public is invited to see impressive evening performances each night. In addition, the master artists teach more than 12 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

30 workshops covering a range of flamenco practicum-related topics for novice, professional and everyone in between. For those new to flamenco, a beginner’s workshop includes basic components of the art form; and for the more serious student, a variety of advanced and special topics courses are available for enrollment. Festival Flamenco is internationally recognized as the most comprehensive aesthetic and educational platform, for its presentation of cutting edge performers, academic

research symposia and youth programming during Flamenco Kid’s Camp. New Mexico is comprised of a blend of cultural influences with rich history and Spanish ancestry. Culture and heritage events and attractions such as this festival are among the most popular reasons to visit Albuquerque, which was recently recognized as one of “15 Destinations on the Rise” by and is one of’s 2012 best value cities. The 2012 festival will be part of the Savor Albuquerque festival, showcasing arts, culture and cuisine. For more information about the 25th anniversary celebration of Festival Flamenco, visit




enchmark Hospitality International, a leading US-based hospitality management company, which operates 35 award-winning hotels, resorts, and conference centers coast to coast and off shore, announces its "Top Ten Meeting Trends for 2012" as observed by its properties.

ing with the strengthening of demand. No longer can planners expect to book a meeting 30 days out and receive premium space at bargain prices.

Trend #4: 21st Century Meeting Space is Different! Meeting space isn’t what it used to be. It’s more creative! Today’s planners are looking for properties with outsized meeting rooms out of doors, inspirational and non-traditional nooks & crannies for small gatherings and breakouts inside, and are requesting oversized chairs and meeting accessories as an occasional alternative to ergonomics. Meetings today are just as apt to conclude around the camp fire, fire pit or bonfire, as they are at the bar! Trend #1: Luxury is Back! Cautiously back. Luxury resorts are no longer a pariah, but corporate accountants learned a thing or two over the past couple of years and their memory is long. They are watching the meeting budget as closely as if it were 2008! Trend #2: At Last, meeting demand is growing and is the strongest it’s been since 2008. And the trend is up! This is so across all industry segments, from telecommunications, education and insurance to healthcare, energy and beyond. Booking pace remains short-term, but the “meeting sale” is over. To quote the great Etta James, At last! Trend #3: Meeting Size is Trending Up and Space is at a Premium. As the business climate continues to strengthen, for the first time in a long time, hotels and resorts are being more selective with the bookings they take, electing to fill their properties with larger meetings at a higher rate. Customers are finding the “no vacancy” sign posted once again for preferred space booked short term, and the flexibility of many hotels and resorts is wan14 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Trend #5: Meetings Technology has Leapt into the 21st Century! Apps downloaded on Smart phones and iPads, easily accessible mobile sites, and meeting-dedicated Facebook pages are assisting planners and conferees with the registration process, enabling quick access to event itineraries, and offering an easier method to gather feedback from participants post event.

iPads have provided new meaning to the word “tablet” for note-taking during meetings and are even interfacing with traditional technology like LCD projectors. Meeting technology today is so much more than just connectivity. Trend #6: The Meeting Package is Coming Back strong! Although the past few years saw a slide in demand and an unbundling of the meeting package, in 2012 planners are once again embracing the product for the value it offers the meeting budget. Instead of unbundling, planners today are more apt to request customization of the meeting package. Trend #7: Slowly and Carefully Meeting Pricing is Trending Up. After so many years and now with an improving economy, planners are expecting and seem prepared to see price increases in 2012. They are still looking for the best value, but pricing push-back is on the wane.

skilled in their industry. They've seen the impact of losing focus, and so there is money for training once again. This time around, training is more intense and meetings tend to be longer than previously. Corporate America's competitive spirit is back, and they're dead serious! Trend #10: Increasingly the Meeting Destination is as Important as the Meeting Venue. Time invested in a meeting is more valuable than ever before, and the need to counter-balance this with destination experiences is taking on new meaning. While exotic locales are thrilling to experience, that's not what we're talking about here. It's about affordable destinations, perhaps closer to "home," offering great value and a relaxed atmosphere, where business can "get done" and recreation can offer new opportunities for learning in a more relaxed setting. Whether for corporations, associations or incentive groups, destination meetings are increasingly taking center stage. One More Trend … Socially Responsible Meetings and the need to give back remain strong in corporate America. From initiatives like Clean the World to an afternoon supporting Habitat for Humanity or a local Soup Kitchen, investing in the community is as important for planners and conferees as it is for the hotel or resort serving as the meeting venue. Socially responsible meetings are no longer just about helping clean up the environment, they're about helping corporate teams learn ways to more

Trend #8: Teambuilding Budgets are Continuing their Comeback, with groups looking for unique half-day options onsite and offsite, and this is influencing site selections. Properties that come equipped with creative, built-in teambuilding opportunities such as volleyball on the beach, kitchens designed for cooking classes, mixology programs, and even golf courses on which conferees can test their mettle as a group, are winning meetings business.

actively integrate into their local community and help develop

Trend #9: We’ve Seen this Before, We’re Seeing it Again. As the economy strengthens, corporate America is once more renewing its focus on ensuring it has the best trained sales and management teams possible, and so is ramping up training budgets. In an increasingly complex and competitive global economy, companies can't afford to be anything but the best-informed and

tional headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston.

and strengthen its social fabric. About Benchmark Hospitality International: A leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels℠, the independent company was launched in 1980 and is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations. Benchmark's internaBenchmark Hospitality is also a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers. The company's eastern regional office is in New Jersey, western regional office is in Washington, with international offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For additional information, visit | HM&T 15


Fontainebleau Miami Beach

If you intend to leave a lasting impression on the minds of your attendees then host your next meeting, conference or event at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This Hispanic owned hotel has been an iconic landmark of Miami Beach since 1954. Whether it is hosting the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce annual conference or Jennifer Lopez’s birthday, this hotel knows exactly what Hispanics want in an event. The Fontainebleau Miami Beach boasts a total of 1,504 guestrooms offering luxurious comfort and amenities. The 20-acres oceanfront hotel features an expansive poolscape, a pristine Atlantic Ocean beach, state-of-the-art conference and event facilities, two chic nightlife venues, including LIV, the ultraexclusive and high-energy nightclub and the 40,000-square-foot Lapis spa. The hotel has 12 restaurant, lounges and bars including three signature restaurants which have all received the prestigious AAA Four Diamond award. MEETINGS With 107,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, Fontainebleau Miami Beach caters to groups of every scale and type, from executive board meetings to large-scale conventions. Meeting space includes: Lobby Level - Located off the Chateau lobby, Fontaine/Fleur de Lis captures the essence of Fontainebleau Miami Beach when originally opened in 1954. Today it serves as a ballroom for some of the most elegant Miami social events. Upper Lobby Level - Features the largest ballroom, Sparkle, 16 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

with 33,630 square feet. Complimenting Sparkle are the Splash meeting rooms with two permanent boardrooms and 16 breakout rooms. Level Four - The fourth floor is highlighted by Glimmer with 18,980 square feet of flexible meeting space adjacent to the Ocean Terrace offering unprecedented views of the Atlantic Ocean and a

perfect venue for cocktails and breaks. Flicker offers another 6,000 square feet of divisible space. Both are complimented by a variety of smaller meeting rooms on the fourth floor. Fifth Floor Conference Suites - On the fifth floor of Versailles are seven conference suites providing a more private environment for small meetings and breakouts. Outdoor Space - A variety of outdoor space is available including the Ocean Lawn that stretches along the boardwalk and beach and can accommodate large events including receptions, meal functions and team building. Other outdoor venues are located throughout the resort. To request a proposal online visit or call Group Sales & Catering at 1-866-548-5670.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach 4441 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, Florida 33140 Hotel Reservations: 800-548-8886


The Villas of Grand Cypress The Villas of Grand Cypress is a AAA Four-Diamond Orlando luxury golf resort like no other. The Villas of Grand Cypress offers 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus’ signature design golf, luxurious villa-style accommodations, endless recreation, exquisite dining and much more all wrapped into a world-class 1,500 acre Orlando golf resort. The Villas of Grand Cypress is a part of the Benchmark Hospitality International portfolio, a Hispanic owned hotel management company based out of The Woodlands, Texas. The core function of a Benchmark conference hotel or conference resort is to provide an environment that facilitates idea exchange, problemsolving and retention of learning. The accomplishment of this threefold task requires that a Benchmark property be designed, managed and marketed to meet the specific needs of a meeting planner's objectives for the company's meeting. At the Villas of Grand Cypress, meeting and social groups of 200 or less will enjoy the style, size and location of the 10,480 square foot, Mediterranean-style facility. The meeting rooms surround an open atrium and overlook a scenic garden terrace. Planners are sure to discover opportunities for group recreation, meeting sessions and unique venues for catered theme parties and events. EXECUTIVE MEETING CENTER Most resort meetings take place at the Mediterranean-style Executive Meeting Center, which offers 7,200 square feet of meeting space in three ballrooms. The ballrooms can be divided into as many as eight smaller rooms. The windowed St. Andrews Ballroom, overlooking a fairway on the North Course, is a beautiful location for a special meeting function. A 3,280-square-foot enclosed Pavilion supplements the Executive Meeting Center in the busiest meeting months in fall, winter and spring, and the acclaimed Nine18 restaurant, with one of the prettiest golf course views in Florida, is available for daytime meetings and nighttime buyouts. Other function locations include outdoor terraces, Grand Cypress Equestrian Center, Grand Cypress Clubhouse, poolside venues and the resort’s larger villas. The Villas of Grand Cypress makes planning and budgeting for any meeting – a snap. For more information about their variety of meeting packages, contact group sales by calling 407-239-1915.

Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Resort One North Jacaranda Orlando, Florida 32836 Main Phone: (877) 330-7377 | HM&T 17


Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort

Located on Fort Lauderdale’s North Beach and winner of the prestigious Area President’s Award three years running, the Hispanic-owned Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in

Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 Tel: 954-414-2222 Check-in: 3:00 PM Check-out: 11:00 AM

Florida is the perfect location for a refreshing trip away from home or business meeting. The accommodations at this Fort Lauderdale resort range from beautiful studios with large windows and contemporary décor, to spacious three-bedrooms.

All guest suites offer magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Fort Lauderdale City

Smoking Policy Non-Smoking No smoking is permitted in rooms. No Smoking permitted in balconies or corridors. Resort is 100% non smoking. Resort provides designated smoking oasis: North Sunrise Terrace and outside main entrance of the resort.

Skyline, as well as the best in modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs. Relax in the deep soaking whirlpool bathtub in your suite’s Italian marble bathroom, or swim a few laps in the resort’s heated outdoor swimming pool.

Meetings & Events With 10,000 square feet of meeting space, one ballroom and nine breakout rooms, the resort makes an ideal location for gatherings, providing distinct personalized service for all groups and events. The Sunrise Terrace features 25,000 square feet of space perfect for outdoor events, with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

The resort is a part of the Hilton Family’s online booking channel for small groups and meetings. A personalized group web page is provided for your attendees to book reservations directly online. It is customizable with your organization’s program and logo all at no extra charge. For more information on the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort go to

18 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Parking Self Parking: Not Available Valet:$31.95 (Available 24 hours) Pets Service pets allowed: Yes Pets allowed: No Business Services Audio/Visual Equipment Rentals Business Center Express Mail Fax Meeting Rooms Notary Public Photo Copy Service Printer Family Children’s activities Children’s Menus Cribs Family Package Offered High Chairs


JW Marriott Marquis Miami

JW Marriott Marquis Miami 255 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami, FL 33131 305-421-8600 Property Details 41 floors, 257 rooms, 56 suites 32 meeting rooms, 80,000 sq ft of total meeting space 3 concierge levels Check-in: 4:00 PM Check-out: 12:00 PM Express Check-In and Express Check-out High- Speed Internet Public Areas: Wireless Guest Rooms: Wired, Wireless* *Daily rate of $9.95 the following feature are available in your guest rooms: High-speed internet access Unlimited local phone calls Unlimited long distance (within country) Meeting Rooms: Wired, Wireless Smoke-free Policy This hotel has a smoke-free policy Pet Policy: Pets not allowed Accessibility Accessible guest rooms have a 32” wide opening Fitness center entrance is accessible Meeting space are all accessible Pool entrances are all accessible Restaurants and lounges are all accessible Service animals allowed for persons with disabilities Business center entrance is accessible Main entrance is accessible Pathway to registration desk is accessible Registration desk is not accessible Spa entrance is accessible

The impressive JW Marriott Marquis is located in beautiful Miami, Florida. The hotel features forty-one floors, with two-hundred fifty seven rooms and fifty-six suites. The stunning property is a blend of art, design, fashion, sophistication and technology. The hotel boasts three restaurants and the Drake Bar. Isabela’s restaurant serves American fare; it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and hosts private events lunch and dinner. La Terraza Café and Bar serves an international menu and is open for lunch and dinner. The Café features Plasma TV’s and LED Screens tuned to popular sporting events and is a great place to dine with family and friends. The Trapiche Room, the Marquis fine dining restaurant, features Mediterranean fare and is open for lunch and dinner. Drakes Bar features a classic British pub setting and guests can enjoy drinks and appetizers. The hotel offers several onsite recreational activities and is nearby to almost all of what Miami has to offer making it an ideal location for your next meeting. Groups, Events & Meetings The Marquis Miami boasts 80,000 sq ft of total meeting space with 32 meeting rooms. The largest meeting room is the Metropolitan Ballroom with maximum meeting space of 18,426 sq ft and maximum seating capacity of 2,350. The hotel also holds a maximum of 13 breakout meeting rooms. The hotel offers a business center, 3 concierge levels and concierge lounge. Globally-inspired banquet menus are available for any occasion. Amazing teambuilding possibilities abound for groups in the hotel’s bowling alley, basketball court, and golf school. The JW Marriott Hotel Miami offers distinct style and award winning guest service. This Hispanic-owned hotel is ideal for accommodating high-level meetings and elegant banquets. For more information on the hotel go to | HM&T 19


Jorge Hernandez, CHME, CAM President & COO, GlobauxSource


s President & COO, Jorge has been the driving force that has shaped

GlobauxSource’s intuitive and creative methodologies.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the Hos-

pitality industry, Jorge is a true industry veteran. Jorge has touched every facet of luxury hotel operations, including senior management roles in Human Resources, Sales and Marketing, and Operations. Jorge is the former Director of Sales for the Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort in Mexico, and also served as a Regional Director of Sales. He has been a leader on numerous Sales and Marketing teams, most notably opening the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami, the first luxury hotel built by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In addition, Jorge has been a part of the following distinguished hotel groups: Fairmont, Hilton, and Marriott, and was named General Manager of the Calypso Resort and Towers, opening the 650 suite resort in 2006. Jorge is a founding member and former President of the Gulf States Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, and has also been involved with the Greater New Orleans Marketing Corporation and served on the board of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. Jorge has garnered numerous awards and honors during his career including having been nominated as MPI’s (Meeting Professionals International) International Supplier of the Year, received MSAE’s (Mississippi Society of Association Executives) Associate Member of the Year, and has also achieved the prestigious CHME (Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive) from Hospitality Sales and Marketing International. Jorge is also a licensed Community Association Manager in the state of Florida. 20 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel


Barbara J. DesMarteau

President, National Hispana Leadership Institute

Barbara J. DesMarteau currently serves as the Acting President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) in Washington, D.C. The NHLI is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 to address the disparity of Latina representation in leadership positions. For 25 years, NHLI has provided the highest quality leadership training to Latinas across the nation. Barbara formerly served on the NHLI Board of Directors and is an alumna from the Executive Leadership Program from the class of 1994. Barbara was appointed by President Barack Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the U.S. Department of Labor in 2010. She was responsible for the overall management and administration of employment and training policies and programs. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary she exercised executive direction of ETA’s programs supporting and directing the nation’s workforce system. Prior to the appointment, she served 11 years as the Director of the Adams County Community & Economic Opportunity Department that included the Workforce & Business Centers, Community Development, Head Start and Libraries. Adams County is located in the Denver, Colorado metro area and includes a population of over 430,000 residents. The Community & Economic Opportunity Department was one of 8 cabinet level departments directly reporting to the Board of County Commissioners. Barbara also served as the Executive Director of the Mi Casa Resource Center for Women, a non-profit community based organization with several locations in Colorado. Additionally, Barbara managed human services programs for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Community Services Administration in Phoenix, Arizona. Barbara completed the Senior Executive Program for State and Local officials at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. She also completed the International Career Advancement Program at the University of Denver and the Head Start – Johnson & Johnson Fellows Program at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Barbara attended graduate school at the University of Kansas, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. Barbara is an alumnae member of the National Hispana Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C., a year-long leadership development program, which included training at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Center for Creative Leadership. | HM&T 21


Rosa M. Luke

National Sales Director, Associations Midwest Puerto Rico Convention Bureau

Rosa M. Luke joined the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau in 2005 to lead the sales efforts for the opening of the Puerto Rico Convention Center, which opened the same year and now represents both the Center and the destination in her selling activities. Luke is a top producer of longlead group bookings from the U.S., Caribbean and International market. Based in Chicago, Luke is a specialist in serving the needs of large-scale groups such as international associations and tradeshows, and is well-known for her work in securing ‘citywide’ bookings at the Puerto Rico Convention Center on behalf of the destination. A world-class meeting venue, the 580,000 square foot Puerto Rico Convention Center is the largest facility of its kind in the Caribbean and the most technologically-advanced in the Caribbean and Latin America. The Center, which is located in San Juan, features a 152,700 sq. ft. exhibition hall, a 39,500 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, and 36,400 sq. ft. of meeting space. Able to host up to 10,000 delegates, the Puerto Rico Convention Center has become a prime meeting facility within the Americas. Prior to joining the Bureau, Luke was a National Sales Manager for GES Exposition Services, a leading exposition, convention, tradeshow and event marketing/management company. Her wealth of experience also includes sales for the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, where she represented McCormick Place, the largest convention center in the U.S., and held several sales positions with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Hilton International serving the corporate and association meetings market. Working for the Bureau, Rosa Luke partners with meeting planners to help them select the right location for a group meeting or convention from Puerto Rico’s more than 1.3 million square feet of meeting space and nearly 15,000 hotel rooms. Dedicated to providing delegates and planners with a smooth meeting experience, Luke helps groups secure group accommodations as well as assists with other elements of a group convention program in Puerto Rico including group tours, ground transfers, entertainment, dining and more. Rosa is an active member of several industry trade associations including PCMA, IAEE, ASAE and MPI. The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau is a non-profit organization established in 1962 to drive meetings, conventions, trade shows and incentive groups to Puerto Rico. For more information visit 22 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

