• Meet Kim Corcoran, 2019 Best Meeting Professional

     
    POSTED May 23, 2019
     

BEST MEETING PROFESSIONAL
Kim Corcoran, CMP

President; Destination Michigan/Meetings Michigan; Dexter

On Her Role: “It combines my marketing background with my love of meetings and events. The programs I create, plan and execute bring together professionals with the hotels, resorts, CVBs and other suppliers that make the meetings and events happen.”

Valuable Skills: “Creativity is my most valuable skill. I have to constantly ‘think different’ to keep ahead of the curve and create events that will be valuable to the audiences I serve. I want people to look at my events and say, ‘Hey, did you see what Destination Michigan did this time?’ I want to be the one setting trends in the meeting industry, not following them.”

Most Memorable Moment: “I think that the day I signed the papers to own my own company, managing Destination Michigan and Meetings Michigan, was a significant milestone. I have always wanted to own my own business. It’s a dream come true.”

Work Philosophy: “Work hard, play hard is my No. 1. But a close second is surround yourself with people that are good at what they do and make you better at what you do. I think those that are at the top of their field know how to surround themselves with the right people.”

Business Differential: “I would say passion, but there are so many passionate people in this business. I think the one thing that sets me apart is initiative. Seeing an opportunity and taking the initiative to make something new happen is a quality I think that is rare and that I like to think that I have in my tool belt.”

Career Path: “I didn’t know the meetings/ events industry existed when I was in high school and college. I wanted to be in sports marketing, and it was while working for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co. on the sports side that I learned about the hospitality industry. I also worked as a national sales manager at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for five years before being hired by Viktor Incentives and Meetings to lead a meetings division of the company and developed Meetings Up North, which we later rebranded as Destination Michigan. I also started Meetings Michigan, a partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to bring more out-of-state meetings to Michigan. I helped to build both organizations for 10 years and then purchased the rights to the brands and became a business owner of Destination Michigan and Meetings Michigan in 2014.”

Ken Hayward has spent nearly his entire career serving at one hotel. But when you start your career at one of the most iconic and historic hotels in Michigan— even the nation—it’s hard to see yourself anywhere else. Hayward, executive vice president and managing director of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, was recently named Hotelier of the Year by Historic Hotels of America. This honor comes decades after Hayward was given an unexpected opportunity.

 

At just 16, Jack Schripsema had already set a long-standing hospitality career in motion with his first job washing dishes at the local Holiday Inn.

 

As general manager of the new 130-room AC Hotel Grand Rapids Downtown, Ryan Schmied enjoys a fast-track life by making sure everything at the stunning boutique-style property is running smoothly.

Formerly a refrigerator production factory, warehouse and most recently a TGI Fridays near the Van Andel Arena, the 19th-century space in which the chic AC is located has quite a history.