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The USS Midway/San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum

contents JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008 | VOL/ 10 | NO/1

Cover Story 14 | Florida Meetings & Vacations 2008 is the perfect time to plan your next meeting or vacation to the Sunshine State. Greater Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Kissimmee are all fantastic destinations that provide a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, attractions, and of course water activities.

4 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

25 12


12 | Cuisine Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando's newest AAA Four Diamond luxury leisure and convention hotel,

25 | Hispanic Meeting Professionals Post Conference Photo Pictorial The International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals recently held its 12th Annual


35 proudly announced that it's Executive Chef, David Ramirez, has been selected as the captain of Team USA in the World Pastry Cup.

38 | Techno Savvy Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

Educational Conference & Tradeshow in Albu-

added audio podcasts to its website along with

querque, New Mexico.

other new features.

Pulitzer Prize winning

Photographer Jose Galvez was on hand to catch all the action.

40 | International destination With a trio of properties on a prime beachfront

35 | New & Renovated Meeting Destinations

location in Cabo San Lucas, The Villa Group has created a selection of special packages available throughout 2008.

Dallas' legendary Hilton Anatole Hotel announces a 45-million renovation to transform 126,304 sq. ft.


of meeting space, many of its public areas and its

42 | Association Update Ed Rigsbee, President of Rigsbee Research Consulting Group, shares sure fire member recruitment

700 Tower guestrooms.


solutions for Trade Associations and Professional Societies.

44 | HM&T Speakers Bureau Hispanic Meetings & Travel Speakers Bureau is


Editors Note


Industry Briefs

46 | Calendar of Events

celebrating its second year. The newest member of the HM&T Speaker Bureau is Andrew F. Ortiz, President and CEO of The Ortiz Leadership Systems, a leadership consulting and Public Speaking Company. | HM&T 5




he New Year brings a transition in roles at Hispanic Meetings &


Travel. As we begin the New Year and the 10th Anniversary of

GVR Public Relations Agency, Inc.

the magazine we bid farewell to Angela Gonzalez Rowe who

has been the Editor for the past nine years. She is moving on to devote her


full attention to the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association which she found-

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Margarita G. Rodriguez

ed in 2006. In the interim Margaret Gonzalez, founder and publisher of Hispanic Meetings & Travel will take on the role of Editor-in-Chief and Steven Gonzalez will take on the role of Editor with this issue. Angela Rowe will continue her support for the publication as a consultant and


will help us introduce an annual Magazine on Hispanics in the Hotel


Industry later this year. A family owned publication, Hispanic Meetings & Standing L/R - Angela Gonzalez Rowe,

EDITOR Steven Gonzalez

Travel has successfully introduced information on the growing Hispanic

founder and president, Hispanic Hotel

community and the Hispanic Meetings & Travel market. Placing an eco-


Owners Association and Floyd W. Pitts,

nomic value on our market and heightening the awareness of Hispanics


J.D., Senior Director, Diversity Pro-

in the industry has been our mission.

grams, Hilton Hotels Corporation World

Since launching the magazine we have worked tirelessly to also estab-

Headquarters who was recognized with

lish and promote the International Association of Hispanic Meeting Pro-

the prestigious Diversity Award by the

fessionals as a viable player in the industry. This year the organization cel-

Hispanic Meeting Professionals for his

ebrates its 13th year and has gained recognition globally. With the estab-

MARIA GONZALEZ CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Austin CVB, Deatrick Public Relations, Edelman, Ken Ellens, Fayetteville CVB, Fort Lauderdale CVB, Chris Gahl, Margaret Gonzalez, Steven Gonzalez, Jacksonville CVB,

commitment and support to the Hispanic

lishment of the Iberian Chapter in Portugal and IAHMP Mexico the group

community. Through his leadership,

is fulfilling it's mission to be an international organization bridging the

Hilton Hotels Corporation was recog-

borders in the America's and abroad. Following their successful annual

nized for their role in helping to establish

conference held last month in Albuquerque, New Mexico the group

the Hispanic Hotel Owners Association

announced new professional chapters under development in New York

and in helping to establish IAHMP.

and in Los Angeles. Other chapters are underway in Spain and South

Seated are Margaret Gonzalez and

America. Through the organization, Hispanics are poised to take on a big-

Steven Gonzalez, Hispanic Meetings &

ger role in this important industry. See the annual conference report and

Margil Villarreal, MarketVision, Andrew Ortiz, Ed Rigsbee,

Travel magazine.

photo journal on page 25.

Schindler Marketing Group, Switchback Public Relations,

Kaplan Public Relations, Kissimmee CVB, Latin Force, Lehigh Valley CVB, MarketVision, Andrew Ortiz, Ed Rigsbee, Lyndsay Rossman, Schindler Marketing Group, Switchback Public Relations. PHOTOGRAPHY Austin CVB, Continental Airlines, Deatrick Public Relations, Denver CVB, Edelman, Fayetteville CVB, Fort Lauderdale CVB, Jose Galvez, Indianapolis CVA, Jacksonville CVB, Kaplan Public Relations, Kissimmee CVB, Lehigh Valley CVB,


In this issue we are pleased to recognize The Rodriguez Group who is spearheaded by Amy Rodriguez in Coral Gables, Florida. Rodriguez has

ADVERTISING SALES OFFICE 1322 Space Park, Suite A258

more than 17 years of experience in the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin

Houston, Texas 77058

America. Her focus is on analyzing client needs and providing insightful,

281-333-1755 / 281-333-1996 (fax)

highly researched strategic solutions that are culturally relevant to Hispan-


ic consumers. She began her career managing national and international

efforts for American Airlines in the Caribbean, Latin America and U.S. Hispanic markets. For the past several years Hispanic Meetings & Travel has worked with The Rodriguez Group to help promote Visit Florida to our readers. In this issue we are pleased to present the following destinations:

WEB MASTER - Margil Villarreal Hispanic Meetings & Travel, ISSN # 1527-8387 is owned and published bi-monthly by the GVR Public Relations Agency, Inc. at 1322 Space Park, Suite A258, Houston, Texas 77058. ©1999-2007 All rights Reserved. Hispanic Meetings & Travel cannot by held responsible for unsolicited material. The publisher does not

Kissimmee, Jacksonville, and Greater Fort Lauderdale. Over the years, the

assume any responsibility for any unsolicited material and will

support The Rodriguez Group has provided in gaining advertisers for His-

return only those accompanied by stamped self-addressed

panic Meetings & Travel has made the annual issue possible.

publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or

envelope. We reserve the right to edit all copy. No part of this transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher. Subscription rates: $30.00 per year

Feliz y Prospero Ano Nuevo, Margaret González, Editor-in-Chief 6 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

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

Benchmark Hospitality's Burt Cabañas Recognized As One of The "100 Most

Influential Hispanic Business Leaders for 2007" B U R T C A B A Ñ A S , Founder, Chairman and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality International, has been selected as one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanic Leaders for 2007" by Hispanic Business. HispanTelligence, the research arm of Hispanic Business magazine, chose the 2007 influential members based on the following criteria: 1.

Hispanic leaders were of U.S citizenship and have had recent and national impact, and whose achievements inspire other Hispanics to similar endeavors.


Hispanic leaders are from a variety of fields, including but not limited to: Entertainment, the Performing Arts, Media and Journalism, Literature, Sports, Science and Academia, Entrepreneurship and Business, and Government.


Hispanic leaders have promoted the advancement of Hispanics in the United States by their leadership, community involvement or professional achievements.

Mr. Cabañas is in very good company on the Top 100 List, which includes an astronaut, senior government officials, top executives for several nationally recognized companies, members of the press, entertainers, top education officials, attorneys, and more. He is the sole person of Hispanic heritage heading a major hospitality management company on the list and nationally. Burt Cabañas launched Benchmark Hospitality International in 1980 in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston. Since then, Benchmark has grown to 30 hotel and resort properties and over 7,000 employees internationally. Most recently the company opened The Heldrich, a new $120 million mixed-use property in the heart of revitalized New Brunswick, New Jersey, within the New York metropolitan area; and reopened the circa 1796 Bedford Springs Resort in Bedford, Pennsylvania - once the summer White House of US President James Buchanan, following a $120 million restoration and expansion program. The company also announced the Lakeside Resort & Residences, which is under construction in Dallas, Texas; the Naples Bay Resort which is under construction in Naples, Florida; and Costa d'Este Beach Resort which is under construction in Vero Beach, Florida. Upon learning of his selection, Mr. Cabañas said, "I am deeply honored to be included in this pantheon of leaders within the Hispanic community. This recognition is especially meaningful to me and my family. As a 10-year old child of Cuba, I never imagined the opportunities that awaited me in the United States if I worked hard and kept a positive attitude. I am profoundly grateful." 8 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Cabañas continued on to say, "I would also like to congratulate the other hoteliers included in the 100 Most Influential Hispanic Leaders - Carlos Cabrera, Senior Vice President Field Operations for Florida and the Caribbean of Hyatt Hotels and David Rodriguez, Executive Vice President Human Resources for Marriott International." Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands Texas, operates resorts, conference centers, hotels and condominium resorts both domestically and internationally. For locations of Benchmark Hospitality properties and for additional information, visit Benchmark's Website at

Goldman Sachs' US Hispanization Research Report Released at Multicultural Marketing Summit ore than 200 industry leaders attended The 4th annual Multicultural Marketing Summit from October 24-26, 2007 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Miami-Florida. Executives and marketers learned about the importance of the growing business opportunities in multicultural markets and the best practices of how to capitalize on these opportunities. A highlight of the event was when David Kostin, Managing Director U.S. Portfolio Strategy for Goldman Sachs, shared his perspectives on the growth potential and investment opportunities presented by the US Hispanic market. During his compelling session titled, U.S. Hispanization: The Quest for Growth, Mr. Kostin identified growth trends for geo-demographics and consumer expenditures that underlie his investment thesis. His report details investment opportunities in the housing, retail, health care and financial services industries that are well positioned to take advantage of the growing Hispanic market. His findings can be found in the report, "US Hispanization: Long/short Strategies" at orts/report44.html . The following is an excerpt emphasizing the importance of the Hispanic market for companies seeking growth: "US businesses across all industries have begun to focus on the rapidly growing Hispanic/Latino market through targeted advertising spending and customized products. We believe this trend will continue. Firms taking the lead in these initiatives and in areas likely to benefit from the population growth of Hispanic/Latinos in the United States are likely to see their revenues grow faster than those of their competitors over the long term." Ceril Shagrin, Senior Vice President, Univision presented a new study about Latinos and media usage revealing compelling characteristics of advertising on Spanish TV. Among a number of interesting findings, the study shows that Latinos are more likely than non-


Latinos to view commercials and make purchase decisions based on advertisements seen on television. In addition, Hispanic DVR users are less likely to skip commercials and are more likely to stop and watch commercials of interest than non Hispanic DVR users. Industry leaders from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Farmers Insurance, General Mills, and Toyota Financial Services presented case studies showcasing their success and growing market share within the multicultural markets. Fernando Chavez, son of late activist Cesar Chavez, shared unique insights on Latino growth within the United States of today during his presentation to summit participants. Cesar Melgoza, Co-Founder of Latin Force Group, released the 2008 version of the American Marketscape DataStream, the most comprehensive and up to date source of consumer geo-demographic data. The report forecasts current year estimates for 2008 and five year future projections for 2013 of the US multicultural landscape. The data is presented from the micro to the macro level built from the ground-up and is an in-depth representation of U.S. cultural diversity. While participates engaged in case studies and workshops throughout the day, at night they were able to enjoy live entertainment from such artists as Def Jam recording artist Chrisette Michele, Locos por Juana, and El Chino. Latin Force Group LLC provides consumer intelligence via strategic business consulting, database-driven analytics and automated systems to help our clients achieve significant growth by tapping into America's fast growing Hispanic and multicultural markets. Latin Force stands at the forefront of understanding the significant growth opportunities that America's fast growing new mainstream consumers represent for corporations today.


