Donna Karl Sakelakos
Donna Karl Sakelakos, CMP, has been named director of event services — supervising the planning and execution of all events — at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Karl Sakelakos, who will head a team of nine event services managers and coordinators, most recently served as vice president of event operations for Tradeshow Logic, where she launched the meetings division. She was previously the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau’s vice president of client relations from 2004–2012.
Laura Daniel, CMP, has been hired as a global account executive at ConferenceDirect. She joins Los Angeles–based meetings-solutions company from Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, where she spent 13 years in sales. At Fairmont, Daniel was recognized as one of the company’s top producers, receiving the prestigious President’s Circle award eight times.
Visit Tampa Bay has named Kathryn Morgan regional account director, based in Washington, D.C. In her new role, Morgan promotes Tampa Bay as a meeting destination to event planners and organizers in the Mid-Atlantic region (Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.), including 16,000 professional associations, corporations, and social/fraternal/religious groups and the federal government. She joins Visit Tampa Bay after several years as the D.C.-based representative for Visit Indy, and before that, San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Leana Salamah has joined mdg, a full-services agency, as account strategist and executive director, leading mdg’s new Chicago office. Salamah was previously CMO at Derick Dermatology, and prior to that, spent six years with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) as senior director, convention marketing, communications & programming. The Chicago office — the fourth branch office for mdg, which is also located in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and San Diego — will better serve the company’s growing list of clients in the Midwest, among them NRA and the International Carwash Association.
Jessie Cable has been promoted to senior convention services manager for the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco, California. Prior to joining the team in 2013 as convention services manager, Cable held a number of hospitality positions, including work at Washington, D.C.’s Mandarin Oriental and the Jefferson. Following a stint with Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Cable first joined InterContinental as catering & conference service manager at another location — the InterContinental New York Times Square.
Charles Williams II
Charles Williams II joins Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C., as director of group sales. His background includes sales positions at the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami, Florida, The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New York and South Beach, and the Four Seasons Worldwide Sales Office in Washington, D.C.
Sue Chevalier, Mattie Scheeter and Mackenzie Coleman
Sue Chevalier joins Visit Omaha as a research analyst, assisting the vice president of sales in prospecting new business opportunities and analyzing data for the sales team. Also joining the sales team as national sales manager is Mattie Scheeter, CMP, who was most recently the director of sales at the South Dakota Department of Tourism, and a 2015 DMAI 30 Under 30 honoree. In addition to increasing the sales staff, Visit Omaha has promoted Mackenzie Coleman from sales manager to national sales manager. Coleman has been selected as an honoree for DMAI’s 30 Under 30 2017 list.
Cara Marbach and Brad Minton
The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) has hired two national sales managers to its staff, both focusing on capturing large association and corporate conventions for the Georgia World Congress Center and the city of Atlanta. Cara Marbach was most recently senior sales manager at Napa Valley Marriott, and has served in a variety of positions for Marriott International. Brad Minton joins the GWCCA from Omni Hotels and Resorts in Washington, D.C., where he was director of global accounts. From 2013–2014, he served as national sales manager at Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, which is connected to the GWCCA.
Elie Sassine has been named the director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, Canada. He first joined Marriott Hotels & Resorts in 2006, and he has been serving as director of sales at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto since 2014.