IAHMP Endorses Nõun/CaseNEX’s Online Event Planning Programs for Spanish Speakers The IAMHP, Nõun Events and Professional Training, and CaseNEX, LLC have joined forces to help prepare top quality Hispanic event planning and organization professionals in the U.S. United States of America, April 25, 2012 — Margaret Gonzalez, President and Founder of the International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals (IAMHP) announced today an alliance with Nõun Events and Professional Training, of Santa Fe, Argentina, and CaseNEX, LLC, of Charlottesville, Virginia, to help prepare top quality event planning and organization professionals. Beginning in September 2012, Nõun's online programs in Professional Event Planning and Wedding Planning will be made available for the first time in the U.S. The 9 and 6 month programs, respectively, are offered asynchronously (not in real time), eliminating the need to participate on a set day and time and providing maximum flexibility to busy professionals. Through a specialized platform, accessible from the comfort of their home or office, participants will be able to complete these online programs with comfort and ease. Nõun's team of experienced and dedicated trainers makes their expertise and support available to program participants in an ongoing basis and on demand. “I am excited to forge this alliance with Nõun/CaseNEX because I believe these programs offer our members an opportunity to develop

Educational Initiatives careers in Meeting and Event Planning and Wedding Planning” stated Ms. Gonzalez. About Nõun Events and Professional Training Nõun, is the brainchild of Dr. Betina Alzinutti. She has provided specialized training for event planning and organization professionals in Argentina and throughout Latin America and Spain since 1998, via both face-to-face and online programs. With one hundred brick-andmortar schools throughout Argentina, and with virtual programs active in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Spain, and as of 2012, in Ecuador and the U.S.A., Nõun has already produced hundreds of industry professionals internationally. Instruction for these innovative and field-tested training programs will initially be delivered in Spanish, and as originally written for Spanish speaking professionals throughout Spain and Latin America. U.S. based Spanish speakers in the hospitality and other, multiple industries are encouraged to avail themselves of the skills and knowledge that will help them excel as professional event planners and organizers of business, cultural and social events. About CaseNEX CaseNEX emerges out of fifteen years of research at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education in 2001. As a pioneering online professional development provider serving the education sector, it is best known for its use of case methods in its work with educators. CaseNEX offers professional development in eight key areas to

teachers and administrators and partners with individuals, schools, school districts, state departments of education and organizations serving educators. Additionally, CaseNEX's DataCation division supports schools, school districts, and state departments of education with advanced data analysis tools and services, including development of custom Dashboards. Finally, CaseNEX's Teaching Performance Record (TPR) comprises a complete professional development system. Developed by faculty and students at the University of Virginia, the TPR offers data collectors a valid, reliable, useful method to collect information on teaching practices. About IAHMP The International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals (IAHMP) was founded in 1995 in a meeting convened at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Since that time the association has added “A Globally Diverse Association” to its name to recognize the diversity of its international members. IAHMP promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanics in the travel, meetings, and hospitality industry worldwide. Contact Information: Margaret Gonzalez Founder/President International Association Hispanic Meeting Professionals | HM&T 23





lena Rios was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1955. Growing up in Pico Rivera, a suburb of Los Angeles she became the first in her family to attend college. When her mother went to work in a local hospital she became a volunteer Candy Striper where she observed the work of the doctors and nurses at the hospital. From the very beginning, Elena was a highly motivated student receiving an Outstanding Teenager of America Award when she was 18 years old and a state scholarship for four years of college. She enrolled at Stanford University in 1973, and studied human biology and public administration. In 1975 she founded a college recruitment program for minority high school students, and served as coordinator of the project for two years. In between semesters and during the holidays she worked as a research assistant at Stanford Hospital and as an intern, studying health policy in Washington and California. For the next couple of years, she worked in various health care programs while attending graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA she earned an M.S.P.H. in health planning and policy analysis. After a year of pre-med studies at Creighton University, she enrolled in the school of medicine at UCLA. There she developed a growing commitment to improving minority recruitment to the medical school. During the summer she worked as a counselor to applicants and in her final year was appointed director of a statewide outreach program to recruit minority high school and college students to the health professions. After graduation she turned her voluntary work with individual students into a large-scale national effort, by co-founding the National Network of Latin American Medical Students. Since then, she has held a series of appointments in California programs designed to improve educational and career opportunities for minorities in the health professions. Doctor Rios received her doctor of medicine degree in 1987 24 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

and then went on to residencies in internal medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and White Memorial Medical Center. She returned to the University of California for a fellowship in primary care health services research. Building a career in health policy research and administration as well as medical school recruitment, Dr. Rios has held numerous appointments in both fields. She has served on the UCLA School of Medicine Admissions Committee and California State Bar Examiners Committee, and has been appointed to a series of government-led research initiatives including the White House National Health Care Reform Task Force, in 1993. In 1994 Dr. Rios was named advisor for regional and minority women's health at the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, served on the advisory committee for health and science recruitment (part of the President's commission on educational excellence for Hispanic Americans) and was also a delegate to the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1998, Dr. Rios became president of the National Hispanic Medical Association (an organization she helped found in 1994) and CEO of Hispanic-Serving Health Professional School, Incorporated. She has received an array of awards, including the American Association of Indian Physicians Appreciation Award in 1995 and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Award in 1998. She was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics of the Nation by Hispanic Business Magazine in 2001 and received the American Public Health Association's Latino Caucus Distinguished Career Award the same year.



HM&T talked with Dr. Elena Rios and asked her about herself, her career and the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA). HM&T: Why did you become a doctor? Dr. Rios: I worked as a high school student in the hospital where my mother worked as she was in nursing school. I realized my interest in health care service, my aptitude for math and science and my desire to make a difference for the Hispanic community could be done as a physician. HM&T: How do you make a difference? Dr. Rios: As a government representative I was able to convene groups and encourage women's health prevention across the country. HM&T: Who were your mentors? Dr. Rios: Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford and Priscilla Gonzales-Leira, RN and older students and Chicano faculty members at the university. HM&T: How has your career changed over time? Dr. Rios: Currently I have founded and serve as president and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association and CEO, Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools, Inc., building networks of Hispanic doctors. HM&T: What is the Mission of the NHMA? Dr. Rios: The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics. HM&T: Why was the organization established? Dr. Rios: Due to Health care reform under President Bill Clinton and to provide input to the president’s administration. HM&T: What has been some of the challenges in establishing the NHMA? Dr. Rios: Building an infra-structure to get the organization established. HM&T: What do you think is the future for NHMA? Dr. Rios: To be the umbrella group for all the medical groups including students and to play a significant role in combating early childhood obesity.

Elena V. Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H.

President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association President, National Hispanic Health Foundation Dr. Rios serves on the following platforms: • National Hispanic Leadership Agenda • Campaign Against Obesity • Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield Boards of Directors • Commission to End Health Disparities • GE Healthcare Access Advisory Board Past assignments: • California PacifiCare-UnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee • Partnerships for Prevention Board of Directors Honors received from the following organizations: • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services • Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses • American Public Health Association Latino Caucus • Association of Hispanic Health Executives • Minority Health Month, Inc. • Hispanic Magazine • Amerimed • Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service Award Appointments: • To the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University – 2006 • Fellow to the New York Academy of Medicine - 2008 Prior positions: • Advisor for Regional and Minority Women’s Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health from November 1994 to October 1998 • National Health Care Reform Task Force Coordinator of Outreach Groups for the White House – 1993 • Policy Researcher for the State of California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development - 1992 • President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California • Founder of the National Network of Latin American Medical Students • Member of the California Department of Health Services Cultural Competency Task Force, Stanford Alumni Association and Women’s Policy Inc. Boards of Directors, and the American Medical Association’s first Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committee Education: • BA in Human Biology/Public Administration at Stanford University in 1977 • MSPH at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health in 1980 • MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987 • Internal Medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990 • NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship at UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992 • Presented with the honorary Doctor of Science by Lehman College in 2010 Dr. Rios has lectured and published articles and has received several leadership awards, including the 2009 Top 100 Influential and Innovative Hispanics from Hispanic Business Magazine. | HM&T 25



NHMA HISTORY Established in 1994, in Washington, DC, the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) is a nonprofit association representing 45,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the U.S. NHMA's mission is to empower Hispanic physicians and other healthcare professionals to improve the health of Hispanic populations with Hispanic medical societies, resident and medical student organizations, and its public and private sector partners. The Association established a Foundation—the National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF) to compliment the work of the Association. Based in New York City, its specific role is to develop educational activities and health policy research to improve the health of Hispanics. In 2005, NHHF became affiliated and is located at The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University.

NHMA Government Affairs From the beginning of the establishment of NHMA, the association has served as a unique resource for the White House, the Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NHMA has advocated developing and enhancing Federal and key State health care programs and policies that impact the health care and mental health care delivery systems, prevention programs, medical education, and research and reduce health disparities for Hispanic populations’ health.