NewHires Austin CVB Appoints New Director of Marketing Communications The Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau annouced the hiring of Ellen Cañas as Director of Marketing Communications. In this position, Cañas oversees public relations and communications strategies for Austin CVB, and also serves as the official spokesperson of the Bureau to local, state and national media. With more than seven years of marketing experience, Cañas most recently served as director of marketing at One World Theatre. Cañas brings demonstrated leadership skills to Austin CVB, including a thorough knowledge of marketing and promotional campaigns, strategic planning and industry and media relations. Cañas also gained experience at the Gibson Musical Instruments Austin Entertainment Relations showroom where she served as point person during the Austin City Limits Music Festival, SXSW and Austin GuitarTown. "It is a pleasure to welcome Ellen to the Bureau," says Bob Lander, President and CEO of Austin CVB. "Ellen's impressive experience in marketing and promotions brings a new perspective to the department. Her execution of local and national media campaigns is sure to increase Austin's reputation as a premier meeting destination, as well as a hub for live music, culture, recreation and high-tech innovation."

Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Andrew Zinni General Manager for Costa d'Este Beach Resort Benchmark Hospitality International announced the appointment of Andrew Zinni as general manager for Costa d'Este Beach Resort, the new personal luxury property nearing completion in Vero Beach, Florida. Bill Upshaw, regional vice president, made the announcement. "I am very pleased to announce Andy's appointment as general manager for this remarkable new personal luxury resort, Costa d'Este," said Mr. Upshaw. "He brings important operational experience to his new role which will serve this exquisite new property well as it moves toward opening in early 2008." A seasoned hotelier, Andrew Zinni brings nearly 25 years of hotel operational experience to his new role at Costa d'Este Beach Resort. He was most recently the highly successful director of operations for Benchmark Hospitality at The Chattanoongan, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where during his tenure overall food & beverage quality and guest service results rose dramatically. While at The Chattanoogan, Zinni also held the title of director of food & beverage, successfully overseeing the hotel's three dining establishments, banquets, catering, in-room dining and culinary staff. Previous to joining Benchmark, Mr. Zinni was employed by Adams Mark Hotels as food & beverage director for the company's Winston-Salem property. He served in the same role at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. Prior to this he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility with Marriott International. Andrew Zinni is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, where he received a bachelor of science degree in Food Service Administration. He has relocated to Vero Beach. | HM&T 9


NewHires CONTINENTAL AIRLINES NAMES JOHN SLATER MANAGING DIRECTOR, LATIN AMERICA Continental Airlines announced that John Slater has been named managing director, Latin America, effective Jan. 1, 2008. Formerly Continental's managing director of Distribution Planning and Electronic Commerce, Slater replaces Pete García, who will retire on Dec. 31, 2007, after close to 30 years of outstanding service to the airline. Slater will report to Dave Hilfman, senior vice president worldwide sales for Continental. "John has the energy, experience and forward-thinking leadership skills to ensure that Latin America and the Caribbean remain a top priority for Continental," said Hilfman. "Like Pete, John is a dynamic leader who will ensure we continue to expand our presence and sales throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, which now comprise more than half of our international destinations." Slater previously managed the development, design and support for and formulated the airline's global distribution strategy. He has held various senior-level positions in flight operations, customer service, sales and marketing since he joined Continental in 1986, including senior director of sales for the Midwest Sales Division in Cleveland, Ohio. Slater began his airline career with People Express Airlines in 1982 and assisted with the merger with Continental in 1986. "Pete García did a fantastic job leading our Latin American expansion and has had a very distinguished career here at Continental," said Larry Kellner, Continental's chairman and CEO. "We're proud of his many accomplishments and wish him well." García is starting a consulting practice which will focus on increasing business opportunities among countries throughout the Americas and Continental will be his first client. Continental Airlines offers service to 77 destinations in 23 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline serves more destinations in Mexico (31) from the U.S. and has more flights from the U.S. to Mexico than any other airline. Continental also serves more cities in Central America (10) than any other U.S. carrier, as well as nine South American destinations and 27 in the Caribbean. Continental was named "Best Airline to Latin America" in Latin Trade Magazine's "Best of Latin America" Readers Choice Poll - 2007. Continental's Latinization services include bilingual flight attendants on many flights to Latin America; and bilingual airport personnel, reservations agents and signage. Spanish-language functions on the Web site include flight booking, check-in, seat selection, flight and gate information, and OnePass frequent flyer program enrollment. Passengers also may make reservations in Spanish at 1-800-537-9222.

10 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 3,100 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 144 domestic and 138 international destinations. More than 580 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines. With more than 45,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with Continental Express, carries approximately 67 million passengers per year. Continental consistently earns awards and critical acclaim for both its operation and its corporate culture. For more company information, visit

FACVB Welcomes Two Staff Members The Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (FACVB) welcomes two new staff members, Sales Manager Caroline Hornsby and Tourism Development Manager Tara Duncan. As Sales Manager, Hornsby solicits meeting and convention business in the religious and social markets. In soliciting this business, Hornsby follows up on leads and closes bids, makes sales presentations, prepares departmental performance reports and attends various industry functions to promote the greater Fayetteville area. The Fayetteville native worked as Sales Coordinator for the Courtyard by Marriott and is earning her degree in hotel/restaurant management at Fayetteville Technical Community College. Tourism Development Manager Tara Duncan secures grants for and manages the FACVB's cultural tourism program. This includes developing 10 cultural heritage driving trails, furthering development of "Customize It!", the FACVB's customizable itinerary builder and development of brand awareness programs. Duncan previously worked at SMITH Advertising as a project manager on branding and market research projects. The Russell, Kansas native has a degree in marketing and an MBA from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.

New Hire in DC Office for Indianapolis CVA The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA, annouced the hiring of Heather Trent as Senior Sales Manager in the ICVA's Washington, D.C. satellite office. In her role with the ICVA, Trent will work to attract business to Indianapolis from associations, corporations and other organizations based in D.C. and the Southeast. Heather brings nine years of experience in full-service account management, direct sales and business development in the meetings and hospitality industry to the ICVA, most recently with the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Visit Jacksonville welcomed seasoned tourism professional Alex Michaels as special markets sales manager. In this capacity, he will promote Jacksonville to the military, hobbies, religious, fraternal and education markets, specifically focusing on conventions held between July and December when hotel occupancy is slower. He will also serve as the sales liaison for the Southwest market. Michaels was recruited to promote the destination as a prime meetings and conventions destination during the lower hotel occupancy months of July through December to groups. The new initiative aims to increase occupancy during this need period for local hotels through a targeted incentive program for meeting planners who bring their groups to the region during this time. Incentives can range from discounts on meeting space, hotel rooms and services. Prior to joining Visit Jacksonville, Michaels most recently served as sales manager for both the Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Daytona Beach Resort and Conference Center. His travel industry experience also includes working as northeast sales manager for the now-defunct Kingdom Vacations in Scranton, PA, and in the management program for Walt Disney World. He also served in the U.S. Navy for four years where he was awarded the prestigious Lone Sailor Award by then-Secretary for Defense Donald Rumsfeld for his superior naval service as well as the Naval Achievement Medal and Sailor of the Year. "We are thrilled to welcome Alex to the Jacksonville team," said Shirley Smith, Visit Jacksonville's vice president, sales. "Having previous experience within a destination and the accommodations and attractions industry, his thorough knowledge will prove to be a valuable asset as he focuses on putting 'heads in beds' during a critical need period for hotels and the destination." Michaels serves on the Board of Directors for the North Florida Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). He received his A.S. in Business Management from Allentown Business School in Allentown, PA and is expected to receive his B.A. in Business Administration from East Stroudsburg University in summer 2008.

Port Ludlow Expands Management Team Appoints Robbie Wright as New Sales Manager The Resort At Port Ludlow recently named Robbie Wright as sales manager. In her new role as sales manager, Wright will be responsible for driving sales at the prestigious resort as well as representing the organization at trade exhibitions and community events. Wright will be adding many activities, both for the local resort community as well as guests to this Pacific Northwest resort destination. Beginning in 2008, The Resort is looking forward to hosting its first Writer's Series dinner and getaway, as well as five-course Wine Pairing Dinners. Wright has more than 14 years of experience in sales, marketing and event management. She was formerly a partner at Benefit Recovery, Inc. where she generated sales revenue averaging $2.1 million per year. For her industry achievements she has been honored by both the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American Association for Healthcare Management.

"We are delighted to have Ms. Wright join our team," said Diana Smeland, President of Port Ludlow Associates. "She brings a rich experience in sales and marketing and a proven track record for success. I have confidence that she will expand The Resort's presence in the market through the establishment of a professionally designed and executed sales program." In addition to her professional experience, Wright also volunteers in the local community and currently serves as the executive marketing director for Our Beauty Within, a non-profit organization that instills a strong, confident sense of self in girls ages eight to twelve through the development of positive self esteem and healthy body image by providing educational and interactive programs. Wright holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Arts from South Texas State. She resides in Bainbridge Island, Washington with her husband, John, and their two daughters, Taylor and Leigh. Tucked away on the Olympic Peninsula of the Northern Puget Sound, The Resort At Port Ludlow is located just 10 minutes from the Hood Canal Bridge and less than 90 minutes from Seattle. A top-rated 27-hole golf course, 300 slip marina, waterside Inn, restaurants, and Pacific Northwest activities, The Resort At Port Ludlow is the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsula's resort destination. Nestled in among towering evergreens, surrounded by water, with views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, The Resort At Port Ludlow's secluded location is the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In addition to The Resort and its amenities, Port Ludlow is a master-planned resort community with real estate options ranging from waterfront town homes and estates to manicured villages with single-family residences. For more information, visit or call 1-877-269-1869

New Hire in Miami GMCVB The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has appointed Jennifer Diaz to Associate Vice President, Media Relations and Promotions, announced GMCVB President & CEO, William D. Talbert III, CDME. "We are delighted to have Jennifer join the GMCVB team and head up our Media Relations Division," said Talbert. "She brings not only enthusiasm, but also a strong, diverse background in public relations and marketing to her position at the Bureau." "The department's role has been expanded to leverage our media partnerships to help develop strategic consumer promotions. Jennifer's experience and relationships in this area will prove invaluable as we continue to evolve the Miami brand," said Rolando Aedo, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Tourism for the GMCVB. Diaz will supervise four staff members carrying out all aspects of the Bureau's public relations efforts in key markets such as U.S./Canada, Latin America and Europe/Asia. Her responsibilities include overseeing three in-market public relations firms, national and international media programs, as well as government and industry partner relations. In addition, she will be responsible for the development of media promotions. | HM&T 11






David Ramirez, Executive Chef, Rosen Shingle Creek to lead TEAM USA!


osen Shingle Creek, Orlando's newest AAA Four-Diamond luxury leisure and convention hotel, proudly announced that its Executive Pastry Chef, David Ramirez, has been selected as the captain of Team USA, which will compete at the prestigious international pastry competition, the 11th Annual Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, or World Pastry Cup, in Lyon, France Jan. 25-26, 2009. Ramirez, who has been with Rosen Shingle Creek since its opening in Sept. 2006, was chosen to lead Team USA after a rigorous application and interview process to assess his pastry skill and artistry. To be chosen to represent the United States in the competition is a career highlight for any pastry chef. "Basically, the top 12 pastry chefs in the country are competing for three David Ramirez Executive Pastry Chef

12 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

spots," said En-ming Hsu, the 2001 captain of first-place winning Team USA and the 2009 team manager. Ramirez was not only chosen for the team, but was selected as the team captain. "The chefs on the team don't know each other and it's important to choose a person for Team Captain who can take the lead and make decisions for the group," said the former champion. "David showed a lot of leadership abilities. He's very professional." The judges, who included Hsu, now a pastry chef consultant based in Las Vegas, and other renowned pastry chefs Gilles Renusson, Anil Rohira, Derek Poirier and Pierre Cantreo, also were impressed by Ramirez's intimate knowledge of the competition. He traveled to France with the 2007 U.S. team to assist them in any capacity needed in order to obtain a first-hand understanding of the contest.

