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Top-Tier Incentive/Meeting Planners and Hospitality Executives Join Elite Meetings Advisory Board; Magazine to Launch in 2007
Leaders in the luxury hospitality market will join top incentive and meeting planners on the Elite Meetings Advisory Board, a panel that will strive to identify mutual opportunities and challenges confronting the top end of the meeting industry. Another core focus of the group is to identify the very best meeting hotels and resorts in North America and around the world. The panel is being assembled by Elite Meetings International, LLC (EMI), which also intends to publish annual magazines with comprehensive information about hotels and resorts receiving the Elite Meetings Excellence designation from the advisory board.
“It is a privilege to be part of an organization whose mission is founded in providing such a high-level of accurate and concise information to meeting planners. For the first time, those hidden jewel properties that aren’t universally recognized or have national sales offices will be able to share center stage with the tried and true venues we all go back to again and again. This tool will become the go-to repository that meeting planners will depend upon for clear and factual data when searching and placing meetings and events,” says advisory board member Glenna Fulks, site procurement manager for AO North America.

The advisory board is the creation of Kelly Foy, EMI’s president and the former publisher of Resorts and Great Hotels magazine. “No one knows the importance of flawless service and impeccable hotel facilities like the leading incentive and meeting planners,” says Foy. “Hospitality leaders have much to gain from their experience, so a forum like the Elite Meetings Advisory Board ultimately benefits all the players in the meeting industry.”

The advisory board meetings will provide a platform for planners to outline essential criteria for their success. The hospitality members will gain a better understanding of their key customers’ needs, with all parties working to ensure continued growth in the meeting industry. Board members will each serve for two years.

“I’m looking forward to hearing from the real experts—our customers—about what hotels like ours can do to exceed planners’ expectations,” says Andy Anderson, senior vice president of sales and marketing of Destination Hotels and Resorts and a former executive with St. Regis and Rosewood. “We’re always striving for new ways to produce better meetings,” he says. “Joining this advisory board gives me an opportunity to learn firsthand what’s important to top planners.”

Elite Meetings International will translate the criteria from the board’s meeting and incentive planners into an evaluation and rating process that will enable the board to select the elite hotels that are appropriate for high-end planners to consider when looking for meeting venues. These properties will be awarded the Elite Meetings Excellence Award. The ensuing Elite Meetings Magazine will debut in March 2007 and will feature properties from North America selected by the EMAB. Plans are also underway for a companion publication in 2008, highlighting winners of the Elite Meetings Excellence Award from outside North America.

“There are some tremendous properties capable of hosting the caliber of meetings we conduct that are often overlooked for incentive destinations,” says EMAB member Mable Jones, director of rewards, recognition and field support at AAA. “I think it’s important to have an award like this that adds value to the recognition they deserve for their excellent hospitality and service.”

Award-winning hotels will receive display materials for their property, their Web site and their collateral material naming them as Elite Meetings Excellence Award properties. Says hotel industry veteran Mike Dimond, senior vice president of marketing of Gaylord Entertainment’s Broadmoor Hotel, “One of the reasons I joined the advisory board is to help facilitate a meaningful meetings award program. Staff at hotels like The Broadmoor work tirelessly for long hours to ensure that meetings go off without a hitch, so I think it’s important to single them out for a job well done.”

Elite Meetings International also announced the February 2007 launch of the Elite Meetings Magazine Web site, This companion to the publication intends to be the first source planners turn to when looking for a luxury hotel or resort for meetings, events or incentive trips.

EMI, in conjunction with Stratus Performance Group, will also be conducting two Elite Meetings Alliance conferences in 2007. These intimate gatherings join affluent meeting planners with representatives from 50 top hotels in one-on-one meetings and a variety of social events. The second Elite Meetings Alliance conference of 2006, held at The Club at Hammock Beach, Florida, concluded September 12th.

Based in Santa Barbara, California, Elite Meetings International delivers smart and efficient solutions to the upper-echelon groups segment of the hospitality industry. Through its annual publication, Elite Meetings magazine; the Web site,; and semiannual event, the Elite Meetings Alliance, the company connects top meeting and incentive planners with the best hotels and resorts in North America. For more information on Elite Meetings International, please call 805-730-1002. For media kit information, please visit

Media Contact:
Elite Meetings International
Kelly Foy, CEO