Corbin Ball, CSP, CMP, MS is an international speaker, consultant and writer helping clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve productivity. With 20 years of experience running international technology meetings, he now is a highly acclaimed speaker with the ability to make complex subjects understandable and fun. His articles have appeared in hundreds of national and international publications and he has been quoted in the US and News Report, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Fast Company, PC Magazine and others. Corbin serves or has served on numerous hotel, corporate, convention bureau and association boards. He is the only person to have received both the MPI International Supplier of the Year and the MPI International Chapter Leader of the Year awards. Corbin was recently named as one of "The 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry" for 2012 by Successful Meetings magazine, having received this award four times previously.
Fun. Uplifting. Humorous. That’s how audiences describe John Cassis. A rare blend of humor, entertainment and content.
John has a diverse background. He has been a professional baseball player, Director of a youth counseling center, a minister, and the Director of Special Projects for World Relief a non-profit organization which provides aid and relief to people around the world. As a professional speaker, he encourages people to step into the arena and live their dreams. In keeping with his philosophy, he became a professional golfer in 2002.
He incorporates real life examples into his presentations by sharing his experiences as an
athlete, minister, publisher, company founder, pre-game inspirational speaker for the Chicago Bears, loving husband and father, and an extremely perceptive human being. His genuine style helps audiences re-energize lives, careers and relationships … and see life from a new perspective.
Korenna Cline’s uniquely varied background includes a mix of association, corporate and Capitol Hill public relations experience. Korenna has set up hundreds of media interviews, leveraging her relationships with top-tier media outlets such as Associated Press, Reuters, Time Magazine, Financial Times, MSNBC, CNBC, New York Times and USA Today.
Through her work in legal PR and crisis communications, Korenna has been responsible for promoting and even saving her clients’ reputations. She has represented lawyers and crisis clients across different industries and practices, from small businesses to high-profile corporations, in the United States and abroad.
In her previous job at the American Society of Interior Designers, Korenna developed a society-wide PR plan for that organization. She also created a collection of PR resources and best practices to help the society’s 40,000 members promote themselves. Prior to association and corporate PR, Korenna got her start in DC on Capitol Hill, working as a press secretary for a congressman from Arizona.
Petra Compel has over 20 years of experience in travel, events and meeting production. Currently the Director of the “décor & entertainment division” of Feats Inc., based in Baltimore, Maryland – Petra produces approximately 120 events a year for various corporate and convention clients.
Prior to joining Feats, Petra provided extensive event coordination services to national and international corporations and associations. She has received the Marriott Hotel’s “Chairman’s Circle Award” and the Baltimore Academy of Hospitality, Travel and Tourism’s “Professional of the Year” award from her industry peers. She is the Past President of the Maryland Chapter of HSMAI and also the Baltimore-Washington Business Travel Association. Petra is also a professional auctioneer and graduated from the N.I.R.E. School of Auctioneering – you can catch her at various charity galas raising funds for great causes. Be sure to read her blog about the daily adventures of living in the event production world.
Barbara D. Duwe
Barbara Duwe is the Director of Specialty Sales - Meetings and Incentives at United Airlines. Barbara leads a United sales team focused on providing unique value-add products to the association, meeting and convention marketplace. She also currently manages the sales efforts for United’s diversity sales team as well as small to mid-size business products. She has been with United for over six years with responsibilities managing various aspects of United’s specialty sales division including wholesale/leisure and consolidation channels. Prior to joining United, she managed teams overseeing numerous leisure product channels for The Mark Travel Corporation.
Charlyene E. Grimes, CMP
Charlyene E. Grimes, CMP, is the senior manager of Housing Services at Visit Baltimore, the official sales and marketing organization for the city of Baltimore. Charlyene has more than 25 years of hands-on experience managing housing services for citywide conventions with 250-3,500 rooms on peak. Charlyene is the longest-serving employee at Visit Baltimore, dedicating more than 25 years of service to the organization. In 2007, Charlyene was the first recipient of the Charlyene E. Grimes customer service award, an annual award given in her honor to a member of the tourism community for excellence in customer service.