Joining David Ramirez on Team USA will be Roy Pell, Executive Pastry Chef at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Remy Funfrock, Executive Restaurant Pastry Chef at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. and alternate Jim Mullaney, Executive Pastry Chef of The Cloisters Hotel in Sea Island, Ga. Team USA will compete against teams from 19 other countries, including France, Belgium and Italy. The World Pastry Cup is held every two years as part of the SIRHA, the International Hotel Catering and Food Trade Exhibition and is immediately followed by the Bocuse d'Or culinary competition. The World Pastry Cup was created in 1989 by Gabriel Paillasson, former President of the Regional Pastry Chefs' Professional Association. For many years, it was the world's only international pastry competition. Teams have 10 hours to create all of the pastry creations and are judged 60 percent on food taste (all creations must be 100 percent edible), 20 percent on buffet presentation of the two centerpieces and 20 percent on general work ethic, including kitchen cleanliness and organization. For more information regarding the World Pastry Cup, visit "It is such a tremendous honor to be chosen to represent Rosen Shingle Creek and the United States in the World Pastry Cup," said Ramirez. "I am thrilled to be working with three of the most talented pastry chefs in the country under the direction of a former World Pastry Cup champion. It's the opportunity of a lifetime." Ramirez is not the only one eagerly anticipating the international contest. "I couldn't be more happy for David and more proud his appointment as captain of Team USA," said Harris Rosen, President and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts. "We at Rosen Hotels appreciate his amazing talents as a pastry chef. I have no doubt he will show the rest of the world a thing or two about chocolate and sugar. His work is pure magic." The young chef is no stranger to pastry competitions. He placed third in the 2006 World Pastry Championship, first in the 2005 National Pastry Championship and second in the 2004 National Bread and Pastry Championship, among many other culinary awards. He has been an Executive Pastry Chef in fivestar restaurants in Atlanta and Orlando for 12 years and also has served as a consultant for many properties throughout the United States. Ramirez received an Associates Degree in Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University.

2008 is a perfect time to plan your next meeting or vacation to the Sunshine State. Greater Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Kissimmee are all fantastic destinations that provide a wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, attractions, and of course water activities. VISIT FLORIDA, the official Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, is a great resource for any future Florida meetings or vacations. The VISIT FLORIDA website: offers a wealth of information on researching and planning your next vacation. meetings.VISITFLORIDA.COM is also an excellent resource for meeting planners. VISIT FLORIDA is currently promoting a "Show off your Sunshine" sweepstakes. Your last Florida Vacation video could win you and your family a free vacation to Fort Lauderdale. Just go to and fill out the sweepstakes form and submit your video. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2008. In addition to the resources on each city also offers their own website for visitors. Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors website is Jacksonville and the beaches website is Kissimmee's website is 14 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Greater Fort Lauderdale GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE is located within Broward County.

Broward County

encompasses 1,197 square miles, with 23 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline. Its resident population is over 1.8 million. Broward county’s western border is bounded by 500,000 acres of Everglades, which is one reason its nicknamed “the Venice of America”. Greater Fort Lauderdale is comprised of 31 municipalities, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lighthouse Point, Pompano Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Davie, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lazy Lakes, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston and Wilton Manors. Some of the major attractions to Greater Fort Lauderdale center around its 23 miles of coastline. Water sports such as sailing, swimming, kite surfing, windsurfing, water skiing, boating, deep-sea fishing, parasailing and SCUBA diving are all thriving activities. The Atlantic Ocean and a system of intracoastal waterways support Fort Lauderdale’s popular boating sports. There are 148 marinas and 35 boat repair yards that provide fuel as well as supplies. For fishing enthusiasts there are the choices of fresh or saltwater fishing all within 20 minutes of Fort Lauderdale and deep water excursions are also available. Greater Fort Lauderdale is also the spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles, as well as the home for the Florida Panther National Hockey League team. The city has over 550 public and private courts and hosts a number of racing venues. The county also includes four Seminole Indian Casinos, including the Hard Rock Casino.


RIVERFRONT CRUISES Offers sightseeing cruises onboard a 55-foot catamaran.

ANNE KOLB NATURE CENTER Habitat for native wildlife.

ROYAL HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES Offer cab rides along Greater Fort Lauderdale’s most fashionable boulevard.

BILLIE SWAMP SAFARI Lets you experience a Seminole Indian reservation in the Everglades via swamp buggy and airboat.

SEAESCAPE CRUISES Day and night cruises with casino action.

BUTTERFLY WORLD Is a three acre park with a screened habitat. to showcase live butterflies and hummingbirds from five different continents. EVERGLADES HOLIDAY PARK Gateway to 750,000 acres of unspoiled Everglades; airboat rides, tours and fishing. FLAMINGO GARDENS Offers free flight aviary museums, tram tours of orange groves, nature walks, and gift shops. FORT LAUDERDALE ANTIQUE CAR MUSEUM Permanent displays of pre-war Packard Motorcars and memorabilia. GOODYEAR BLIMP BASE Is one of only four blimp bases in the world. HOLLYWOOD OCEANFRONT BROADWALK 2.2 mile oceanfront pedestrian promenade which parallels the beach. IGFA FISHING HALL OF FAME & MUSEUM Features galleries, marina and conservation center. LAS OLAS BOULEVARD Bustles with energy day and night and is home to chic boutiques, galleries and eateries. LAFFING MATTERZ Features an original, live musical satire dining experience. RIVERWALK ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT Is a 22-block district along the New River in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale which runs from chic Las Olas Boulevard west to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. SAWGRASS MILLS World’s largest discount, outlet mall featuring more than 300 specialty stores and the now open Colonnade Outlets, an outdoor, high-end shopping district. SWAP SHOP Largest indoor/outdoor flea market in the South. WANNADO CITY America’s first indoor role playing theme park for kids.

SIGHTSEEING TOURS: A WATER FANTASEAS Luxury yacht charters. CARRIE B SIGHTSEEING CRUISES Offers sightseeing cruises. JUNGLE QUEEN RIVERBOAT Offers old-time sightseeing cruises along the canals with dinner and entertainment.

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TROPICAL SAILING 2.5 hour ocean sightseeing cruise on a catamaran. WATER BUS OF FORT LAUDERDALE Is the perfect way to tour the Intracoastal or take an “Historic Cruise” of the New River.

MAJOR ANNUAL EVENTS: Orange Bowl (Jan.) Las Olas Art Festival (Jan.) Hollywood CanadaFest (Jan.) Greek Festival (Jan.) A1A Marathon (Feb.) Sistrunk Festival (Feb.) Seminole Tribal Fair (Feb.) Florida Renaissance Festival (Feb.-Mar.)

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS: In addition to its Blue Wave beaches and waterways,

Orioles Spring Training (Feb-Mar.)

Broward County has 288 parks, 69 miles of live coral

Florida Marlins Baseball (Apr.-Sept.)

reef in a three-tier natural reef system, and the Everglades. Its 81 artificial reefs and 18 major shipwrecks provide divers with a unique mix of tropical underwater experiences.

Fort Lauderdale Seafood Festival (Apr.) OceanFest Consumer Dive Show (Apr.) Pompano Beach Seafood Festival (Apr.)


Fleet Week USA (Apr.) Air and Sea Show (May) Pompano Beach Fishing Rodeo (May) Mango Festival (June)

BONNET HOUSE One of the few remaining ocean-front estates BROWARD ART GUILD BUEHLER PLANETARIUM AND OBSERVATORY CORAL SPRINGS MUSEUM OF ART FLAMINGO GARDENS FORT LAUDERDALE MUSEUM OF ART Recently hosted the King Tut exhibition HILLSBORO INLET LIGHT STATION Historic light marks the northern limit of the Florida Reef

Turtle Walks (June-July) Fort Lauderdale Family Fun Beachfront Celebration (July 4) Hollywood 4th of July Celebration (July 4) Las Olas Art Fair (Sept.) Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Oct./Nov.) Dine Out Lauderdale (Oct) Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (Oct.) Oktoberfest (Oct.)



Hollywood Jazz Festival (Oct.) Florida Panthers Hockey Season (Oct. - Apr.) Broward County Fair (Nov.) Holiday Fantasy of Lights (Nov.-Jan.) Promenade in the Park (Nov.) Christmas on Las Olas (Dec.) OceanDance (Dec.) Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade (Dec.)

YOUNG AT ART CHILDREN’S MUSEUM Hands-on children’s museum

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade (Dec.)

SHOPPING: Greater Fort Lauderdale shopping options include, the Sawgrass Mills, the world's largest discount mall, Colonnade Outlets, Festival Flea Market Mall, and Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, the largest indooor/outdoor flea market in the South. Shopping malls such as The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, featuring Neiman-Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, are complemented by traditional Florida shopping avenues such as Las Olas Blvd., Dania Beach Antique Row and beach boutiques.

DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT: More than 4,000 dining establishments and 132 nightclubs are located in Broward County. ACCOMMODATIONS: Broward offers more than 560 lodging establishments, with more than 33,000 hotel rooms, ranging from luxurious high-rises to smaller motels (many included in the Superior Small Lodging program, which sets standards of quality for properties of less than 50 rooms). The diverse mix of Greater Fort Lauderdale accommodations encompasses oceanfront and inland properties, specialized spa resorts, business, meeting, and convention facilities.

CONVENTION CENTER: The 600,000-square-foot Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, at Port Everglades, is the centerpiece of a mixed-use retail complex spanning 33 acres. ACCESSIBILITY: International Airport — Broward County is served by the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Airlines include: Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air Jamaica, AirTran, Air Transat, America West, American, American Eagle, Avianca, Bahamasair, CanJet, Cayman Airways, Continental, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Lynx Air, Maestro Airlines, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest, Spirit, Sunwing, Ted, United, US Airways, USA3000 and WestJet. Executive Airports — Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport at the northwest corner of the city, and North Perry Airport, six miles west of Hollywood, and Pompano Beach Airpark, serve private and executive planes. Cruise Ships — Port Everglades is the busiest cruise port in the world serving more five-star cruise ships than any other port in the nation. Nearly 50 cruise ships depart from twelve ultra-modern terminals, including: Carnival, Celebrity Cruises’ X, Costa, Crystal, Cunard, Discovery Cruise Line, Holland America, Imperial Majesty, MSC Italian Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, and Silversea. SeaEscape Cruises offers day and evening cruises.