NHMA Programs The National Hispanic Medical Association has developed its unique programs to improve the health of all Hispanics. The initial set of programs have built a network of physicians and key contacts with a special emphasis on leadership development and networking with the national leaders of the U.S. Federal government and the private sector involved in health care policy. The second focus of the programs of NHMA has documented critical information from Hispanic physicians who care for Hispanic patients - cultural competence information, language services information, strategies for Hispanics without insurance and to enhance quality of healthcare and model health care delivery programs. Some of the programs offered by NHMA include: • Hispanic Physician Leadership Initiative • NHMA Leadership Fellowship Program • NHMA Resident Leadership Program • Obesity and Diabetes Initiative 26 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

NHMA Events NHMA offers several events throughout the year ranging from regional campaigns across the United States, congressional briefings, and its largest event, NHMA's annual conference.

NHMA Membership Membership at NHMA is not restricted to Hispanic physicians. It is open to Residents, Medical Students and Healthcare Professionals. Non-physicians can apply under the Associate Membership type. NHMA members become part of a community of Hispanic physicians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to improving healthcare for Hispanics, eliminating health disparities, and advancing their personal leadership career - whether it be in private practice, academia, administration or in private practice.

National Hispanic Medical Association 1920 L Street, Suite 725 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 202-628-5895 Webpage:

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We Can’t Wait: President Obama Takes Actions to Increase Travel and Tourism in the United States On the morning of January 19, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order and announced new initiatives to significantly increase travel and tourism in the United States. The U.S. tourism and travel industry is a substantial component of U.S. GDP and employment, representing 2.7% of GDP and 7.5 million jobs in 2010 – with international travel to the United States supporting 1.2 million jobs alone. The travel and tourism industry projects that more than 1 million American jobs could be created over the next decade if the U.S. increased its share of the international travel market. Today’s announcement offers important steps to bolster job creation through a range of steps to better promote the United States as a tourism destination and improve secure visa processing. This is the most recent of a series of executive actions the President has announced to put Americans back to work and strengthen the U.S. economy. “Every year, tens of millions of tourists from all over the world come and visit America. And the more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work. We need to help businesses all across the country grow and create jobs; compete and win. That’s how we’re going to rebuild an economy where hard work pays off, where responsibility is rewarded, and where anyone can make it if they try,” said President Obama. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international travel resulted in $134 billion in U.S. exports in 2010 and is the nation’s largest service export industry, with 7% of total exports and 24% of service exports. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that every additional 65 international visitors to the United States

28 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

can generate enough exports to support an additional travel and tourism-related job. According to the travel industry and Bureau of Economic Analysis, international travel is particularly important as overseas or “long-haul” travelers spend on average $4,000 on each visit. This announcement calls for a national strategy to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination, as part of a comprehensive effort to spur job creation. The number of travelers from emerging economies with growing middle classes – such as China, Brazil, and India – is projected to grow by 135%, 274%, and 50% respectively by 2016 when compared to 2010. Nationals from these three countries contributed approxi- President Barack Obama delivers remarks on a strategy mately $15 billion dollars and that will significantly help boost tourism and travel durthousands of jobs to the U.S. ing a statement at the Magic Kingdom Theme Park at economy in 2010. In addition, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Chinese and Brazilian tourists (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert) currently spend more than China and Brazil is particularly important $6,000 and $5,000 respectively each, per trip, according to the Department of Com- because of this growth. merce.


The Department of State has made tremendous progress in processing non-immigrant visas from these key markets, allowing them to issue more than 7.5 million visas in the last fiscal year, a 17% increase from the previous fiscal year. In the 2011 fiscal year, consular officers adjudicated more than a million visa applications in China and more than 800,000 in Brazil, representing 34 % growth in China and 42% growth in Brazil. Improving visa processing capacity for

This Executive Order charges several agencies to take part in efforts to increase travel and tourism in the United States: The Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior will be charged with: • Co-leading an interagency task force to develop recommendations for a National Travel & Tourism Strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities throughout the United States, thereby expanding job creation.

This Task Force will coordinate with the Corporation for Travel Promotion (currently doing business as BrandUSA), a non-profit corporation established by Congress through the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 to promote travel to the United States, and the Tourism Policy Council to ensure private sector participation and crossagency coordination. • A particular focus of the Task Force will be on strategies for increasing tourism and recreation jobs by promoting visits to our national treasures. The Department of the Interior manages iconic destinations in our national parks, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, monuments and other public lands that attract travelers from around the country and the globe. In 2010, more than 400 million visits were made by American and international travelers to these lands, contributing nearly $50 billion in economic activity and 400,000 jobs. Eco-tourism and outdoor recreation also have an outsize impact on rural economies, particularly in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security will be charged with: • Increasing non-immigrant visa processing capacity in China and Brazil by 40% in 2012. • Ensuring that 80% of non-immigrant visa applicants are interviewed within three weeks of receipt of application. • Increasing efforts to expand the Visa Waiver Program and travel by nationals eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program, and expanding reciprocal trusted travel programs for expedited travel (such as the Global Entry program). The Department of Commerce will be charged with: • Establishing and maintaining a publicly available website with key information and statistics from across the Federal Government to assist industry and travelers in understanding visa processes in key travel and tourism markets, and entry times into the United States. Additional initiatives announced today include: • New Pilot Program and Rule Change for Visa Processing in China and Brazil • Final Rule to Expand and Make the Global Entry Program Permanent • Appoint new members to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board • Nomination of Taiwan to Visa Waiver Program

MGM Grand at Foxwoods

Destination Spotlight E a s t

C o a s t

Ocean Edge Resort

sales force throughout North America to serve the meetings and incentive marketplace.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Broadens New England Offerings With The Langham Boston and Ocean Edge Resort In Massachusetts & MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut

The Langham Boston and Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club become ALHI’s third and fourth member hotels in Massachusetts, joining: the AAA Four-Diamond, 424-room InterContinental Boston, overlooking picturesque Boston Harbor and conveniently located in downtown Boston; and the Seaport Hotel & Seaport World Trade Center, featuring over 180,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibition space, and offering impressive views of Boston and the waterfront.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its portfolio offerings in the Northeast U.S. with the addition of The Langham Boston in Boston, Massachusetts; Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club on Cape Cod in Massachusetts; and MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Connecticut. The hotels will now receive dedicated National Sales Organization (NSO) services and support by ALHI and its established professional

MGM Grand at Foxwoods becomes ALHI’s second member hotel in Connecticut, joining the luxurious and popular Mohegan Sun, which offers 1,175 guest rooms and suites and 100,000 square feet of meeting space, and is situated on 240 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut. ALHI also serves the magnificent 312-room Stowe Mountain Lodge, the largest meeting venue in Vermont, with 56,000 square feet of meeting

The Langham Boston

space. All seven ALHI member hotels in New England are very accessible and are extraordinary meeting and incentive destinations. Ideally located in the heart of Boston’s financial district, The Langham Boston is a AAA Four-Diamond landmark that was once the nation’s Federal Reserve Bank. The sophisticated hotel features 318 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites, and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Meeting offerings include 13 meeting and banquet rooms, which includes the 3,018-square-foot Wilson Ballroom that can accommodate 400 people for a reception. Additional offerings include the Chuan Body + Soul Spa, a fitness studio, an indoor lap pool, the glamorous BOND restaurant and lounge, Café Fleuri (which sits beneath a magnificent six-story glass atrium), and 24-hour concierge. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of the city’s renowned historic sites, cultural destinations, and shopping, such as Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Common, the Freedom Trail, the Theater District, and the waterfront. The hotel is just three miles from Logan International Airport. Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club is an elegant Cape Cod seaside retreat that is situated on 429 scenic acres in quaint and historic Brewster, Massachusetts. Located on a bluff overlooking Cape Cod Bay, the resort features the historic Victorian-style Nickerson Family Mansion and Carriage House, which was originally built in 1890 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. In total, the resort features 336 guest accommodations, consisting of luxurious guest rooms and suites, and elegant one-, two- and three-bedroom villa accommodations. The resort’s 18 meeting rooms offer 37,111 square feet of meeting space, with the ability to accommodate gatherings for up to 500 people.

30 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Centrally located between New York and Boston, the AAA Four-Diamond MGM Grand at Foxwoods is situated in scenic Mashantucket, Connecticut. Together with Foxwoods Resort Casino it is one of the largest resort casino complexes in the world. Offerings at MGM Grand at Foxwoods include 825 guest rooms and suites, 160,000 total square feet of premium meeting space (including a 50,000-square-foot column-free ballroom), and the 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater. Ideal for destination meetings, recreational options at Foxwoods include two championship golf courses, two extraordinary spas, six casinos with over 380 table games, a comedy club, live entertainment, a bowling alley, a lavish 5,500-square-foot pool, and an array of shops. There are also 38 dining experiences, and six lounges and clubs

from which to choose. The resort is an easy trip from New York City and Boston, and is less than a one-hour drive from Providence, Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport and Hartford, Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport. “The Langham Boston, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club and MGM Grand at Foxwoods are three tremendous meeting offerings in New England, which is so popular with planners and attendees from throughout America,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “We hope we can show everyone how very special they are. “The Langham Boston features a great location in vibrant and historic Boston, with world-class facilities and service. The historic Ocean Edge Resort is a truly picturesque seaside resort with outstanding recreational offerings. MGM Grand at Foxwoods is an incredible facility with an array of entertainment options to appeal to any group, as well as a beautiful setting. All three are exceptional choices for meetings and incentive/recognition programs,” said Gabri. With a worldwide portfolio of over 115,000 rooms and suites and more than 10.5 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced

National Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs. Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s National Sales services for more than 25 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms. For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit ALHI’s website, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio to serve distinctive meeting, convention and incentive travel needs. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available. For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s “2011-2012 ALHI National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303ALHI (2544), and visit .