Steven Hacker, CAE, FASAE
Since beginning his association management career in 1970, Steven Hacker, CAE,
FASAE has served dozens of boards of directors as key staff, chief staff executive,
consultant and advisor. He earned the coveted “Certified Association Executive” (CAE)
designation in 1976, was named a “Fellow” of the American Society of Association
Executives (FASAE) in 1988. He has been named “One of the 25 Most Influential People
in the Meetings and Conventions Industry” for twelve consecutive years beginning in
1996. In 2005 he was named by the University of Nevada at Las Vegas as “Industry
Leader of the Year”. In 2007 Hacker was recognized by the NY Society of Association
Executives with their Vision Award, he was inducted into the prestigious Convention
Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders in December 2007 and in August 2009 was named
One of Ten Industry Leaders to Watch by Trade Show Executive Magazine.
As chief staff executive he has successfully lead several not-for-profit organizations by
emphasizing sound financial planning, membership growth and volunteer involvement.
As president of the International Association of Exhibitions and EventsTM (IAEE),
formerly the International Association for Exhibition Management (IAEM), Hacker has
helped to build membership from less than 2,600 to more than 9,000.
Hacker is an active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)
and serves as a Director of the U.S. Travel Association and is Chairman of the
Convention Industry Council (CIC). His passions are golf, fly-fishing, Porsches and
photography. He and his wife Evelyn,reside in Fairview, Texas and have two children, David and Katherine.
Tyra W. Hilliard, PhD, JD, CMP
Tyra is an associate professor of restaurant, hotel and meetings management at University of Alabama where she teaches courses in meeting and event management. She has also taught courses and facilitated presentations for international audiences in countries such as Turkey, Greece, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Qatar, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico, and Canada.
Tyra is very active in meetings industry associations. She chaired the Convention Industry Council’s APEX Contracts Panel, and has been named one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry.” She was recognized as the Educator honoree at the PCMA Foundation Achievement Awards Dinner in 2009. She was also recently honored with the 2010 MPI Chairwoman’s Award for her work on the Meeting & Business Events Competencies & Standards.
During her career, Tyra has worked in the meetings industry as an attorney, a meeting planner, a catering manager, and an association executive. Her industry experience gives her a unique perspective on the legal and business aspects of meeting and event management.
Ms. McDonald is a nationally recognized marketing expert, with deep specialization in multicultural and diversity marketing. She works with clients such as Toyota, Harley-Davidson, Sherwin-Williams, State Farm and Miller/Coors. Kelly is the author of “How to Market to People Not Like You” and has been featured on CNBC, in BusinessWeek, on CNNMoney.com and on Sirius/XM Radio. Her company, McDonald Marketing, has twice been named one of the top advertising agencies in the U.S. by Advertising Age magazine.
Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA
Mariela is President of Meeting Change, a Canadian consultancy specializing in sustainability for meetings and events. She is the President of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) Canada Chapter in Formation and a Trustee of the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation. She is a Past President of the MPI BC Chapter and Past Chair of MPI's International Content Advisory Council. She is an instructor in event management programs, and co-author of the soon to be published book Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility for Meetings and Events. She is actively involved with the Sauder Africa Initiative that teaches business skills to youth entrepreneurs in Kenya.
Bill is currently the Senior Director of Sales at Visit Charlotte, overseeing a department of 17. This includes 12 sales people, two of whom operate remotely in Washington, DC and Chicago. This sales team handles business encompassing small meetings (Bureau Express), amateur and youth sports and large national conventions for all markets.
He joined Visit Charlotte in May, 2010 after an eight year career with the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission as Director of Marketing and Business Development. Bill worked on securing and managing events and facilities such as the US National Whitewater Center, CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments, NASCAR Hall of Fame, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments, BASSMASTER Classic, ACC Football Championship and US Olympic Trials for Whitewater Canoe and Kayak.
From January – September of 2008, Bill also served as Media Relations Director for USA Canoe/Kayak covering their Media Summit, two Olympic Trial events and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Bill’s CVB career started in Charlotte when Bill served as the first Director of Sports for the Charlotte CVB. This was the first dedicated amateur and youth sports related position at the Charlotte CVB. This market has now grown to represent over 50% of Visit Charlotte’s annual room night production.
Bill is a 17 year veteran of the hospitality industry in both operations and sales with 9 of those in Charlotte.
He is a proud graduate of UNC Charlotte, has been married to his much better half Kim for 24 years and is blessed with two beautiful teenage daughters Carson and Shealy.
Sarah Michel, CSP
Sarah is a Meetings Architect who has been working in the industry for over 15 years to create one-of-a-kind meetings that matter. Her vast knowledge of next-generation learning and facilitation skills help design dynamic meetings that guarantee more participation, opportunities for networking and peer-to-peer interactions to assure a return on attendance.