As the third busiest cruise port in the world, Port Everglades is teaming up with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) to go the extra nautical mile to entice pre - and post - cruise stays. A new series of marketing initiatives has been designed to bring the spirit of Greater Fort Lauderdale directly into the port. To encourage pre - and post - cruise visitation, the GFLCVB has installed colorful, eye-catching wall art hangings and a new brochure station showcasing the destination’s broad range of attractions and activities. The new images adorn Port Everglades’ Terminal 2, used by Princess Cruises and the 3,100-passenger Caribbean Princess - the largest ship to operate year-round from Port Everglades. The images vividly display Greater Fort Lauderdale’s beaches, outdoor activities and luxurious yachting scene. Plans are in place to expand the artwork displays to additional terminals. “Greater Fort Lauderdale is a colorful destination, and we expect these sunny bright displays to encourage cruise passengers to stay a little longer and maybe even come back for a sunny vacation in our backyard,” says Port Everglades Director Phillip C. Allen. Once off their cruise ship, travelers can quickly transfer to the beach, while sending their luggage directly to the airport. Passengers flying Southwest Airlines (year-round) or AirTransat (during the winter season) can take advantage of the luggage delivery service from “Bags To Go” and have their bags picked up curbside at the Port and brought straight through to check-in at the airport. Travelers on other airline carriers can hop on to a shuttle to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport where they can store their bags for the day with the onsite “Bags To Go” ( locations in all four terminals. Plans to expand the luggage delivery service with additional airline carriers are coming soon as well. Last year, more than 1.2 million passengers took cruises that lasted more than one day from Port Everglades, which was called upon 1,763 times by cruise ships. Approximately 123,000 passengers chose to extend their stay in Greater Fort Lauderdale as an add-on to their cruise . “There is no reason to make a beeline to board a ship or for the airport following a cruise,” said Nicki E. Grossman, President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Greater Fort Lauderdale is a port of call where visitors can spend time exploring the destination, from pristine beaches to dining along the Intracoastal Waterway or shopping on Las Olas Boulevard and natural wonders in the Everglades. The goal of these marketing initiatives is to increase the number of cruise passengers staying additional days exploring Greater Fort Lauderdale before and after they take to the open seas.” | HM&T 17

full-service, waterfront restaurant and lounge, by The Puccini Group is soon to come. Il Concierge, 24-room service, as well as complimentary airport and local transfers, round out the properties superlative services. The hotel is slated to welcome guests, January 2008. For more information call, (954) 567-4484 or visit

GOING UPSCALE AND GOING UP SOON: NEW HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE Luxury has arrived in Greater Fort Lauderdale. With chic, upscale hotels such as The St. Regis Resort – the first in the state, and Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, this refreshingly year-round vacation spot boasts an elegant style and carefree personality. In June 2008, the W Hotel, another first for the Sunshine State, will open its doors on Fort Lauderdale Beach and not far behind will be real estate mogul Donald J. Trump with Trump International Hotel & Tower in 2009. Lauderdale Luxe is what Fort Lauderdale’s beachfront is commonly referred to these days with new properties adding casual sophistication and elegance. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, offers a spirit of elegance that is personalized for each guest. The beachfront resort features well-appointed studios and suites; 25,000-sq.-ft. Sunrise Terrace with a zero-entry pool and cabanas; beach concierge; grocery concierge; spa treatments; children’s concierge and programs; Ilios casual dining restaurant; Aquaknox and a gourmet bistro (soon to open); golf at Parkland Golf & Country Club; and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. For resort information call (954) 760-7177 or visit The St. Regis Resort, Fort Lauderdale, opened May 1, 2007. Located on Fort Lauderdale beach, the new $240 million landmark luxury resort features 166 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites with ocean and intracoastal waterway views. Other amenities include, Cero, a stylish gourmet restaurant under the direction of chef Toby Joseph, a fullystocked wine room with more than 1,000 different bottles from around the world, an intimate lounge, as well as European-style Butler Service. A 24,000-square-foot meeting space, including a well-appointed ballroom, and a 29,000 square-foot tropical pool deck round out the functional spaces. The St. Regis Spa offers massage therapy, aromatherapy and facial & body treatments, as well as a modern fitness center, equipped with saunas, whirlpools, steam rooms and a full-service salon. For more information call (954) 465-2300 or visit The Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach, which just opened October 2007, is an upscale condo hotel boasting 311 well-appointed guestrooms overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway with flat screen TVs and Crowne Plaza’s “Sleep Advantage” program with seven sleep amenities for a better night’s rest. Highlights include large walk-out balconies in all guestrooms, landscaped infinity pool, 140-seat Bistro featuring a contemporary feel with indoor and outdoor seating, tiki bar, marina, and 10,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. For more information call 1-800-227-6963 or visit

COMING SOON: • Il Lugano at the intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale, an $80 million project, stands 14-stories high and is located just north of Oakland Park. Named after a luxurious lake resort area on the border of Switzerland and Italy, the hotel’s design features 105 studio and one-bedroom suites with oversized balconies and gourmet kitchens, a lush pool area overlooking the Intracoastal, fitness center, business center, deep water boat slips, in-room washer and dryers, iPod docking stations, and complimentary high-speed internet. An upscale,

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• The W Fort Lauderdale – a member of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ prestigious Luxury Collection – is scheduled to open in June 2008. The 346-room hotel and its 171 luxury residences will be located on a 4 1/2-acre site offering dramatic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Amenities at the 23-story, dual-tower property will include a signature Stephen Starr restaurant, an inviting Living Room lobby, a state-of-the-art SWEAT® fitness center, the renowned Bliss® Spa and a one-of-a-kind oceanfront infinity-edge pool. In addition, the W Fort Lauderdale Hotel and Residences will boast more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space. Call (954) 462-1633 or explore for more information.

• The Trump International Hotel & Tower

Fort Lauderdale, a 24-story building designed by world-renowned architect Michael Graves. From the exterior, the property’s curvilinear lines and art-deco accents recall a circa 1925-cruise liner. Inside, 301 luxuriously appointed one-and two-bedroom suites feature Italian-marble flooring and fine furnishings. Other Trumpworthy amenities will include a spa, tropical pool with waterfalls, and a fine dining restaurant. Completion is expected in 2009. For more information visit or call 866-TRUMP-01 (866-878-6701).

Scheduled for completion in spring 2009, The Hollywood Grande Resort, is a boutique hotel situated just steps from Hollywood Beach. European based, WorldHotels, will manage the new property featuring 225 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites. Other highlights include a rooftop pool, a spa and fitness center, enclosed courtyards, two trendy bars and retail space. Call (954) 922-4498 or visit for more information.

Ocean Properties, Ltd. is building the Marriott Ocean Village and Resort, a conference, retail and hotel complex on six acres of Hollywood Beach oceanfront and Intracoastal Waterway, at Johnson Street. Construction is expected to begin late 2007. For more information call (561) 279-9900.

WCI Communities introduced plans for an ultra-luxury, oceanfront condohotel at the OceanSide project on Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach. Expected to be the Fairmont Pompano Beach, the 22-story resort is planned to include such amenities as a 20,000 square-foot spa; zero-entry pool; meeting space; and a public plaza with restaurants, boutiques, walking plazas, fountains and outdoor cafés. Set on three acres of prime beachfront property, the hotel’s 303-suites and 77 luxury residences incorporates a distinctive curved architecture along the Atlantic. Hotel construction is scheduled to begin in 2008, with completion in 2011. For more information call (954) 691-4160 or visit

For more information on Greater Fort Lauderdale contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, 100 East Broward Boulevard, Suite 200, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301, visit or call 800-22-SUNNY (in the U.S. and Canada). Travel professionals and meeting planners call 800-356-1662.

CreateYour Own Adventure in Jacksonville by Carrie McLaren


he opportunities are endless in creating your own vacation in Jacksonville. Whether visitors are looking for a romantic excursion, a quick weekend for family fun with the kids or men in need of a "mancation" filled with sports events and outdoor activities - Northeast Florida is an undiscovered getaway, complete with adventures for all ages. Get out and soak up the sunshine at Adventure Landing Jacksonville Beach. Challenge the family to a round of adventure miniature golf, indoor laser tag and a race on the go-kart tracks. During the summer, bring your bathing suit and check out the Shipwreck Island Water Park featuring the Little St. Johns Lazy River, Typhoon Lagoon - the giant wave pool and three extreme slides: the Rage, the Hydro Half-Pipe and the Eye of the Storm. Call (904) 246-4386 or visit Want to take that special someone out for a romantic dinner? Try the popular blue cheese Crispy Chips at Bistro Aix, located just south of Downtown in Jacksonville's historic and trendy San Marco district. Bistro Aix is an award-winning restaurant with an exciting atmosphere, a food and wine menu full of distinctive flavors and impeccable professional service. Call (904) 398-1949 or visit See the beer-brewing process at the Budweiser Brewery. Learn how they brew perfection in the open-air gallery overlooking the floor of the Brew Hall, while marveling at the high-speed packaging operations. The brewery is only one of five Budweiser breweries in the country. Guests 21 and over can enjoy a complimentary tasting following the tour. Call (904) 696-8373 or visit Get a unique perspective of Northeast Florida on a guided Segway eco-history tour with EcoMotion Tours. Experience wildlife and history in a setting like no other, traveling through off-road paths in the heart of Fort George Island. All tours are guided, with riders equipped with a wireless headset to learn from guides of the native plants, animals and history of the trails. Be on the lookout for tortoises, rabbits and for the lucky travelers - the occasional alligator off in the distance. Call (904) 251-9477 or visit Don't forget to pack your fishing poles and visit the Jacksonville Beach Fishing Pier. At 1,300 feet, the new pier features a 20-foot wide wooden deck and is a great spot for kids to watch the fisherman reel in their latest catches! Besides all of the great fishing, the pier also provides a great view of Jacksonville Beach. The pier includes a concessions area, bait shop and restrooms. Spectators can visit the pier for $1, with children under six admitted free. Be a part of the excitement at the Jacksonville Landing, located along the Northbank of the St. Johns River in Downtown. Experience the live entertainment on the famed courtyard every weekend. The Jacksonville Landing is home to restaurants and nightlife along with the Twisted Martini, an upscale entertainment and dining venue with South Beach sophistication. Call (904) 358-1188 or visit Spend a day at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens exploring 2,000 rare and exotic animals and over 1,000 unique plant species. The newest

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addition to the zoo, The Gardens at Trout River Plaza, opened to the public in October. The plaza is located along the banks of the Trout River and features a formal garden with walls, columns, a fountain and unique plants. While there, check out the "Range of the Jaguar" exhibit, home to animals, birds and reptiles from South America. Call (904) 757-4463 or visit Travel the outdoor waterways of Northeast Florida with Kayak Amelia. Offering guided tours for beginners and experienced kayakers, nature enthusiasts get an up close view of the wildlife surrounding the Timucuan Preserve. Be on the lookout for manatees, unique birds and even dolphins! Call (904) 251-0016 or visit Explore the grounds at Kingsley Plantation, the oldest remaining plantation house in Florida. Wander through the remarkably preserved slave quarters, barn, plantation house, kitchen house and interpretive garden located on the waterfront. Call (904) 251-3537 or visit Check out the latest exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, located at Hemming Plaza in the heart of Downtown Jacksonville. Call (904) 366-6911 or visit Don't miss Jacksonville's local hotspot for chocolate lovers, the Peterbrooke Chocolatier Production Center. Enjoy sampling and indulging yourself with chocolate-covered popcorn, chocolate-covered strawberries, fresh-baked cookies and more. With numerous locations throughout Northeast Florida, the production center offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the creations come to life! Call (904) 398-2489 or visit With over 1,224 holes of golf, and home to 72 public and private courses, Northeast Florida is the ideal spot to play a round. The World Golf Hall of Fame celebrates the history and sport with interactive displays, memorabilia and trophies on display. Call (904) 940-4123 or visit Visit Jacksonville, formerly The Jacksonville & the Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), is the sales and marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. The tourism industry is a leading economic engine for the region, with 5.7 million visitors generating a $4.9 billion economic impact and over 114,000 local jobs in 2005.