Meeting offerings include the 4,500-squarefoot Mansion Ballroom (Cape Cod’s largest luxury ballroom), and the Linx Pavilion overlooking the 18th hole of the resort’s golf course. In addition to featuring Cape Cod’s only Nicklaus Design golf course, the resort offers a private beach, five pools, nine tennis courts, a fitness center, spa services, three restaurants, and a 26-mile bike trail. The resort is a short 90-minute drive from Boston and Providence and a quick one-hour flight from New York.

International Destination Spotlight Secrets Vallarta Bay & Now Amber Puerto Vallarta Resorts Welcome First Guests $175-million project introduces the Secrets & Now brands to the destination, generating 902 direct jobs AMResorts, provider of sales, marketing and brand management services for Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, and Secrets, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas, celebrated the official opening of Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta and Now Amber Puerto Vallarta with a special ribbon cutting ceremony coinciding with Mexico's Tianguis Turistico earlier this year. To mark the important occasion, AMResorts' President Alex Zozaya was joined by Mexico's President Mr. Felipe Calderon. President Calderon addressed the group of guests, dignitaries and media, thanking AMResorts for its $175 million dollar investment in the two-resort development and the nearly 1,000 direct jobs the project is generating. He also thanked the company for continuing to support the hospitality industry in Mexico and the economic impact this represents.

P u e r t o

V a l l a r t a ,

M e x i c o

The two-resort complex introduces the first Secrets and Now Resorts & Spas properties to the popular destination and represents Puerto Vallarta's first new construction hotels in almost a decade. Each property will feature AMResorts' signature UnlimitedLuxury® vacation concept. On April 1, following the event, Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta and Now Amber Puerto Vallarta officially opened to the public welcoming their first guests, Mr. & Mrs. Tristan and Amoy Walker, and Mr. Armando Vivanco Gonzalez, his wife Yolanda and their children. They were greeted by General Manager Mauricio Martinez, Director of Sales Azalea Torres and the resorts' staff members and received a complimentary return stay to the Unlimited-Luxury® resorts. Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta offers adults an extra measure of romance and sensuality in a beautiful beachfront setting. Guests will be welcomed by 271 elegantly-appointed rooms and suites with 24-hour concierge and room services; multiple gourmet, a la carte restaurants and lounges serving premium beverages; endless day and evening activities;

and full-service spa and fitness facilities. With 331 oversized guest rooms and suites with ocean views and private terraces, Now Amber Puerto Vallarta will cater to couples, friends and families. The resort offers amenities such as wireless internet access, flat screen TVs with surround sound systems, daily refreshed mini bars, 24-hour room and concierge services, multiple gourmet dining offerings and full-service spa and fitness facilities. The resort will foster a sense of understated luxury and comfort, and has received the Amber gemstone symbol as a reflection of the inviting rich sands along Banderas Bay.

Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta David Alfaro Siqueiros No. 164 Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48333 Mexico Phone: +52 (322) 226-2900 32 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel


$25 Million in Improvements are Underway

New & Renovated Properties • Grand Sierra

The Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada kicked off the New Year by announcing significant improvements and renovations. GSR, the area’s largest resort/convention destination property, plans for the $25 million interior facelift to include a more luxurious contemporary look with sleek finishes, vivid colors and trendy fixtures. “We are committed to giving our guests the best possible experience,” said Alex Meruelo, chief executive officer and founder of the Meruelo Group. “This investment comes directly from customer input on the changes they wanted to enhance their visit to the Grand Sierra.” The new décor offers a more modern but relaxing ambience with a color pallet of vivid orange, cream and blue hues to brighten public areas as well as guest suites. Welcoming guests is an elegant front entrance accented in white marble, playful light fixtures and contemporary furnishings that offer comfortable gathering spaces just above the casino floor. A dynamic multidimensional art installation of five - 60” high-definition video screens greets hotel

guests to the registration area. Renovations to the hotel entrance and the front desk will be

expected to open mid-February. Visit

completed by mid-March. to view render-

Summit level suites are the first rooms to be

ings of the new look.

refreshed. Improvements to the luxurious rooms include high-quality furnishings, light-

About Grand Sierra Resort and Casino:

ing, bright accent colors, and accessories to

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (GSR) is in

finish off the large rooms. Once the Summit

the heart of Reno/Tahoe - America’s Adven-

rooms are completed, GSR will begin work-

ture Place. Conveniently located next to the

ing on concepts for the rooms occupying

Reno airport, GSR is northern Nevada’s most

floors 1-16. The Summit Suites are expected

complete resort destination with nearly 2,000

to be finished by the first of May.

guest rooms and suites. The property offers a

Interior architectural changes to the ceiling

wide variety of accommodations for the

above the casino floor will add dimension to

everyday business traveler to the complete

the spacious area. Incorporating elegant mod-

family vacation with amenities that include

ern lighting, new carpet and brighter colors,

200,000 square feet of meeting and conven-

improvements are expected to be

tion space, 10 restaurants, several bars and

completed by early summer.

lounges, headliner entertainment, a two-

The lounge currently known as 2500

screen cinema, a 50-lane championship

East Second will take on a new

bowling center, outdoor thrill rides, aqua golf

name and look, where guests will

driving range, the largest casino north of Las

enjoy a new chic, relaxing and pri-

Vegas with 24 hours of heart-pounding

vate atmosphere. Designed around

action, plus so much more. For more infor-

the existing bar, the elegant sheers

mation, please visit

and plush furniture with low-level or to make reser-

lighting provide an intimate setting

vations call 1.800.648.5080.

to listen to live entertainment and 34 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

unwind from the day. The ultra lounge is

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a complete transformation of its entire second floor meeting space. The renovation of the hotel’s Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Manhattan Ballroom and pre-function meeting spaces, featuring custom carpeting, wall covering, drapery treatment, and furnishing designs by Frank Nicholson Incorporated were designed in rich hues of Chocolate, Gray, and Aubergine to harmonize with the hotel’s existing Anegre wood paneling and overall contemporary style. The second floor remodel follows Frank Nicholson Incorporated’s renovations of the hotel’s stunning indoor/outdoor Rise space in 2011, which offers sweeping views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty from the building’s 14th floor. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park offers meeting spaces to fit any event, from the panoramic indoor/outdoor Rise venue to the spacious Ritz-Carlton Ballroom. With Conference Concierges and Technology Butlers, WIFI and high speed internet access, upto-date audio-visual technology, extensive food offerings, and on-site business center, the hotel provides all the fixings for the smooth execution of any business event.

Conveniently located near Wall Street and the World Financial Center, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park offers 298 recently renovated rooms and suites, award-winning dining at 2 West, and state-of-the-art meeting spaces flooded with natural light. For additional information or to book, please visit or call (212) 344-0800. Manhattan’s only luxury waterfront hotel, The A A A Five Diamond RitzCarlton New York, Battery Park offers striking views over New York Harbor, Ellis Island, and the monumental Statue of Liberty. The 39-story, 298-room luxury hotel is located in Battery Park’s

scenic esplanade, close to some of New York’s top cultural sites and historical landmarks, including Wall Street, the 9/11 Memorial, and South Street Seaport, and within minutes of the hip nightclubs, chic restaurants and eclectic boutiques of Soho, Tribeca, and the Meatpacking District. Inside, a flawless standard of personal service reigns with bath butlers, valets, concierges, spa treatments and 24-hour room service. For more information or reservations, please call (800) 241-3333 or (212) 344-0800, visit the web site at, or consult a travel professional. For more information about The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, please visit | HM&T 35

New & Renovated Properties • Ritz-Carton



New & Renovated Properties • Grand Nuevo Vallarta

Occidental Vacation Club, a division of Occidental Hotels and Resorts (Madrid), has announced the re-grand opening of its allinclusive property in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Located on an exquisite stretch of beach on the famed Bay of Banderas and surrounded by tranquil deep blue water and the tropical vegetation of the Mexican Pacific, the 20 year old

will be amazed at the changes that have

include unlimited meals and snacks, á la carte

property has been made new again with a total

occurred. We have upgraded the property

dining in specialty restaurants including unlim-

refurbishment of its 270 rooms and suites,

from a 3.5 star previously branded as ‘Allegro’

ited alcoholic beverages; sports (including

spectacular lobby, three bars and most of its

to a 4.5 Star ‘Grand.’ On the top floor we

tennis on a lighted court, water polo, aqua aer-

five restaurants. Some other notable changes

developed a luxurious Grand Level floor. All

obics, and kayaking), use of the fitness center

to the resort include four all-new restaurants

of our Grand Level units have spectacular

and more. Daily entertainment and a super-

and a fashionable new Lobby bar.

ocean views, a private lounge and full service

vised Kids Club (ages 4 – 12) are also part of


the package, as well as nightly shows and live entertainment and all taxes and gratuities.

