Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 20 2015

People On The Move


Diane Elliott

Diane Elliott has been promoted to VP, Event Marketing & Group Travel of McKesson Corporation. Diane has been with McKesson since December 2000, having worked previously for AirTouch Communications for 16 years. During her 13 years with McKesson, she has evolved the corporate meetings and events department from a team of three meeting planners to a comprehensive service delivery organization, supporting internal meetings, trade shows, events, as well as group travel, supported by 21 in-house professionals and 17 recurring augmented staff.

David Downing

The interim tag has been removed and David Downing has been named the director of Visit St. Pete Clearwater. Downing started with VSPC as head of communications in 2007 and advanced to deputy director in 2009. Downing will oversee an in-house staff of 44 and an annual budget of $25 million.

Mike DeFrino

Mike DeFrino has succeeded Mike Depatie as chief executive officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants following InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) acquisition of the company. DeFrino has spent more than 25 years in the hospitality industry, almost twenty of which he has spent with Kimpton. He has held a number of senior operations and management positions and most recently acted as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Kimpton, DeFrino worked at a number of boutique and luxury hotel chains around the U.S.

Amy Brown

Amy Brown has been promoted to Director of Sales, Austin CVB. Previously, she received stellar and glowing accolades from her previous roles at the San Antonio CVB- handling mid-west accounts, George R Brown- Houston Convention Center- responsible for West coast & Texas and Bryan- College Station CVB- Texas accounts.  Her extensive experience, work ethic and overall pleasant attitude will provide her much success in this new leadership role.

Pietro Delpechitra

The Darwin Convention Centre (DCC) has announced the appointment of Pietro Delpechitra as the new Director of Client Services. Most recently Pietro was the Venue Services & Operations Manager of Auckland Live, the Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) umbrella organization, which includes Auckland Stadiums and Auckland Conventions and Events. Prior to this position he was the Food and Beverage Manager of Novotel & Ibis Rotorua, the largest Accor properties in New Zealand.

Gino Marasco 

Gino Marasco has been promoted to director of sales and marketing at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. With nearly 20 years of hospitality experience, he will now be responsible for overseeing the entire sales and marketing team, including group sales, revenue management, creative marketing, field marketing, internet and public relations at the 2,265-room hotel.

Francis Purvey

Francis Purvey has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Sonesta Fort Lauderdale. Most recently, Purvey was director of sales and marketing at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach.

Rocco Mastrangelo

Rocco Mastrangelo has been named Director of Group Sales for the 396-room ocean front Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Mastrangelo will be responsible for the resort’s group sales efforts. With more than 14 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Rocco most recently served as Director of Group Sales for The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami and The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami.

Suzanne Taylor

Suzanne Taylor has been named regional director of sales and marketing for Heritage Hotels & Resorts. Most recently, Taylor was director of sales and marketing for the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza.

Bennett Peter

Bennett Peter is the new Director of Sales and Marketing for Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. Bennett brings more than 18 years of experience to his new role in Sabah, out of which 14 years have been in the hospitality industry fields of sales, marketing, operations and revenue management. Most recently, Bennett served in a leadership role with Eight Equations plt- a hotel marketing company based in Malaysia.

Michael Macleod

Michael Macleod has been appointed director of sales and marketing at Riviera Palm Springs in California. Most recently, Macleod was regional sales manager at BellStar Hotels & Resorts.

Dionne Joyner-Weems

Dionne Joyner-Weems has been promoted to vice president of marketing at Visit Baltimore, where she is responsible for implementing marketing campaigns, programs and promotions for the general leisure, multicultural, LGBT and international markets.

Martin Ruiz

Martin Ruiz has been named sales manager of Four Seasons Place Houston. Most recently, Ruiz was director of rooms for The Same Houston Hotel.

Barb Ward

CSM Corporation has appointed Barb Ward vice president of sales and marketing. Most recently, Ward was vice president of sales and marketing with TMI Hospitality.

Marc Anderson

Marc Anderson has accepted the position of Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Senior Vice President with his former company, Choose Chicago.