Kissimmee's High-End Accommodations Provide Visitors with Luxurious Vacation Experiences


issimmee-bound visitors will find a myriad of luxury accommodation options where some much deserved pampering, relaxation and fun can create a truly unforgettable vacation experience. Kissimmee's luxury accommodations are perfect for a couple's retreat, a girls-only weekend, a guys' golf experience, an unforgettable family vacation or for the business traveler seeking an upscale haven during meetings and conventions. Kissimmee's newest luxury accommodation, the Mona Lisa Suite Hotel, opened its doors in November. The $70 million all-suite hotel offers guests 240 upscale one- and two-bedroom suites furnished with kingsized beds with Egyptian cotton linens, down comforters and pillows. All suites include Thymes Azur Collection toiletries, plush bathrobes, LCD flat screen televisions in every room, modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, cordless telephones and wireless high-speed Internet access. Each suite also has a fully-furnished, self-contained balcony overlooking the swimming pool area, the town of Celebration or the lush Florida landscape. The Mona Lisa features replicas of artwork from the Masters throughout the property. The hotel's Galerie Restaurant seats 150 guests in a bi-level environment with outdoor terrace areas available on each level. The restaurant's interior design includes burnished metals, tapestry and soft leather seating along with classic artwork in a gallery-type setting. The menu offers fresh, healthy foods with unusual presentations and the original concepts of their award-winning chef. The hotel's outdoor features include twelve tropical landscaped acres, a 360-degree vanishing-edge swimming pool with lush island center and a state-of-the-art whirlpool. The Celebration Hotel offers 115 elegant rooms and suites in downtown Celebration. Overlooking a pristine lake, the hotel is near the town's promenade, shops, restaurants and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy a walk on the town's nature trails, spend an afternoon of shopping and fine dining at the town's shops and restaurants, rent a bicycle or neighborhood electrical vehicle to explore the picturesque town, or swim on the hotel's lakefront pool. Visitors also can relax at the town's two spas, the Celebration Health Fitness Centre & Day Spa, and Salon 720 Beauty and Body Spa, or hit the links at the Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Jr.-designed Celebration Golf Club. The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center has more than four acres of themed experiences under the resort's signature glass dome, where clients can experience some of Florida's signature locations such as St. Augustine, Key West and the Everglades. The resort's eight eateries and bars offer scrumptious meals from seafood and steak to European fare, and guests also can shop at any of the resort's nine retail stores. Guests looking for a relaxing time should visit the Canyon Ranch Spa Club, a full-service spa with salon

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The Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center and fitness center. Meanwhile, the kids can have fun at La Petite Academy Kids Station or at the kids activity pool that includes an octopusthemed slide. For visitors wanting a more active experience while on vacation, the Coquina Dunes outdoor recreation park offers a 9-hole executive putting course, a bocce court, a croquet lawn and a sand volleyball court. The 730-room Omni Resort at ChampionsGate features six restaurants where visitors can enjoy a wide range of dining experiences from panAsian to Mediterranean and American cuisine. The Spa at Omni Resort at ChampionsGate is the perfect place for a relaxing day of massages and pampering. Also, the resort has a 15-acre recreation area complete with two pools, an 850-foot interactive lazy river, a 9-hole par-3 executive course, and tennis, basketball and sand volleyball courts. For golf fans, the resort features two Greg Normandesigned courses, the National and the International, and is the home of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy. The Villas at ChampionsGate features 59 one- and two-bedroom units in a four-diamond condo hotel. Designed to match the high standards of its sister property, the Omni Resort, the Villas offer the amenities of a fine hotel with the comforts of home. Among the features of the nearby 2,300-acre Ginn Reunion Resort are one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas and multi-bedroom homes, many providing spectacular views of the resort's golf courses. The 11-story luxury condo-hotel high-rise Reunion Grande features 82 luxurious one- and two-bedroom suites. The Reunion Grande's amenities include a rooftop pool complex complete with private cabanas and a spectacular panoramic view of the resort's golf courses; the rooftop tapas bar, Eleven, and FortĂŠ, a contemporary chophouse. The Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club has 652 luxurious one-, two-, and three bedroom villas scattered throughout 600 acres of lush tropical landscaping. Clients may sit by the pool or the golf course to enjoy a succulent meal at the resort's two bar and grilles. The resort also has an 18-hole miniature golf course, three pools, basketball and tennis courts and a playground. For a fun day on the golf course, guests can visit the property's 18-hole, par-71 course designed by Gary Koch. The course offers the experience of golfing in two different continents with its distinctive layout.

World-Class Courses and Resorts Make Kissimmee a Dream Destination for Golfing Visitors Among the area's top choices are: The Ginn Reunion Resort has three courses designed by some of the top players in golf. Arnold Palmer's Legacy offers an awe-inspiring golf journey through a natural preserve, Tom Watson's Independence marks his first course design in the state of Florida, and the newly opened Jack Nicklaus's Tradition featuring a "superior course" design that compliments the golfer's legendary status. Reunion also hosts the Ginn Open, the only full-field LPGA Tour event in Florida. The tournament's $2.6 million purse is one of the top purses of the season. New for 2007 is the ANNIKA Academy, LPGA superstar Annika Sorenstam's first golf school, which incorporates the practices of her longtime swing coach and personal trainer. Golfers interested can select from a variety of packages including the Soren-Slam package that allows the guest to play nine holes with Sorenstam. Meanwhile, the resort offers villas, homes and townhouses for rent that provide home-away-from-home comforts, some with spectacular views of the three golf courses. Celebration Golf Club offers a course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. The challenging golf course is bordered by native trees and natural wetlands and speckled with clusters of native oaks, pine and magnolia trees. The course sports five sets of tees and stretches from 4,933 to 6,792 yards inviting competition from all skill levels. The ChampionsGate Golf Club features two Greg Norman-designed courses. The National Course's classic American-style layout has over 200 acres of southern woodlands and wetlands, while the International Course boasts a

Scottish-themed golf course that has the look and feel of the British Isles. Each year, ChampionsGate hosts the Father/Son Golf Challenge, a tournament where some of professional golf's most prominent players compete alongside their sons and grandsons for a $1 million purse. ChampionsGate is also home to the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, which trains professional golfers such as Ernie Els, Nick Price, Charles Howell III and Rachel Heatherington. Falcon's Fire Golf Club features a Rees Jones-designed course that pays respect to the timeless traditions of the game of golf. The front side features water on three holes, while the back wraps around two large lakes with a run of holes that will challenge the most skilled player. The unique Harmony Golf Preserve is more than a golf course. The Johnny Miller-designed course offers a challenging, picturesque layout around existing wetlands. Abounding in wildlife, Harmony features multi-tiered tees and greens along with spacious, immaculate fairways. It's not unusual for golfers to tee it up while deer and other wildlife graze nearby. Kissimmee Bay Golf Club has a championship layout course designed around century-old oak trees, lush vegetation and abundant wildlife bordering scenic East Lake Toho. The course features water on 16 holes, plus gently rolling fairways and greens. Kissimmee Oaks Golf Club has received recognition from the local golf community for having one of the area's best-conditioned courses. Water comes into play on 12 holes, and along the way golfers play through nature preserves and protected wetlands that harbor local wildlife such as eagles, osprey and sand cranes. For information on planning a stay log onto, or call 800-831-1844, ext. 42482.

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International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals

12th Annual International Conference Albuquerque, New Mexico Photography by Jose Galvez

Heritage Hotels Super Stars! Ed Pulsifer, Vice President Sales and Marketing for Heritage Hotels & Resorts Corporation was recognized by IAHMP for his outstanding support of the conference.The company was also recognized with an award for their corporate sponsorship in support of the organization. Seated L/R, Audrey Valdez - The Lodge at Santa Fe, Ed Pulsifer - Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Molly Ryckman - Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town, Susan Raitt - Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces, Richard Viscarra - The Lodge at Santa Fe, and standing is Marbila Rocha - Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico. | HM&T 25

Margaret Gonzalez and Robert Countryman at the Gala Awards Banquet.

Cathy Gonzales recognized Margaret Gonzalez for her work in IAHMP with a beautiful hand crafted cross.

Micky Cruz Salsa Band got things underway following the Gala Awards Banquet.

Angela Gonzalez Rowe with Floyd Pitts who was recognized with the Diversity Award.

Micky Cruz plays some of his tunes for attendees.

Clara Carter was surprised when she was recognized as Meeting Planner of the Year.

The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce members and staffers joined in the celebration of the Gala Awards Banquet.

A folkloric dance featured the many dances that make Mexico memorable.

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New Mexico talent at its best featured this beautiful Flameco Dancer.

Margaret Gonzalez and Gladys Montoya, UNM student enjoyed the reception proceeding the Awards Banquet.

Conference attendees danced the night away and got some lessons from Micky Cruz dancers.

Toni Martin, Blacks in Government enjoyed the evening and took lots of photos and had her own photo taken in the process.

Jorge Frantz and Rosemary Mitchell, Greater Houston CVB enjoyed the Awards Banquet with Lizbeth Zamudio of the Mexico Chapter.

Ed Pulsifer, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Heritage Hotels & Resorts makes opening remarks at the 12th Annual Educational Conference - Bridging Borders in the Meetings & Hospitality Industry. Heritage Hotels & Resorts was a primary sponsor of the conference.

Bruce J. Perlman, Ph.D., Chief Administrative Officer City of Albuquerque gives the official welcome to Albuquerque "Land of Enchantment" on behalf of Mayor Martin J. Chavez who was in Europe.

Mexico's Consul General was represented by Diego V. Arreola, who addressed his comments at the opening of the conference.

Margaret Gonzalez, a founder and president of IAHMP makes a presentation on the US Hispanic Market. Pictured are Roy Jay, founder and president of the Association of African American Meeting Professionals and Lizbeth Zamudio, founder and president of IAHMP Mexico.

Dr. Jackie Martin takes the lead in doing the closing at the conference. She brought everyone to their feet and had them all hold hands before returning home or going on to Santa Fe for the post conference tour.

Angelica Rivera, founding member of IAHMP Mexico introduces the members during the opening session.

Cathy Gonzales, Vice President Tourism, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce and Vice President IAHMP introduces the sponsor for the opening luncheon at the convention center.

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Conference attendees take a tour of the impressive Albuquerque Convention Center.

Conference attendees at luncheon hosted by the Albuquerque Hyatt Regency Hotel and the City of Albuquerque Economic Development office.

Hyatt Regency General Manager hosted the luncheon and welcomed attendees to Albuquerque's Convention Center in the downtown district.

Alberto Solis, Manager, International Trade Division Mayor's Office for Economic Development, City of Albuquerque presented a video on the city and New Mexico.

Conference attendees enjoy the Tree Lighting ceremony in Old Town Albuquerque. L/R - Lena Longoria, McAllen CVB, Anna Ramirez, Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Ada Lucero, National Lime Association.

Mike Smith, Portland, Oregon CVB shares information on his city with Trade Show attendees.

Mariachi music got the annual Trade Show underway for suppliers.

Christa Williams, Visit Charlotte CVB talks with Trade Show attendees about North Carolina as a destination for their next event.

Gary Simon, Sacramento CVB talks with meeting planners during the Trade Show.

New Mexico artists share their talent with attendees during the Trade Show.

Angela Gonzalez Rowe, Hispanic Hotel Owners Association visits with Ed Pulsifer and Pam Bazant-Jung, with Heritage Hotels & Resorts.

Margaret Gonzalez and Cathy Gonzales stopped to visit with Reggie Stevenson at the Virginia Beach exhibit.

Meeting Planners found the Trade Show very exciting and visited with everyone who participated.

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Trade Show traffic was busy and attendees tried to make their way to visit all the suppliers.

Attendees enjoy presentation by Ed Rigsbee.

Rodrigo Esponda, Mexico Tourism Board, New York City makes presentation on Mexico as a destination for meeting.

Professional speaker, Ed Rigsbee, president, Rigsbee Research made a huge impression on conference attendees.

Professional speaker Mike Aguilera presented "Advanced Skills for Presenting at Meetings or Speaking Engagements" to an attentive audience.

Altin "Al" Paulson , Co-founder and President of Marketplace Productions, an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Indians shared his background in business development and meeting planning with a very attentive audience.

Adrian Perez, Executive Vice President, Heritage Hotels & Resorts made a presentation at the opening luncheon.