The renovations are part of an ongoing commitment by the growing Vacation Club to

Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta is the sixth

invest in upgrading its existing properties,

Occidental Grand property in the hotel collec-

Although the resort is part of a Vacation Club

while adding on to its existing collection of 11

tion, joining two others in Mexico, Occidental

which offers exclusive features and amenities


Grand Xcaret and Occidental Grand Cozumel;

to its members, it is open to the public for all-

Occidental Grand Aruba; Occidental Grand

inclusive vacations. Located in the state of

Papagayo in Costa Rica; and Occidental Grand

Nayarit, Mexico, the Grand Nuevo Vallarta is

“This is not just a ‘remodel’ says Luis Namnum, President of the Club. “This is for all

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Occi-

accessible by plane to Puerto Vallarta. The

practical purposes a brand new resort. We

dental Grand Level Resorts offer special atten-

club has resorts located in Aruba, Costa Rica,

completely gutted out and remodeled all the

tion with signature amenities and the small

The Dominican Republic, and Mexico. For

Club units; the Lobby; all four restaurants,

details that emphasize exclusivity and comfort.

information on rates and specials, as well as

added a new lobby lounge and beach bar. Our

From an individual bathrobe to reserved snor-

vacation club membership, go to: www.occi-

members will still find our signature warm,

keling equipment, from special privileges to . U S and Canadian

wonderful blend of fun, relaxation, romance

chic-styled beach beds, Grand Level Member-

callers may call 1-888-538-8048. For more

and attentive service that we are known for --

ship always gives an extra advantage of a pre-

international numbers email info@occidental-

but in a new setting. It is not unlike a good

mier vacation at Occidental Vacation Club. Follow on Twitter @OccidentalVC or

plastic surgery…the same at the core but with a fresh new look! Members who return here 36 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

All Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta vacations


Cuisine Primm


Ramon Ayala’s Cocina & Cantina

Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino


Resorts has celebrated the grand




world’s first Ramon Ayala’s Cocina & Cantina with a full blown fiesta headlined by the King of the Accordion himself inside Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino. The stature of Ramon Ayala is extraordinary. With more

Executive Vice President and General Man-

dish. With grace, he prepared an order of

than 50 years of experience as a musician, he

ager Loren Gill, Assistant General Manager

taquitos as staff overlooked his techniques

has produced 105 albums and graced more

and Vice President of Marketing Stuart

and eye for detail. He finished off the dish

than 150 stages across the United States and

Richey, and Vice President of Food and Bev-

with just the right amount of his favorite gar-


erage Bill Hiers. Gill and Ayala shared the

nishes and presented it to an applauding audi-

honor of cutting the ribbon with oversized


The celebration began with a crowded room

scissors as an eruption of applause filled the

of spectators patiently awaiting the arrival of


As Ramon finished off his chef duties, party

the international sensation. The buzz escalat-

attendees were able to enjoy tastings of menu

ed as Ayala made his way across the casino

Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the

floor, admiring fans stopping for pictures and

grand opening celebration began and the

autographs. Upon arriving at his self-titled

mariachi band strummed traditional Hispanic

restaurant, he was welcomed by a sea of

tunes. Ayala made his way through the mas-

Primm Valley executives and cantina staff

terfully designed venue with warm stucco

surrounding a crimson ribbon accented with

walls, oversized mahogany tables and booths,

hot peppers to offer a unique Mexican flare.

finished with dark wood floors and accents of

The musician took his place alongside

memorabilia throughout. He stopped to pose

notable Primm Valley executives including

for photos in front of a floor to ceiling mural

offerings as well as signature libations including jumbo margaritas and Mexican beer while taking in the lively atmosphere. Primm Valley raffled off concert tickets and gift certificates to a few lucky attendees but ensured everyone walked away with a goodie bag filled with restaurant swag. Before waving adios, Ayala stopped for a few last

with his favorite dish called

minute autographs and snapshots with

Machaca as well as around the

swooning chicas.

glowing multi colored island bar with his choice of tequila.

As part of his partnership with Primm Valley, the Latin Grammy award winner will play

Ayala then headed back to the

two concerts a year at The Star of the Desert

kitchen to ceresin the chopping

Arena. Ramon Ayala’s Cocina & Cantina will

blocks and give the chefs a few

be open for dinner Wednesday through Sun-

last minute pointers on how to per-

day. Additional information can be found at

fect his adored dishes. Executive or by calling

Chef Nester Rodriguez and Head


Chef José Mora donned Ayala with a signature chef toque and told him to whip up a signature

Primm Valley Casino Resorts 31900 Las Vegas Blvd. South Primm, NV 89019 | HM&T 37

Meeting Planner Incentives


Emerald Coast Convention Center Announces $225K Treasure Quest Giveaway


new promotional giveaway from the Emerald Coast Con-

vention Center offers meeting

planners a chance to win $225,000 that they canuse towards meetings on Northwest Florida’s beautiful Emerald Coast. The online Treasure Quest Giveaway consists of five prizes: one $100,000 grand prize; one prize of $50,000; and three prizes of $25,000 to qualified groups based on select classifications and criteria. The promotion, designed to generate excitement, awareness and additional business for the Emerald

Coast Convention Center, officially

nationwide and give them a taste of what the

launches April 25. The entry deadline

Emerald Coast has to offer.”

is August 31, 2012. In addition to covering facility rental, catering Meeting planners nationwide are eligi-

and audio-visual fees at the Emerald Coast

ble to enter the promotion on behalf of

Convention Center, the winning groups may

qualified groups and organizations. Contest rules and applications will be available online on April 25 at In addition to completing the online application, entrants also submit a 500-word essay that includes a description of the organization and meeting; advantages

also use the prize money for lodging, transportation and recreational activities in the area. The winning organizations must hold their meetings by the end of 2016. The 35,000-square-foot Emerald Coast Convention Center is the only full-service meeting

for their group to hold a meeting on

facility in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area.

the Emerald Coast; and how the

Rimmed by 24 miles of spectacular sugar-white

organization would use the “treasure

sand beaches, Northwest Florida’s beautiful

chest” of prize money.

Emerald Coast has been named by Southern Living magazine as the “number one Beach

“In this tough economy, today’s meet-

Town in the South” for 14 consecutive years.

ing planners face a host of financial

The area offers more than 13,000 accommoda-

challenges,” says Bill Leaman, Gener-

tion units, with 2,000 sleeping rooms within

al Manager of Emerald Coast Conven-

walking distance of the Emerald Coast Conven-

tion Center. “We are excited to offer

tion Center.

this opportunity to meeting planners 38 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Welcome your attendees the right way with a Platinum beer and wine reception. Platinum Hotel and Spa will host a complimentary onehour beer and wine reception for groups who book 50 nights or more – perfect for any group or business meeting. Planners may also add an optional catering menu to augment the reception at an extra cost. The offer applies to groups who book before June 30, 2012 and does not apply to currently booked business. In addition, meeting planners also qualify for a rebooking incentive. Platinum Hotel’s rebooking incentive allows a planner to secure their rate for three years if they book immediately following their event. “The Platinum beer and wine reception allows guests to begin their program with a casual mix and mingle event,” said Jan Baird, Director of Marketing. “It’s just another way Platinum Hotel and Spa strives to provide groups with a stylish hotel experience with flexible space, personalized service and convenience.” The largest all-suite, non-smoking, non-gaming property in Nevada offers over 7,000 sq. ft. of elegant indoor and outdoor venues composed of five distinctive meeting rooms with natural lighting, a poolside deck and restaurant setting and a spectacular rooftop venue, Misora, complete with wrap around terrace and sensational views of the Las Vegas Strip. Platinum Hotel and Spa also offers spacious suites ideal for entertaining VIPs, informal breakout meetings or catered meals for up to 10 guests.

About Platinum Hotel and Spa Las Vegas At Platinum Hotel, you can set your own agenda, at your own pace in a non-gaming, smoke-free atmosphere. All suite amenities include no resort fees, full in-room kitchens, walk out balcony, room service, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, on-site fitness center and day spa, business center, dry cleaning and an on-site concierge. Experience the allure and excitement of the Las Vegas Strip, then retreat to your stylish home away from home. For business travelers, the Platinum Hotel offers simplicity, value and over 7,000 square feet of innovative meeting space. Platinum Hotel is managed by Marcus Management Las Vegas, LLC, an affiliate of Marcus Hotels and Resorts. Marcus Hotel & Resorts is a trade name describing the subsidiary companies of Marcus Hotels, Inc. that are involved in the hotel business in the United States. Marcus Hotels, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Marcus Corporation, a NYSE corporation. The Marcus Corporation’s emphasis on quality, value and exceptional customer service has earned the company a reputation for excellence in every field it has entered. Its associates are dedicated to

creating a memorable experience for each and every guest and upholding the company’s philosophy of “People Pleasing People.” For additional information on events, amenities, or availability call 1-702-365-5000 or visit Stay up-todate on the latest Platinum Hotel & Spa happenings by finding us on Facebook ( or following along on Twitter ( About Marcus Hotels & Resorts Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation, owns or manages 18 hotels, resorts and other properties in nine states. A force in the hospitality industry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company’s portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels. For more information, please visit and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels). | HM&T 39

