Meeting News - October 6, 2008 - (Page 5)

Newsmaker Q + A Lights Out: AV Legend Craig Smith, of Freeman Co., Retires By Rayna Katz Hearing of someone who’s stayed in a field longterm is becoming an increasingly unusual experience. But after listening to Craig Smith, president of Freeman’s AV division, describe his 40-year career, it’s no surprise he’s stuck around. MeetingNews caught up with him last month, just before he retired Sept. 30. The joy of his job and his role with industry associations was clear. pin-spot. Now, we have moving lights, morphing logos; general sessions look like rock concerts. Q A What was your biggest accomplishment? Q A Q A What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry? Technology. We moved from slide projectors to everything you see—lights, sound, the presentations—depending on a computer. So has the industry benefited from that? It’s broadened our capabilities. Fifteen years ago, a high-end general session involved the cut-out letters of the association’s name, and a To serve twice as chairman of the Convention Industry Council; as president of the Exhibitor Services & Contractors Association and on some association boards. It’s fun to participate in an organization’s evolution because you get tangible evidence of your effort. our financial planner and we had what we needed. Including part-time work during school, I’ve been doing this for 45 years; I worked fulltime for 40 of them, averaging 35 to 50 flights a year for much of that time. It was enough. Craig Smith President, AV Divsion Freeman Company Q A Why are you retiring? In April, when I turned 62, friends started talking about doing it. My wife and I met with I love NASCAR, so I will spend more time at the track, and see my two grandchildren. I will probably be able to spend more time with them in their formative years than I did with my children. After going 110 miles a day most days, I’m looking forward to a cooldown lap. r Contact Rayna Katz at Q A What will you do now? People Making News Hughes Moves Up at Hilton Hilton Hotels Corp. has promoted Daniel Hughes to senior VP of Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. In this role, Hughes will form part of the company’s senior operating team for Hilton’s full-service hotels: Hilton, Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, and the Waldorf=Astoria Collection, and support the company’s operations, quality, and growth in the region. A 20-year Hilton veteran, Hughes will run a portfolio of all Hilton Hotels-managed properties from Mexico and the Caribbean down to Argentina. He will be the face of Hilton in the region, working to cement the company’s presence in key markets, while overseeing the current pipeline including, among others, upcoming fullservice hotels in Iguazu Falls and Ushuaia, Argentina; Bimini Bay, the Bahamas; and Bogota, Colombia. Joseph Berger, area president, Americas, for Hilton Hotels, commented, “I am delighted with the appointment of Danny Hughes as a senior operating officer within our Americas organizational structure. Danny is a respected industry professional with more than two decades of experience, and I am confident that he will play an integral role in solidifying [our] position.” Babilino Returns to Las Vegas Danielle Babilino is now senior VP of sales for Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, where she will oversee all aspects of the hotel sales function and operations. With more than two decades of experience in hotel sales, Babilino brings with her vast knowledge. Previously, she served in various management positions with Bally’s Las Vegas. She has been a vice president of sales and marketing since 1996, when she was involved in the renovation at Bally’s and the pre-opening of Paris Las Vegas. Additionally, Babilino has worked in similar capacities for Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, where she was instrumental in the opening of the 1.5million-sf Mandalay Bay Convention Center followed by the opening of the “THE” Hotel at Mandalay Bay. “Danielle’s an accomplished professional in the hotel sales industry, and we’re delighted that she is bringing her solid experience and professional flair to Wynn Las Vegas,” said Chris Flatt, executive VP of hotel sales and marketing. Most recently, Babilino assisted in the closure of Fontainebleau Miami in preparation for a $1 billion renovation and worked on the Fontainebleau Las Vegas project. r October 6, 2008 MeetingNews 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - October 6, 2008

Meeting News - October 6, 2008
What’s Up @
People Making News
Green Beat
Ad Index
Live from the Forum

Meeting News - October 6, 2008