Greg DeShields, Temple University School of Tourism & Hospitality Management made a presentation on Working with Academia to plan your meetings and events.

Norma Molina, a registered dietitian made a presentation on nutrition which included selecting the best foods when planning your banquets.

This year's Convention & Visitor Bureau presentation included Keith Toler, Executive Director, Santa Fe CVB, Sara Melendez, Senior Sales Rep, Kissimmee CVB, W. Bill Williams Jr., CMP, Vice President Diversity Sales, Chicago CVB, and Jorge Franz, Vice President of Tourism, Greater Houston CVB.

Paying attention during the CVB presentation is Raul de la Cerda a member of the Mexico chapter who is also the editor of Nuestro Mundo Global Media in Mexico City.

32 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Juana Bordas, author of Salsa, Soul and Spirit was a very popular speaker with the audience. Following her presentation she did a book signing but ran out of books from an audience who could not get enough of the popular author.

Linda Pereira, CPL Events, a meeting planning company is the founder of the IAHMP chapter in Portugal. Her presentation on International Business Etiquette for Meeting Professionals was a big eye opener for our attendees who learned that using acronyms is taboo in Europe. Linda brought international knowledge to her American audience who leaned a lot from her presentation.

Margaret Gonzalez meets Lawrence John of the Navajo Nation.

Suppliers line up to pitch their City before presenting Door Prize to meeting planners during the closing luncheon.

Attendees crowded the room to learn how hotels value your business and how to get the best for your organization when planning your meetings.

Angela Gonzalez Rowe, founder and president of the Hispanic Hotel Owners drew a huge audience when she made her presentation on How Hotels determine the value of your events.

Clara Carter, founder and president of Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN), announces San Diego as the IAHMP conference site on December 3-7, 2008. | HM&T 33

Post Conference attendees arrive at The Lodge in Santa Fe for a banquet.

Attendees enjoyed a reception at The Lodge that included classical guitar and tapas.

Linda Periera takes her photo with native flute player in Santa Fe




The Dallas' icon undergoes second phase of Multi-year renovation. Dallas' legendary Hilton Anatole Hotel announces a $45 million renovation to transform 126,304 sq. ft. of meeting space, many of its public areas and its 700 Tower guestrooms. This marks the hotel's second phase of its multi-year renovation project representing a total investment in excess of $100 million. The renovation design is inspired by the Anatole's Asian art collection - the largest private assembly for any U.S. hotel - and the inherent contemporary design of the property's structure to create a look and feel that will provide guests with a legendary experience. Additionally, it demonstrates the Hilton Anatole's commitment to continually evolve to remain the region's premier meeting, event and business travel hotel and to the renovation plans following Hilton's property management agreement finalized in January 2006. "The Hilton Anatole is a Dallas landmark. Many guests have hosted or attended one-of-a-kind events at the hotel and a number of Dallas-ites have experienced life's most memorable firsts such as anniversaries, engagements and birthdays," said Marc L. Messina, general manager for the Hilton Anatole Hotel. "The renovations allow the hotel to evolve without losing the timeless aspect that people hold close to their hearts." "The complete design of our space is unlike anything we've done before. Working with our onsite team and design firm, Portfolio Associates, we are cre-

ating the look and feel of guestrooms normally found at a luxury boutique hotel while maintaining the sizable space, functionality and conveniences that are synonymous with the Anatole," said Tyler McDonald, director of sales and marketing for the Hilton Anatole Hotel. "The transformed space will be more modern and upscale while maintaining the integrity and special characteristics that only the Anatole has." The contemporary dÊcor with subtle Asian influences has been extended into all aspects of the renovations. The color palate features bold yet earthy tones including creams, greens, chocolate hues, yellows and oranges. The defined lines throughout the meeting and public spaces and guestrooms create a calm and soothing tone while the classic edginess adds an invariable coolness. The spectacular new guest rooms feature custom-designed carpet - exclusive to the Hilton Anatole - custom art highlighted by framed, hand-painted Asian fabrics, Hilton Serenity Collection™ bedding with custom ottomans, new custom closets with in-room safes, hardwood and black lacquer finishes, couches in the living areas, large work desks with lamps and ergonomic desk chairs, high-speed Internet access, two-line speaker phones with data port and voicemail, self-controlled heating and air conditioning, irons and ironing boards and coffee stations. | HM&T 35

N E W & R E N O VAT E D MEETING DESTINATIONS The inspired look and feel has been carried into the bathrooms which also are being fully recreated. The bathrooms feature new stainless fixtures, custom lighting, marble floors, granite countertops, separate sinks and vanities with two large, framed mirrors, make-up mirror and hair dryer, over-sized stone and glass shower surrounds in all king-bedded guest rooms, new ceilings and painted walls. The Tower features 54 spacious suites, as well as Executive Level accommodations, offering privateaccess floors with 60 deluxe guestrooms and an exclusive Executive Lounge that offers evening cocktails and appetizers, as well as complimentary continental breakfast. "Art is a significant part of the Anatole experience which is why we're extending its inspiration and versatility into the newly designed spaces," said Nick Briner, hotel manager for the Hilton Anatole Hotel. "It's like having treasures throughout the property, and we are confident that our guests will embrace and enjoy the new design and comfort of our public, meeting spaces and guestrooms." The hotel recently completed the renovation of its new $4.5 million, 8,300 sq. ft. oval Stemmons Ballroom with the conversion of the previous Stemmons Auditorium. The ballroom features dark cherry hardwoods, rich, white-toned fabric wall treatments, custom carpets and cutting-edge meeting technologies. The space is divisible by four and gives the ballroom greater versatility, providing the hotel another spectacular and elegant, venue for high-profile group and catering events. The newly renovated Atrium pre-function area, located adjacent to the ballroom, features more than 9,800 sq. ft. of flexible and dramatic event space graced with stunning, grand lighting fixtures and Asian art offerings surrounded by bamboo plantings and Asian gardens. In addition to the Tower guestrooms and the Stemmons Ballroom, the hotel will also completely renovate its Chantilly Ballroom this year with new custom carpets, fabric wall coverings, doors, hardware and meeting technologies. Additional meeting space renovations include the Grand Ballroom, 17 Atrium breakout rooms, the nine Tower "M" ballrooms and meeting rooms, and the eight Tower "Gem" meeting rooms with new custom carpets, new ceilings and wall treatments. The update will include all meeting corridors, foyers and pre-function areas. These spectacular hotel renovations, scheduled for completion late 2007, follow another recent $39 million renovation to the hotel's Atrium guestrooms, the addition of the chic and contemporary Gossip bar, the 25th floor Executive Lounge with sweeping views of Dallas, and a completely refurbished Wedgwood ballroom and Verandah Club & Spa. In January 2006, the Anatole was added to the Hilton portfolio starting a year in which the Hilton brand was reignited with major enhancements to

amenities and facilities. The Hilton portfolio of hotels has also received over $1 billion in renovations on behalf of Hilton Hotels Corporations and its hotel owners at 145 existing corporate-owned, managed and franchised hotels.

About the Hilton Anatole Located within a 45-acre campus, the Hilton Anatole Hotel features two highrise atriums; a 27-story tower; and 1606 luxuriously appointed guestrooms with first-class in-room amenities and wired Internet access. Additionally, the hotel offers guests more than 333,400 sq. ft. of meeting space equipped with high-speed wireless and wired Internet access, as well as a variety of recreational activities including free tours of its Art Collection, one of the largest and most intriguing private assemblies in the world; an 80,000 sq. ft. fitness center, the Verandah Club & Spa, featuring state-of-the-art cardiovascular and weight equipment, tennis courts, three swimming pools and an indoor jogging track; 10 shopping boutiques; and 12 unique restaurants and bars for dining and entertainment, including the award-winning, five-star Nana and chic Gossip Bar. The Hilton Anatole is owned by Dallas-based Crow Holdings and managed by Hilton Hotels Corporation.

About Hilton Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,800 hotels and 480,000 rooms in 76 countries and territories, including 100,000 team members worldwide. The More than 2,300 hotels are owned, managed or franchised in North America withcompany owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf Astoria Collection®. The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton's philosophy that, "It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality." The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable®. The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity. Hilton Hotels Corporation's sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team will extend through the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, and includes the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team(s) and the 2007 U.S. Pan-Am Team. For more information about our company, please visit, and to learn more about our be hospitable philosophy, please visit

36 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

$50 Million Transformation and Expansion Planned For The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center


he Woodlands Resort & Conference Center has announced it will embark on a comprehensive, $50 million transformation and expansion project to include the build out of 158 new guestrooms, the addition of a winding, lazy river as well as a new, dramatic entrance and a fine-dining steakhouse. "The $50 million dollar renovation will reposition The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center as an AAA Four-Diamond Resort with amenities unique to the region," said Dan Leverett, Vice President of Commercial for The Woodlands Development Company. "This is a project that truly will transform a Texas legend into a world-class resort experience." Construction is expected to begin in early 2008 with an estimated completion date in late 2009. The new guestrooms will be located in Fairway Pines III, a four-story structure to be located adjacent to the property's Fairway Pines I and II guestroom buildings. The new guestroom design features soothing earth tones, textures and patterns to reflect the resort's natural surroundings. Weathered leather furnishings and flat panel televisions complete the new room style. Guestroom baths include a spacious, doorless glass shower, millwork vanity and slate flooring. The property's transformation includes the relocation of its lobby, registration area and Concierge Desk to the front of the Forest Oasis Waterscape™, between all three of the Fairway Pines buildings. To enhance the arrival experience, the new lobby will include a Grand Living Room with a soaring ceiling, doublesided stone fireplace and warm, inviting furnishings. A light-filled solarium and adjoining Library will be ideal meeting places for personal conversation. The property's existing lobby will be used as a satellite check-in area for conference attendees. Additionally, a four-level garage with 620 parking spaces will replace the existing Fairway Pines parking lot. A new fine-dining steakhouse, complete with its own private wine vault, also will be added. Guests can dine indoors or enjoy the restaurant's outdoor patio overlooking the 18th green of Panther Trail™, one of the Resort's two championship golf courses. The transformation includes the addition of a lazy river, winding over 1,000 feet through the surrounding forest, to complement the resort's signature Forest Oasis Waterscape. A family favorite, the Waterscape offers underwater music and marine murals, double-helix waterslides, computer-activated pop fountains and soothing waterfalls. These new amenities will attract additional summer guests and align The Woodlands Resort with other high-end resorts in Austin and San Antonio, stated Kent Johnson, General Manager of The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center.

Plans also call for the renovation of The Woodlands Dining Room, The Glass Menagerie restaurant, and the property's 60,000 square feet of meeting space, certified by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC). In 2009, 10 nearby lodges, consisting of 222 guestrooms, and the property's original parking lot will be converted into high-density residential use. Residential land sales are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2010. With the addition of the new Fairway Pines III and the transformation of the lodge rooms into a new residential project, The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center will consist of 380 guestrooms instead of 440 rooms. The Resort will continue to offer over 60,000 square feet of conference space and two championship golf courses. Moreover, construction during the renovation will be concealed by attractive landscape barriers. "The utmost consideration will be taken for business to run as usual and not create interruption for hotel and conference guests," said Johnson.

Firms being used for the project include: Design Architect - Morris Architects of Houston Restaurant Design - Acumen of Houston Lazy River Water Consultant - Cloward H20 of Utah Landscape Design - The Office of James Burnett of Houston Interior Design - Vivian / Nichols Associates of Dallas The Woodlands is a 28,000-acre master-planned community located 27 miles north of downtown Houston and is a project of The Woodlands Development Company - a limited partnership of Morgan Stanley and General Growth Properties, Inc.