Meeting Planner Incentives

Platinum Hotel and Spa Offers Complimentary Beer and Wine Reception for Groups

eventscalendar m e e t i n g s


c o n f e r e n c e s

March National Association of Hispanic Publications 2012 NAHP Media and Legislative Summit Capitol Skyline Hotel Washington, D.C. March 19-20, 2012 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2012 Legislative Summit, Washington Marriott at Metro Center Washington, D.C. March 21-23, 2012 Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities 17th Annual National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education Westin Washington D.C. City Center March 26-27, 2012 Hispanic National Bar Association Mid-Year Conference & 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition Westin Jersey City Newport Hotel Jersey City, NJ March 28-31, 2012 National Society for Hispanic Professionals Diversity Job Fair Chicago Navy Pier Chicago, IL March 29, 2012


Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort will host 3 major Hispanic conferences in 2012 Annual Conference Sheraton Universal Hotel Universal City, CA April 13-15, 2012 HACR Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility Annual Symposium Fairmont Chicago Chicago, IL April 16-17, 2012 Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Houston Career Conference Hilton University of Houston Houston, TX April 19, 2012

National Society of Hispanic Professionals Diversity Job Fair Metropolitan Pavilion New York, NY April 11, 2012

National Hispanic Medical Association 16th Annual Conference Marriott Wardman Park Hotel Washington, D.C. April 26-29, 2012

3rd Annual HISPANICIZE JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Miami, FL April 11- 13, 2012

Latino Hotel & Restaurant Association Hospitality Investment & Ownership Forum Hotel Indigo Houston, TX April 30, 2012

LULAC NAT’L WOMEN’S CONFERENCE Hilton Houston Post Oak Houston, TX April 13-14, 2012 National Association of Latino Independent Producers 40 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

May Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Annual Conference Intercontinental Miami Hotel

Miami, FL May 2-4, 2012 Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute 8th Annual Gala & Leadership Awards Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C. May 7, 2012 Mexican American Opportunity Foundation 28th Annual Golf Classic Montebello Country Club Montebello, CA May 7, 2012

2nd Annual Hispanic Healthcare Summit Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort Lake Buena Vista, FL May 17-18, 2012 Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Chicago Career Conference Palmer House Hilton Chicago, IL May 24, 2012 Latino Hotel & Restaurant Association Hospitality Investment &

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Leaders in Education Awards Luncheon JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live Los Angeles, CA May 8, 2012

Ownership Forum Dallas, TX May 29, 2012


Spanish American Merchants Association 30th Anniversary Award Banquet Connecticut Convention Center Hartford, CT May 12, 2012

MANA – A National Latina Organization 2012 MANA Leadership Institute and Hermanitas Leadership Institute • Capitol Skyline Hotel Washington, D.C. June 12 – 16, 2012

National Society for Hispanic Professionals Diversity Job Fair Trinity College Washington, D.C. May 17, 2012

National Association of Latino Elected Officials 29th Annual Conference Disney’s Contemporary Resort Orlando, FL June 21-23, 2012


League of United Latin American Citizens National Convention & Exposition Disney’s Colorado Springs Resort Orlando, FL June 25-30, 2012 Latino Hotel & Restaurant Association Hospitality Investment & Ownership Forum San Antonio, TX June 27, 2012

July National Council of La Raza NCLR Annual Conference & Latino Family Expo, Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center Las Vegas, NV July 7–10, 2012 Society for the Advancement of Chicanos & Native Americans in Science 2012 Summer Leadership Institute Washington, D.C. July 16-20, 2012

The National Council of La Raza will host it's annual conference for the first time ever in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center

National Association of Hispanic


Powered by Great Minds in STEM

Seattle, WA


Hispanic National Bar Association

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

October 11-14, 2012

37th Annual Conference

Annual Convention

Lake Buena Vista, FL

Caribe Hilton Hotel

Sheraton Seattle Hotel

October 11-13, 2012

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Seattle, WA

July 17-22, 2012

August 22-25, 2012

National Hispanic Media Coali-



National Association of Hispanic Publications

Hispanic American Police Com-

27th Annual Convention and Busi-

mand Officers Association

ness Expo

39th National Training Conference

Catamaran Resort and Hotel

United States Hispanic Chamber

Hilton Hotel

San Diego, CA

Latino MediaCon & Expo

of Commerce

Long Beach, CA

October 18 – 20, 2012

Pasadena Convention Center

National Convention & Business Expo

Pasadena, CA

October 7-11, 2012

JW Marriott at L.A. Live

Hispanic Association of Colleges

July 20-21, 2012

Los Angeles, CA

National Action Council for

& Universities

September 16-18, 2012

Minorities in Engineering

26th Annual Conference

38th Anniversary Gala

Marriott Wardman Park hotel


Washington, D.C.


New York City, NY

October 20-22, 2012

23rd Annual Conference & Career

October 10, 2012

Hispanic Dental Association 20th Annual Meeting Boca Raton Resort & Club Boca Raton, FL July 20-24, 2012



Expo • Orange County Convention National Association of Hispanic


Society for the Advancement of

Society of Hispanic Professional


Orlando, FL

Chicanos & Native Americans in


17th Annual Convention & Training

October 4 – 6, 2012


National Conference

National Conference

Fort Worth, TX Nov. 14-18, 2012

Conference • Denver Colorado Convention Center • Denver, CO


Washington State Convention &

July 31 - August 1, 2012

24th Annual Conference

Trade Center | HM&T 41

Kayla’s life now …. Kayla, it’s been two and a half years since your Quince so we wanted to know a little more about what’s going on in your life right now. Please tell us a little more about the Lassos team that you participate on in High School. Q: What exactly is the Lassos team? Is it a long standing tradition? A: Lassos is a roping team and dance team, all in one. We learn roping tricks and dance routines with the rope. We also learn dance routines from hip hop, pom pom, high kicks and lyrical. Lassos is a tradition at our high school since 1932. Lassos is a sisterhood alumni. Q: How many girls tried out for the team when you did? A: Approximately 50-60 girls tried out. Q: Do you have to try out every year? A: Try outs are annual. My schedule becomes crazy, as we learn new dance and rope routines for try outs. The panel of judges is comprised of dance teachers from out of town high schools and universities. Q: Where do your performances take place? A: Lassos and dance team perform at all varsity football, basketball and pep rallies. And special thanks to our teacher and mentor, Niki Howell, for her encouragement and leadership for teaching us not only about dance, but volunteer work. We have volunteered at numerous non-profit organization events throughout the city of San Antonio. Q: Are there any grand performances coming your way soon? A: Lassos and dance team recently competed in Austin, TX and UTSA against numerous high schools throughout the

state of Texas. Lassos and dance team brought home awards for Grand champions and Sweepstakes. We will also be participating in the Fiesta Flambeau night parade on April 28th. As we come the end of another school year, we will be off for summer vacation for about 3 weeks, we are then off to summer camp. Q: How much practice is involved? A: We practice approximately 2-4 four hours daily. Our first class of the day is Lassos and dance team. Then most of the girls have an additional lyrical dance class as part of the Arts at our high school. After school as an additional 1-2 hours of dance and rope practice. Q: Besides the Lasso team, what other activities or hobbies do you like to do? A: It’s hard for most people to believe, but I enjoy skeet shooting with my dad and brother, Kyle. I also enjoy riding the 4 wheeler at my parent’s friend’s ranch during dove hunting season. And of course, what girl does not like shopping. I enjoy shopping with my Mom, Tia Jo and cousin Klarissa. Q: Have you started thinking about college yet? What school would you like to attend? A: I have thought about college since junior high school. I am hoping to get accepted at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas or perhaps stay close to home and attend Our Lady of the Lake University. I hope to major in special education with a minor in child psychology. Everyone here at Quince magazine wishes Kayla much success in school, in her next steps as a young woman and wherever life may lead her!

Quince Magazine | 7

A: I was overwhelmed with emotion as I was praising God in my heart and being thankful for this special day and praying for my Uncle Adrian’s soul, as I knew he was there in spirit. Me sentí abrumada por la emoción cuando estaba alabando a Dios en mi corazón y dando gracias por este día tan especial y orando por el alma de mi tío Adrián, ya que sabía que estaba allí en espíritu. Q: As parents, what is your fondest memory of Kayla’s quinceañera? Como padres ¿cuál es su mejor recuerdo de la quinceañera de Kayla? A: Our fondest memory is watching Kayla socialize amongst all our family and friends and knowing that she was now a young lady and greeting everyone with much dignity and respect; this is how our children were raised and it goes to show all our hard work reflected. Nuestro mejor recuerdo es ver Kayla socializar entre todos nuestros familiares y amigos, y sabiendo que ahora era una mujer joven y salu-

dando a todos con mucha dignidad y respeto; así es como nuestros hijos fueron criados y todo nuestro duro labor se ve reflejado. Q: Kayla, what was the best part of your quinceañera experience? ¿Kayla, que fue la mejor parte de tu experiencia de tu fiesta de quinceañera?

of my special day, so I would have to say waking up and preparing for the long day ahead, which turned out to be a memorable day. No puedo señalar una sola parte particular de mi día tan especial, así que tendría que decir que despertar y prepararme para el largo día por delante, que resultó ser un día memorable.

