The role of Display Group’s vice president is as multidimensional as the company’s creations.
A sharp card in the “convention services” deck, this Soaring Eagle veteran plays with a winning hand.
Big-name artists help spark success for planner.
Marie-Chantal Dalese remembers a wintry day at her year-round winery and bed-and-breakfast. Several corporate team members had been in meetings all day and wanted some play time.
In the meetings industry, professional designations help set planners apart from their peers. While many Michigan planners are busy working on their next certification, Chris Rowley recently added a new one to her resume—Government Meeting Specialist (GMS).
The 10-year executive director of the Mount Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau was also voted Finest Sales Professional by the MPI Michigan Chapter in 2016.
Mike Guswiler made what sounds like a giant career change, moving from hospitality to sports management—but he says the two fields have plenty in common.
The president of the West Michigan Sports Commission attended business school at Central Michigan University, then cut his teeth on hotel management. As he worked in hotels, he discovered the job was about representing an overall destination experience rather than one individual property. That insight led him to the Kent County Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he served for seven years.
Depending on the day, Claude Molinari is a salesman, lawyer, financier or janitor.
“Some days I’m every one of those different things,” says the Cobo Center general man ager. Molinari’s daily tasks might involve selling groups on the Comeback City, negotiating with unions, crunching budget numbers and making sure all the snow is cleared. He also manages the city’s granddaddy of events, the North American International Auto Show.
Scott Stinebaugh is a spartan. But as an MSU student, his focus was business, not the university’s well reputed hospitality program.
“I never had any idea I would wind up in hospitality,” says Stinebaugh, director of sales and marketing for the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit. “But I wound up in a Hilton training program right out of college. It wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but I was intrigued by it. And that was the beginning, in 1987. So I’ve been doing this for a long time.”
For Lotoya Vongrechin, a career in mechanical engineering was the perfect preparation for leadership in the events industry
Ask Paul Viviano to tell you the secret to his success helming metro Detroit’s largest florist, and he’ll immediately point to his family.
Viviano is the chief executive officer of Viviano Flower Shop, which grew from a small operation started by his grandfather in 1937 to a household name today, with 135 employees in five locations. One brother, Peter, is president, overseeing purchasing, merchandizing and product development, while another brother, Frank, is vice president, managing operations and events.