About The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center Nestled in 28,000 acres of forest preserves north of Houston, yet easily accessible from I-45, The Woodlands Resort is a destination of fun and relaxation. Just steps from 440 deluxe guest rooms (at present) are two championship golf courses and the property's signature Forest Oasis Waterscape™ with waterfalls, synchronized water spouts, waterslides, and a S'mores pit. Guests enjoy seasonal poolside dining, dive-in movies and scheduled family-friendly entertainment. Other resort amenities include a full-service spa and fitness facility, 155 miles of nature and bike trails, and indoor and outdoor tennis courts. Explore the property's four restaurants or lounge, plus nearby shopping and entertainment. Visit or call 866-361-5674. | HM&T 37





Help Hi-Tech Travelers to Lehigh Valley Region Learn About Area Attractions, Events not required to watch or listen to them. Travelers can enjoy the podcasts on their computer using popular multimedia programs such as RealPlayer, Windows Media Player and QuickTime. Previous podcasts can be located in the podcast archive section. The Web site's podcast page can be found at the following link:

LVCVB launched the latest version of its Web site in April 2007 and has been adding new features to it since then, including: RSS feeds

- a great way for travelers to get Lehigh Valley updates sent to them on a regular basis. Choose from themed feeds including events, press releases and podcasts.

360 degree virtual tours - Choose from over 30 tours of area hotels, attractions and sports facilities.


s the number of travelers researching a destination online before visiting it continues to grow, tourism organizations are starting to adapt their Web sites to include the new types of high-tech features that today's travelers are looking for. Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau in eastern Pennsylvania has developed a series of audio and video podcasts for its Web site,, and added many other new features. LVCVB produces audio podcasts in two formats - one-on-one interviews and weekly updates. The interview podcasts, which are updated quarterly and are approximately five minutes long, feature a Bureau representative interviewing a representative from a local attraction, shop owner, event manager, chef or official. To date, topics have included Musikfest, one of the largest outdoor music festivals in the country, the Moravian Book Shop in 38 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Bethlehem, which is reported to be the longest continuously operating bookstore in the country, and The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the oldest Bach choir in the country, among others. The weekly audio podcasts, which are posted every Monday and run for approximately three minutes, highlight things taking place in the region that week with a goal of helping last-minute travel planners find something exciting to see or do during their visit. Each podcast focuses on three topics which range from art exhibits, special events and promotions, to wine and beer dinners, family attractions and the performing arts. The Bureau has produced video podcasts of the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail and the C.F. Martin Guitar Factory, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes tour of how the award-winning wine and guitars are made. A new video podcast is posted on the Web site each quarter. Podcasts can be downloaded to an iPod/MP3 player, although such a device is

Trip itinerary builder - travelers now have the ability to add any event, attraction or facility on the Web site to their travel itinerary which they can then save or print out. Some of the Web site's most popular existing features include the win a getaway contest, online calendar of events, brochure request and download section, and registration for the bureau's monthly e-newsletter. The Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania is home to the three cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and is the third largest metro region in the state. It is located approximately one hour north of Philadelphia and an hour and a half west of New York City. Lehigh Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau is the designated tourist promotion agency of Lehigh and Northampton counties. Its mission is to develop and promote the Lehigh Valley as a leisure destination and as a destination for meetings and conventions for the area's economic benefit. For more information on the LVCVB and its activities or to request a Lehigh Valley Map & Guide, call (800) 747-0561, email or visit the official tourism Web site of the Lehigh Valley at

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$30 FOR A FULL YEAR The inside track to convention planning, meeting planning, national/international travel destinations, the Hispanic business market, and national/international meeting professionals. Find the information your looking for in the pages of Hispanic Meetings and Travel magazine. Where the Hispanic market is just an arms length away.

To start your subscription for a full year go to: You may also subscribe to Hispanic Meetings 333-1 1881 and Travel by telephone at 281-3


destinations I N T E R N AT I O N A L D E S T I N AT I O N

The Villa Group Announces 2008 Packages in Cabo San Lucas With a trio of villa properties on a prime beachfront location in Cabo San Lucas, The Villa Group has created a selection of special packages available throughout 2008. The properties are situated in a private enclave overlooking El MĂŠdano Beach with an unobstructed view of El Arco at Land's End.


resh from its grand opening in July 2007, Villa del Arco Beach Resort & Grand Spa offers 231 deluxe oceanfront one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with full kitchens, plus deluxe studios. Two large outdoor pools feature waterfalls, spa tubs and children's areas. One pool contains El Bucanero, a full-sized replica of a Spanish galleon "anchored" for casual snacks, lunch and cocktails. Kayaks, boogie boards, snorkeling gear and motorized personal watercraft are available at the on-site water sports center. Also in July, Villa del Arco welcomed the 31,000 sq. ft. Desert Spa. Designed in Mexican hacienda style, the three-level facility insets into Los Cabos' timeless merger of desert and sea by complementing its natural setting with earthy tones, ample natural light, and the scents and flavors of Baja. Showcasing Baja's largest wet area, the spa's hydrotherapy centers for men and women each include a spacious Jacuzzi, cold plunge pool, cold pressure showers, body temperature pool, steam room and sauna. In addition, 17 treatment rooms, two exclusive VIP suites with private Jacuzzi and shower, a full-service beauty salon and extensive menu of exotic treatment services set the stage for the Desert Spa to serve as a haven for health, beauty, decompression and rejuvenation. A 4,500 sq. ft. fitness center rounds out its offerings. "Villa del Arco is the perfect complement to our Villa La Estancia and Villa del Palmar properties already in the destination," said Ricardo Orozco, Corporate Director for Villa Group Resorts in Cabo San Lucas. "And with our new Desert Spa available to all guests, we've reached our goal of providing everything needed to help them relax and rejuvenate on their vacation." Villa del Arco's Sun Escape Package provides four nights in a deluxe suite, daily breakfast, round trip shuttle transportation between the airport and hotel, in-suite gift amenity, ocean view upgrade (upon availability), complimentary Desert Spa fitness center access, a 15% discount on Desert Spa treatments and taxes from $410 USD per person based on double occupancy. Additional nights are available from $132 USD plus tax (room only). The property's Fun Escape covers four nights in a deluxe ocean view suite, daily breakfast buffet at La Perla, one pass to "Swim with the Dolphins", in-suite amenities (cookies or snacks and drinks), complimentary Desert

Spa fitness center access, a 15% discount on Desert Spa treatments and taxes from $510 USD per person based on double occupancy. Additional nights are available from $131 USD plus tax (room only). With the same package inclusions as Villa del Arco, the ultra-luxurious residence-style Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa offers its four night Sun Escape from $476 USD per person based on double occupancy, while the Fun Escape with the same inclusions is priced from $575 USD. Extra nights are from $210 USD plus tax (room only) for both packages, and packages meals are featured at Villa La Estancia's La Casona. The distinctive 156-suite Villa La Estancia is known for its ultra-spacious accommodations with well-appointed furnishings, generous amenities, gourmet cuisine and unrivaled hospitality. Lushly landscaped grounds with a freeform swimming pool, dancing fountains and whirlpool spas make this tranquil property a favorite with adults. Each of the one-, twoand three-bedroom units is stylishly decorated with marble floors, granite countertops, whirlpool tub, complete kitchen and spacious balcony. Deluxe studios and spacious penthouses are also available. For dining, guests can enjoy the casual poolside La Parrilla and the upscale La Casona - the only restaurant in Los Cabos to feature Kobe and Angus Certified Beef. A private on-site fitness center is equipped with cardiovascular machines, Icarian workout stations, free weights, sauna, steam room and whirlpool. The first Villa Group property to grace this stretch of beach, the family-friendly Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa offers homey conveniences in its collection of 463 air-conditioned junior suites and spacious one-, twoand three-bedroom suites - all with private balconies and complete kitchens. Villa del Palmar's Sun Escape covers four nights in a junior suite, daily breakfast, round trip shuttle transportation between the airport and property, in-room gift amenity, ocean view upgrade (upon availability), complimentary Desert Spa fitness center access, a 15% discount on Desert Spa treatments and taxes from $298 USD per person based on double occupancy. Additional nights are available from $120 USD plus tax (room only). The property's Fun Escape plan provides four nights in an ocean view junior suite, daily breakfast buffet at Bella California, one themed dinner show per person per stay, one pass to "Swim with the Dolphins", complimen-

tary Desert Spa fitness center access, in-suite amenities (cookies or snacks and drinks) and taxes from $428 USD per person based on double occupancy. Additional nights are available from $120 USD plus tax (room only). "Villa del Palmar is perfect for families," remarked Orozco. "The resort lies on the safest, best swimming beach in Cabo San Lucas and offers easy access to ocean recreation available right off our shore. And we feature an adjacent shopping plaza with grocery store, deli, video rental and medical clinic. So everything is easy." For recreation, Villa del Palmar features three tiered swimming pools, a whale waterslide, two lighted tennis courts, a putting green, the year-round Kids in Paradise Club and daily activities held poolside or on the beach. Dining options include nightly themed dinner shows at Las Tortugas or the fusion of Californian and Italian cuisines at Bella California. An adjacent shopping plaza is available to guests at all three Villa Group properties, with the Palmita Market providing a selection of fresh produce, premium beverages, frozen foods, sundries and a pharmacy. Other plaza shops and services include an Internet cafe, ice cream parlor, DVD/video store, and boutiques with jewelry, clothing, arts, crafts and gifts. All Cabo San Lucas packages are available January 1 through December 23, 2008. For more information or reservations, call toll free from the U.S. and Canada (877) 845-5247, visit or e-mail

About The Villa Group The Villa Group is one of Mexico's leading privately owned hotel, resort and real estate development companies. Their portfolio includes beachfront destination resorts, exclusive fractional and full ownership luxury real estate developments, and a secluded mountaintop boutique retreat. The collection includes: Cabo San Lucas - Villa La Estancia, Villa del Arco, Villa del Palmar and Hotel Santa Fe; Puerto Vallarta - Villa del Palmar and Villa del Mar; Nuevo Vallarta - Villa del Palmar Flamingos and Villa La Estancia; Sierra Madre Mountain Range - Sierra Lago Resort & Spa. Additionally, Villa del Palmar and Villa La Estancia multi-property developments are scheduled to open in Cancun (2008) and Loreto (2008). For more information or reservations, call toll free from the U.S. & Canada (877) 845-5247 or visit | HM&T 41




Sure Fire Member Recruitment for Trade Associations and Professional Societies The Problem:


or trade associations and professional societies, identifying the value your members want can be a bit like threading a needle in the back of a Jeep, while crossing granite boulders, at 40 miles per hour-but it doesn't have to be-this article does offer answers. Associations and societies exist to serve the interests of the participants or stake holders in their industry or profession-it is that simple. Yet, extenuating factors, erroneous or not, frequently muddy up the waters of association or society focus. A very good argument could be made for the idea that too many association or society activities serve merely the vocal few in leadership. A convincing argument could be made for the idea that associations and societies focus too keenly on self-perpetuation. I am not going to make arguments in this article for these ideas but rather share my observation from two decades working with trade associations and professional societies. Large associations tend to have a turnstile of employees. Young wide-eyed graduates with diploma in hand, go to work for associations or professional societies with dreams of making a difference. Then, they either become disillusioned or move somewhere else for career advancement. Frequently these young staffers 42 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

start in member services department. Hence the problem-by the time they learn their job, they have moved on. Conversely, in the small associations, run by the executive director and perhaps a couple parttime staffers, there just is never enough time to follow up on those inquiries of potential members. Either the interested party must join on their own accord by filling out the membership application found at the Web Site by clicking the "Join" button or move on. This two decade old observation was painfully reinforced recently. The example I'm about to share, believing it or not, did occur. One of my avocations is being the Executive Director of an IRS recognized non-profit public charity I recently decided that it would be good for me to join a related association so I called two California State Associations, one for association executives and one specifically for non-profits. As of the writing of this article, I have joined neither. One of the two, I called and left a message with the membership person; she returned my call and left a voice message. That was the last time I heard from that association and it has now been a while. The second, I chatted with their membership person and am still waiting for an information package she promised to "get right out" to me. In the situation with the first association, would

it not make sense to you that the director of membership make a second attempt to contact a prospective member that called for information about membership? I just got busy and didn't call her back. Had she called me back a second time, I believe I would have joined instantly. As for the second association, I was amazed that when I asked the membership person about the value I would receive from being a member, she asked if I was joking. I was not, and was less than impressed with her lack on knowledge as to the benefits of membership. I have been even more unimpressed with her lack of follow through. I really did want the prospective member package to help me decide which association to join. The issue is twofold, first how association and society membership departments track their prospective members. Many folks just need a little nudge, and they will join. However, when ignored they will put membership on the back burner, frequently forever. The second issue is knowledge. If a staffer has no idea as to the value that the members derive from their membership, how in the world can they influence industry participants to join? Today, the model for business and professional persons is that they are looking for a return on their investment (ROI) rather than participating in their industry simply because they should. Yes, times have changed.