She is a nationally recognized professional speaker and facilitator on networking and the creator of the NetWORTHing™ process. As a certified Myers-Briggs personality style expert Sarah has keynoted and facilitated for audiences and organizations around the world on how to be a more effective connector.
She is the author of Perfecting Connecting©, A Guide to Mastering Networking in the Workplace and NetWORTHing; The New Way to Network (available July, 2012). Sarah recently served as a board member and convention chair for the National Speakers Association and lives with her family in Colorado Springs where she is active in her community.
Former Manager of Travel and Meetings at Eli Lilly and Company, a Pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana. After 34 years with Lilly, Terry decided to retire at the end of February 2012. Over the past 14 years he managed the consolidated, outsourced travel and meetings programs. Since Lilly initiated a Strategic Meetings Management program in 1997, Terry has improved the meetings processes and technology in a very-regulated industry. Over the past two years, Terry led the effort to globalize Lilly’s meetings program. Lilly’s SMM program is considered to be one of the best in the industry. Terry wants to stay in the travel and meetings industries as he is starting his consulting company to share his knowledge and experiences with others and continue to learn.
David E. Nostrand
Dave Nostrand is Vice President of Sales, for the Americas, focused on the Convention and Resort Hotels for Marriott International. His responsibilities include providing strategic direction and insight into sales and marketing strategy, and driving top-line revenue for the Convention and Resort Hotels. Prior to his current position, he most recently served in a similar capacity for the Select Service and Extended Stay Hotels.
Dave began his career with Marriott in catering in the Washington, DC area in 1981. From there he held various sales and marketing positions throughout the country. Dave was a four time Director of Marketing before joining the Marriott National Accounts Team as the Regional Vice President of the Midwest office in 1997. In 2000, Dave was promoted to Vice President of the Eastern Region. In 2005, he was named the Vice President of Sales for the Eastern Region leading the sales effort of the group-centric Marriott and Renaissance hotels. In 2008, Dave was Awarded One of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in the Industry by HSMAI.
Dawn Rasmussen, CMP
Dawn Rasmussen is the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. Clients from across the United States and Canada and from all career levels have benefited from Dawn’s highly-focused and results-oriented résumé, cover letter, and job search coaching services. Dawn also shares her knowledge as the official “Get the Job” columnist for One+ Magazine distributed to over 26,000 people worldwide, and is a frequently requested career management speaker nationally.
Additionally, she is a recognized career expert on Careerealism.com, which is a top 10 world-ranked career advice blog, and is a regular contributor to the weekly Hire Friday’s #HFChat and TalentCulture.com’s #Tchat ‘meeting of the career industry minds’ on Twitter.
Joining Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) in June 2010, Terri brings over 25 years of hospitality industry experience to her role. She is currently Director of Training and Communication Support for empowerMINT.com. She has held previous positions with Marriott Hotels and Resorts and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, in both a director of sales and regional director of training capacity. Her personal forte is the design and delivery of high energy/high impact training sessions aligned with business needs to engage participants and to enhance learning on all levels for maximum personal and professional growth!
Dede Walsh, CMP, CTS
Currently the National Account Manager at Projection Presentation Technology, Dede Walsh joined the National Sales Team with Projection Presentation Technology in May of 2006. At Projection, Dede has proved her equally adept at handling the rigors of the one day gala or the week long million dollar AV budget convention. She has won rave reviews from her customers both in-house at the Baltimore Convention Center and traveling with national clients coast-to-coast. In 2010, Dede earned the AV industry’s Certified Technology Specialist credentials recognizing her industry knowledge and experience and earned her CMP in January 2011.
Andrew brings a talent for choosing unique decor elements when creating detailed thematic environments for his clients worldwide. As Design Director and Event Stylist for Feats Inc., Andrew creates and manages event decor, stage and set designs and element fabrication for national clients including Harpo Productions/O Magazine, Procter & Gamble/Cover Girl, the Miss USA Pageant, Johns Hopkins Institutions, U.S. Foodservice, the Baltimore Ravens, Under Armour, Best Buddies International as well as numerous private and celebrity clients. Andrew also served as an on-camera designer for HGTV's Curb Appeal and Kid's Space home improvement shows and is the recipient of six prestigious ADDY Awards recognizing creative excellence. His unique styling has been featured in local and national publications, as well as film and television productions.