ESPA Recognizes Event Services Stars

January 25, 2018
Doris Sims—ESPA’s 2017 Executive Excellence Award winner.

For her commitment and dedication to the profession of event services, Doris Sims, vice president of Destination Services, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Executive Excellence Award, the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) announced today.

ESPA recognized Sims and other industry leaders during “Rockin’ Nashville,” the association’s annual conference, earlier this month at the Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown.

The Executive Excellence Award: is given annually to a leader for his or her commitment and dedication to the profession of event services and for providing leadership to members of their service team. The award winner is nominated by a member of his or her staff and must demonstrate quality assurance, as well as support staff development, growth and continuing education.

“We’re thrilled to name Doris Sims as our Executive Excellence winner for 2017,” said Amy Cabe, president of ESPA. “She exemplifies the outstanding service, teamwork and leadership that we all strive to attain. She sets an example for the next generation of service professionals.

The Meeting Professional of the Year Award: recognizes the hard-working meeting professional who exhibits personal and professional characteristics that create an environment that focuses on teamwork, and shows support for the event services profession.

  • The 2017 Meeting Professional of the Year Award was presented to Linda Finnerty, director of meetings and events, Council on Social Work Education.

The Successful Meetings’ Convention Service Manager (CSM) of the Year Award: presented in partnership with ESPA, honors those who have demonstrated to the most demanding critics in the business—meeting planners. The winners come from three different facets of the industry: a convention center, a hotel and a convention and visitors bureau. They have two things in common: a can-do attitude and attention to detail.

The 2017 CSMs of the Year (in partnership with Successful Meetings) are:

  • Convention Center: Lachelle J. Harrison, CMP, Events Manager, Walter E. Washington Convention Center
  • CVB: Lisa Bethea, CTA, CTIS, Tourism Sales & Convention Services Manager, Frisco Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Hotel: Jennifer Thomsen, CSM, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

The William H. Just, CAE, CMP Memorial Award: recognizes an ESPA member who has earned his or her CMP designation within the last five years and remains in good standing with the association. Established in honor of the late William Just, recipients are chosen for incorporating creativity, professionalism and leadership into their endeavors.

  • The 2017 scholarship was awarded to Courtney Hunt, CMP, Destination Service Manager, Visit Baton Rouge.

The Donald S. Freeman Jr. ESPA Conference Scholarship: pays for a student to attend the ESPA Conference.

  • The 2017 scholarship was awarded to Sydney Bedford, a senior at Texas A&M University, majoring in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences with a concentration in Event and Tourism Management.
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