The Answer: Conduct a Member Value ProcessTM for determining the yearly sustainable real dollar value of membership at your next meeting? The American Society for Quality did so, three years in a row, at their annual meetings and discovered that their members receive over $50 in benefit and value for every onedollar invested in membership. For anybody, that's huge ROI! The National Air Duct Cleaners Association learned that their members benefited to the tune of $17 received for every dollar invested. For the National Frame Builders Association we revealed that their members received $10 in value for every dollar invested in their membership. It's all about return on investment, that's something no association or society executive, staffer or volunteer leader should ever forget. The most significant reason for my belief in the need for urgency-urgency for every association and society, globally, to conduct a Member Value ProcessTM at their next meeting is recruitment. Why wait to plug up the leaking dike of member loss when you can do something about it now? The Member Value ProcessTM is, or should be, the cornerstone for your next member recruitment or member retention campaign. The single most important activity, resulting from the Member Value ProcessTM, is for your association or society to develop a marketing brochure for your members to handout. This brochure will easily demonstrate why it is a good business decision to join the association or society based on intelligent ROI. The number one reason, in my experience, why marketing and recruitment collateral materials and campaigns are not successful is because real benefits are left out. Too frequently, when I review the marketing materials of associations that are intended for use in gaining new members, all I can identify is features, rather than the bottom line benefit to the prospective member. As I stated earlier, most people that join an association or society in today's business environment are looking for ROI, and not the warm and cozy feeling of serving their industry. However, too many paid association staff and volunteer leadership are still stuck in the old warm and cozy paradigm. Read my lips, it is ROI!

Follow the below listed steps and I assure you that you will not be sorry you did. 1. Conduct a Member Value ProcessTM at your next meeting. For more information on how to conduct this process, there are several articles at 2. Association or society board of directors and paid staff review the specific value line items resulting from the process. Determine if more service and value can be offered to members under the most valued categories. 3. Board then approves the changes and allows paid staff to implement. (Important note here, volunteer leaders need to "keep out of others' rice bowls" and tend to their own, or nothing will ever get done.) 4. Member recruitment brochure is to be developed based on the Member Value ProcessTM results. These brochures should be held for the next membership meeting, like the annual convention. 5. Keynote presentation on industry collaboration should be scheduled for the meeting where the brochures are distributed. The job of your keynoter is to get your members excited about what is possible for their business through accelerated collaborations resulting from increased association or society membership. 6. Keynoter announces the new membership recruitment campaign and asks for a commitment from each member to personally give out 10 brochures to colleagues and industry participants. 7. The question of prizes for membership recruitment is frequently posed by association leadership. I am neutral on the subject; however I would recommend that you consider this: Do you want your members recruiting for tangible prizes or for the benefits they will receive through increased industry collaboration?

E D R I G S B E E is the President of Rigsbee Research Consulting Group and the Executive Director of the Cigar PEG, Inc., (US Internal Revenue Service recognized public charity). He has authored three books and over 1,500 articles on business and organizational collaborations. He travels internationally delivering keynote presentations and multi-day workshops on collaboration, partnering, and strategic alliances to Corporate and Association/ Society audiences. Rigsbee is frequently engaged by associations and societies to facilitate various boards of director meetings and his proprietary, Member Value ProcessTM. Ed has received the coveted Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association, one that is enjoyed by only about 10% of the membership in the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Rigsbee may be contacted through the Rigsbee Research Consulting Group Web Site: or through the Cigar PEG Web Site: or reached from the US at 800-839-1520, internationally from +1 805-499-0766 or at Additional association and society resources, as well as subscription to Ed's weekly Effective Executive electronic letter, are available at | HM&T 43

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Joachim de Posada

Pegine Echevarria

Jimmy Cabrera, CSP

Julia Muguerza

Patsy Cisneros

Mike Aguilera

Deborah Deras

Xavier Cortada

Dr. Jo Ann Piña

Yasmin Davidds

Andrew F. Ortiz Andrew F. Ortiz, J.D., M.P.A. is President and CEO for The Ortiz Leadership Systems, LLC, a leadership consulting and Public Speaking Company he founded. Ortiz, 38, was born in Phoenix and has lived in Tempe, Arizona for 37 years. He is an internationally-recognized leader and scholar and has spoken across the United States and internationally on various topics related to success, motivation, and personal and organizational development. Mr. Ortiz has three degrees from Arizona State University (ASU), including a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (1992), a Juris Doctorate of Law (1998) and a Masters in Public Administration (1999). At ASU, he was selected to the prestigious Maroon and Gold Honor Society, Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, Who's Who in American Law Students, and the National Dean's List. As a legal scholar, Andrew received the prestigious Solomon, Relihan and Blake, P.C. Law Scholarship as well as the Judge Mary Anne Richey Legal Scholarship. Andrew Ortiz recently served as Project Manager for Capacity Building Initiatives with the Arizona State University Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management. He has also served as Executive Director of the Arizona Community Action Association, and State Program Director for Kids Voting Arizona; Legislative AttachĂŠ to the Arizona House Minority Leader, and Project Director for Arizona Clearing the Air, within the Government Relations Department of the American Cancer Society. Andrew has been a National Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C. and New York City. He is a member of the National Council of La Raza and the Alliance for Nonprofit Management in Washington, DC, and the Theodore Roosevelt Association in Oyster Bay, New York. Andrew Ortiz has served in prestigious national fellowships with the American Society of Association Executives as a Diversity Executive Leaders Program (DELP) Scholar and as a Fellow with the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for leadership, citizenship, community service

and volunteerism from presidents, community leaders and even royalty. In 1999, Andrew received a leadership citation from Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Andrew is also a recipient of the Gold Congressional Award for Leadership, the General Motors Volunteer Spirit Award and was selected as the 1997 Interstate Community Foundation Volunteer of the Year. Andrew Ortiz was recognized by President George Bush in 1991 as a "National Point of Light" and was selected to receive the 2002 President's Service Award at the White House from President George W. Bush. In 2004, Andrew became the youngest person ever selected for induction into the Arizona State University College of Public Programs Hall of Fame and in 2005, was selected as the Inaugural President of the Congression-

al Award Alumni Association and was also selected to receive the "Professional of the Year" Award from the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). Andrew Ortiz is a member of the International Platform Association and currently writes a community column for the Arizona Republic Newspaper in Phoenix. He resides in Tempe, Arizona with his wife, Deborah, and his children Alexandra, Christina, Anthony and David. Andrew Ortiz is available to present single or multiple-day workshops on leadership, team-building, diversity, effective communications, and many other topics for your company, club, school, association or organization. To discuss a potential consulting project or to schedule a speaking engagement, please call 281-333-1881 or send email to HM&T Speakers Bureau at | HM&T 45

eventscalendar m e e t i n g s


c o n f e r e n c e s P H OTO BY: D E N V E R M E T R O CO N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E AU

JANUARY TAMACC 2008 Legislative Awards Gala Austin, Texas January 17, 2008

FEBRUARY Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) 9th Annual Dinner Washington, DC February 28, 2008

MARCH National Council of La Raza Capital Awards Washington, DC March 4, 2008 National Association of Latino Independent Producers SIN LIMITES: Trends in Pan-Latino Cinema Laguna Cliffs Marriott Dana Point, CA March 7-9, 2008 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2008 Annual Legislative Conference Washington, DC March 11-13, 2008 New York State Association for Bilingual Education Melville, NY March 14-16, 2008

APRIL New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education Albuquerque, NM April 8-12, 2008 Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 13th Annual National Capitol Forum on Hispanic Higher Education Madison Hotel Washington, DC April 13-15, 2008 Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) 7th Annual Dinner April 17, 2008 Wisconsin Association for Bilingual Education Madison, WI April 18-19, 2008 Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility 16th Annual Symposium New York, NY April 28 - 30, 2008

46 HM&T | Hispanic Meetings & Travel

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 22nd Annual Conference Hyatt Regency Denver, Denver, Colorado October 11-13, 2008

JUNE Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) 28th Annual Dinner Chicago, IL June 19, 2008 National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials 25TH Annual Conference Renaissance Washington DC Hotel Washington, DC June 26-28, 2008

JULY LULAC National Convention Washington, DC July 7-12, 2008 National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 99th Annual Convention Cincinnati, OH July 12-17, 2008

National Council of La Raza National Conference San Diego, CA July 12-15, 2008

SEPTEMBER Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) 24th Annual Dinner San Antonio, Texas September 18, 2008 United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 29th Annual National Convention & Business Expo Sacramento, California September 24-27, 2008

OCTOBER Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 22nd Annual Conference Hyatt Regency Denver Colorado Convention Center Denver, CO October 11-13-2008

NOVEMBER Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) 34th Annual Dinner Los Angeles, CA November 13, 2008 SHPE Conference Phoenix, Arizona November 12-16, 2008

DECEMBER International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals 13th Annual Educational Conference & Tradeshow San Diego, CA December 3-7, 2008

2008 Imagen*

Annual Advertising Award


oday’s Hispanic meetings, travel and tourism market advertisers are true pioneers. Striking out ahead of the competition, they are leading the meetings industry into the Hispanic meetings and tourism marketplace, an over 47 billion annual market. These pioneers have already realized the revenue potential of the Hispanic market and are positioning themselves to seize their share. These advertisers are setting their mark and brand identity to product/ service loyal Hispanic meeting planners, travel agents, business owners, and Hispanic travelers who are searching for their next meeting, convention, or vacation destination, and travel suppliers with whom they prefer to conduct business. Th Imagen Advertising Award is created by Hispanic Meetings & Travel to recognize various meetings and travel suppliers for not only their faith in the Hispanic market place but also their creative talents in marketing

their destinations and services to Hispanic meetings and tourism professionals across the globe. Imagen Advertising Award recipients are determined and voted on by the readers of Hispanic Meetings & Travel. Readers will be asked to vote for advertisements that clearly inspired them to want to visit or plan meetings in the destination and or utilize travel services of Hispanic Meetings & Travel advertisers. The various categories will include Airlines, Cruise Ships, Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus, Hotels, Resorts, State Tourism offices, and international destinations. The Imagen Advertising Award winners will be recognized at a Gala event where each winning advertisement will be on display. Imagen Award Winners will receive their awards at the 2008 International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals Annual Conference, December 3-6, 2008 in San Diego, California.

Categories for the 2008 Imagen Awards include: Airlines Cruise Ship Car Rental Convention & Visitors Bureaus (North) Convention & Visitors Bureaus (West) Convention & Visitors Bureaus (Central) Convention & Visitors Bureaus (East) Convention & Visitors Bureaus (South) Hotel Chains Resort Properties State Tourism Offices International Destinations * Imagen – Spanish word for the formation of mental images; product of the imagination.

HM&T 2008 Jan  

Hispanic Meetings & Travel

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