The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) named Paola Bowman, CMP, CMM, its new president at its 2022 annual conference held January 21–23 in Kansas City, Missouri. Bowman is destination services manager at the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau in Arlington, Texas. During her tenure, Bowman plans to focus her energy on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, as well as growing membership through outreach.

At the conference, the association also honored, Lacy Lange, director of convention services & events at Visit Fort Worth, with the ESPA’s Leadership in Service (formerly the Inspiration in Service) award. Last year, Lange created the safety and health plan so the Religious Conference Managers Association could host its annual meeting, 2021 EMERGE. 

With more than 500 members, ESPA’s mission is to prepare event and convention services professionals for pivotal roles in innovative and successful event execution. As a forum for CSMs and an educational and networking resource, ESPA advocates for the role and impact that event service professionals have on the success of events and destinations, hotels, and convention centers.

In 2021, ESPA invested in the creation of foundational training for individuals new to event/convention services—and experienced professionals at convention centers, hotels and CVBs looking to broaden their understanding of event service across segments. The association plans to launch the new program after the conference.

 

 

 

 

 

The City of Bryan has announced that Jamie Cox will be the general manager of the Legends Event Center, a 122,300-square-foot indoor event facility scheduled to open in late 2022. Most recently, Cox served as general manager of the Publix Sports Park in Panama City Beach, Florida. 

 

The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Pasadena) has a new executive director: Kristin McGrath. She brings over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry to the role, much of that time spent specializing in destination management, sales and marketing. For the past five years, McGrath served as the vice president of sales, services, and she has held similar positions with Richmond Region Tourism and Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. She also held positions at Westin Copley Place Boston and the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.

 

Sheraton Dallas Hotel has introduced a new outdoor event space under its new event programming, Dare to Outdoors. The hotel’s catering team has partnered with Pacific Plaza Park, a 3.7-acre green space in Downtown Dallas. The park features a 31,950 square-foot lawn space and permanent seating, as well as night-sky friendly lights for star-watchers. Three food truck power outlets are available and standard outlets are located throughout the park.