A: I can’t single out a particular part

Want to be featured in QUINCE Magazine? Quince Magazine is currently looking for quinceañeras to feature in its upcoming issues. We want to hear from you if: You’ve had a quinceañera in the last 3 years. Have a unique story to tell about your quince fiesta. Are beginning your quince planning and would like for us to chronicle your journey. Contact the Editor of Quince Magazine at mdgonza- to submit your name and information. A Quince Magazine staff member will follow up with you to work out the details of your feature. 6 | Quince Magazine

Q: What was the name of the song you chose for the father-daughter dance? ¿Cuál era el nombre de la canción que eligieron para el baile de padre e hija? A: “It won’t be like this for long”, by Darius Rucker Q: In the ballroom Kayla changed tiaras and jewelry. What did this symbolize? En el salón de baile Kayla cambió tiaras y joyas. ¿Qué simboliza esto? A: This was a symbol of moving on and becoming a young lady. This was a gift from my uncles, Ed Garza and Rafael Fourquete, who designed and customized the jewelry especially for my quinceañera. Este es un símbolo de continuar y convertirse en una señorita. Este fue un regalo de mis tíos, Ed Garza y Rafael Fourquete, quienes diseñaron y personalizaron las joyas especialmente para mi quinceañera.

Q: Kayla, you changed dresses during the middle of the night’s festivities. Why the change into a cute short pink dress?

Kayla, cambiaste de vestidos durante las festividades de la noche. ¿Por qué el cambio a un lindo vestido rosa corto? A: I had promised my parents I would wear a traditional white gown for the church service and presentation at the hall. It was my Uncle’s idea (John Damian) for me to change into a pink dress as a symbol of my becoming a young lady. My Uncle John designed the dress and had it customized for me. My Tia, Jo Ann Rogers, gave me the beautiful gold high heel shoes to wear with the dress. Les había prometido a mis padres que me pondría un vestido blanco tradicional para el servicio de la iglesia y la presentación en el salón. Fue idea de mi tío (John Damián) que yo me cambiara a un vestido de color rosa como símbolo de convertirme en una señorita. Mi Tío John diseñó el vestido y lo personalizo para mí. Mi tía, Jo Ann Rogers, me dio los hermosos zapatos dorados de tacón alto para lucir con el vestido. Q: You had some very unique dancers and dance groups during the night. Can

you tell us a bit about them? Tenías unos bailarines y grupos de danza muy particulares durante la noche. ¿Puedes contarnos un poco acerca de ellos? A: My hairdresser overheard me singing to a“Cher”CD one day, so he decided to surprise me with a drag show. I cried with joy as I watched and enjoyed the show. The dance crew dancers attend school with me and wanted to perform for me at my quinceañera as a gift. Un día mi estilista me oyó cantar un CD de "Cher", por lo que decidió sorprenderme con un show de drag. Lloré de alegría cuando miré y disfrute del espectáculo. Los bailarines de danza asisten a la escuela conmigo y querían realizar una presentación como regalo de quinceañera. Q: Kayla, in the photos of your Quince we can see that you became very emotional during the church service. What was it that brought you to tears? Kayla, en las fotos de tu quince, podemos ver que te emocionaste durante el servicio religioso. ¿Qué fue lo que te hizo llorar?

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Q: How did you decide on the color and design of the gown? ¿Cómo decidieron sobre el color y el diseño del vestido? A: Thanks to Nelva’s daughter at Nelva Studio, she helped me decide on a dress and she added all the crystals to the dress, to include my birth stone color and still remaining within the budget. I was extremely pleased with the outcome of the gown. Gracias a la hija de Nelva en Nelva Studio, ella me ayudó a decidir sobre un vestido y agregó todos los cristales al vestido, los cuales correspondieron al color de la piedra del mes de mi nacimiento y aún permaneciendo dentro del presupuesto. Quede muy contenta con el resultado del vestido. Q: Kayla, how did you decide who would participate in your court of honor? Kayla ¿Cómo decidiste quienes participarían en tu corte de honor? A: Family has always had an important meaning to me, so without a second thought I knew I wanted my cousins (girls) to stand in my quinceañera. It was also important for me to include my brother Kyle in as much detail of my quince as possible, therefore, coming up with the idea of a portrait of us

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both was exciting. Familia siempre ha tenido un significado importante para mí, así que sin pensarlo dos veces yo sabía que quería que mis primas participaran en mi fiesta de quinceañera. También era importante para mí incluir a mi hermano Kyle en los detalles de mi quinceañera, por lo tanto, dar con la idea de un retrato de nosotros dos fue muy emocionante. Q: Your damas were not only escorted into the ballroom by their fathers but they danced together during Kayla’s dance with her father. BRILLIANT! Who came up with the idea?

Tus damas de honor no sólo fueron acompañadas al salón de baile por sus padres, sino que bailaron juntos durante la danza de Kayla con su padre. ¡BRILLANTE! ¿De quién fue la idea? A: My mom felt it was best to have my damas escorted by their Dads or Granddads. This is a special moment for them as well and a memory to cherish always. Mi mamá sentía que era mejor que mis damas de honor fueran acompañadas por sus papás o abuelos. Este es un momento especial para ellas también y un recuerdo para siempre recordar.

Q: How did you make the decision to hire an event planner? What was the experience like? ¿Cómo tomaron la decisión de contratar a un organizador de eventos? ¿Cuál fue la experiencia? A: In 2009 I was traveling on business 2 weeks out of the month and felt the need for assistance with the planning. So, I went directly to Nelva of Nelva Studio for the event planning after witnessing her professionalism. The experience speaks for itself. On the day of the event, Rudy and I were busy greeting family and friends and Nelva’s family was busy working and keeping an eye on things to ensure everything fell in to place. En 2009 yo estaba viajando por cuestión de negocios 2 semanas al mes y sentía la necesidad de asistencia con la planificación. Por lo tanto, me fui directamente a Nelva de Nelva Estudio para la planificación de eventos después de presenciar su profesionalismo. La experiencia habla por sí mismo. En el día del evento, Rudy y yo estábamos ocupados saludando a la familia y los amigos mientras tanto Nelva y su familia ocupados trabajando y manteniendo todo lo demás para asegurar de

que todo funcionara correctamente. Q: Kayla, how involved were you in the planning and decision-making process of the quinceañera? Kayla, ¿cuánta participación tuviste en la planificación y toma de decisiones de tu fiesta de quince? A: I was very much involved. I wanted to make sure I was able to help my Mom plan this special event. Yo estaba muy involucrado. Yo quería asegurarme de poder ayudar a mi mamá planear este evento tan especial.

Q: What was the most difficult part of the planning process? ¿Cuál fue la parte más difícil del proceso de planificar la quinceañera? A: Choosing a dress and accessories were the most difficult part of the planning process. I must have changed my mind about the dress at least seven times. Elegir el vestido y los accesorios eran la parte más difícil del proceso. Debo de haber cambiado de opinión sobre el vestido por lo menos siete veces. Q: What was the easiest part of the planning process? ¿Cuál fue la parte más fácil del proceso de planificar la quinceañera? A: The easiest part of the planning was choosing a song for the fatherdaughter dance. I knew from the moment I heard the song, this would be the song for us to dance to. La parte más fácil del proceso fue escoger una canción para el baile de padre e hija. Yo supe desde el momento en que escuché la canción, ésta sería la canción para nuestro baile.

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Featured Quinceañera: Kayla Danielle Regalado Date: November 27, 2009 Reception and Dance: Unique Ballroom San Antonio, Texas Photographer: Ken Abernathy 210-340-8408 Quince: Did you always know that you would celebrate Kayla’s XV with a quinceañera fiesta? ¿Siempre sabían que Kayla tendría una fiesta de quinceañera? Answer: Most certainly. From the day Kayla was born, my late brother Adrian whispered in her ear, “I can’t wait for your Quinceañera.” Sin duda alguna. Desde el día en que nació Kayla, mi difunto hermano Adrián le susurró al oído: "No puedo

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esperar para tu Quinceañera". Q: How old was Kayla when you began planning her quinceañera fiesta? ¿Que edad tenia Kayla cuando comenzaron a planificar su fiesta de quinceañera? A: Kayla had just turned 14 years old. In fact the planning began the weekend after her 14th birthday. My Mom who lives in California was in town and we thought this would be the best opportunity to spend quality time with Grandma and allow her the opportunity to see Kayla try on quince gowns. As it turned out, it was the best idea ever. “Kayla acababa de cumplir 14 años de edad. De hecho, la planificación se inició el fin de semana después de su cumpleaños. Mi mamá que vive en California estaba en la ciudad y pensamos que esta sería la mejor oportunidad para pasar tiempo de calidad con la

abuelita y permitirle la oportunidad de ver a Kayla probar de vestidos de quinceañera. Al final resultó ser una gran idea.” Q: Most quinceañeras are held on Saturdays. Why did you decide to hold Kayla’s quinceañera on a Friday? La mayoría de las fiestas de quince años se celebran los sábados. ¿Por qué decidieron celebrar la quinceañera de Kayla en un viernes? A: It was important for us to accommodate our family members who were traveling from out of town. We wanted to ensure they had the extra day of travel, since it was a holiday weekend. Era importante para nosotros complacer a nuestros miembros de la familia que viajaban desde otras ciudades. Queríamos asegurarnos de que tenían un día adicional para viajar, ya que fue en un fin de semana festivo.

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