MAR 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A R C H 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 10 Arkansas New Vice President of Sales and Services LITTLE ROCK — Gina Gemberling was recently named vice president of sales and services for the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB). She will be responsible for overseeing the convention sales and client services teams. "I am excited to have Gina joining our team," said Gretchen Hall, LRCVB president and CEO. "I think her wealth of experience and knowledge working within the tourism and destination management industry will help bring a new perspective and direction for selling Little Rock as a meeting and convention destination." Gemberling has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having most recently served as executive director of the Springfield, Ill., CVB. Florida New Personnel FORT LAUDERDALE — SMG, the operator of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, recently welcomed Renee Browning as assistant general manager and promoted Ashley York to director of event services at the 600,000-square-foot multipurpose facility. Browning will oversee sales initiatives between the convention center and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry and was previously assistant director of sales at the Birmingham (Ala.) Jefferson Convention Complex. "Renee's extensive experience in the meetings and conventions industry is an undeniable asset for our team," said Mark Gatley, general manager for the convention center. "We are excited to welcome Renee to Fort Lauderdale and look forward to sharing many successes." As director of event services, York will lead a team of four event managers, oversee event- planning processes and logistics for a variety of large-scale clients, and ensure the success of meetings and conventions hosted at the convention center. She joined the SMG team as an event manager in 2012, working her way up the ranks to senior event manager in 2017. "Ashley navigates her leadership role with skillfulness and poise beyond her years," Gatley said. "Her colleagues continue to be inspired by her enthusiasm and commitment to making our facility one of the most sought-after destinations for meeting planners around the world. We're truly lucky to have her." New Vice President and General Manager MIAMI BEACH — Mary Rogers was recently named vice president and general manager at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Her new role will involve overseeing all day-to-day operations of the 20- acre 1,504-guestroom beachfront hotel. "We are thrilled to have Mary Rogers take on a new role as vice president and general manager," said Philip Goldfarb, president and COO for Fontainebleau Miami Beach. "Having excelled for nearly a decade at the resort, Mary has played an integral role in upholding our commitment to excellent service and guest experiences, and we are excited for her to take the next step in her career at Fontainebleau." Rogers, who has nearly 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, joined the Fontainebleau in 2009 and has held numerous positions at the historic property. New Director of Sales ST. AUGUSTINE BEACH — Chris Pranis was recently named director of sales at the Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort, a 175- room all-suite hotel, scheduled to open in summer 2018. He will oversee and manage group and business markets for the resort, which will offer 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,200-square-foot oceanfront ballroom with outdoor terraces, and expansive waterfront lawns for events. "Chris has a solid foundation in hotel sales, extensive experience in the local and regional markets, and productive relationships with key customers, all of which makes him a tremendous asset for the property," said General across the New Resort Designation MIAMI BEACH — The Marriott Stanton South Beach recently received a resort designation by Marriott International, Inc., following comple- tion of the second phase of the property's $22 million renovation, which added the 1,500-square- foot Stanton Spa, expanded the fitness center and introduced the Japanese dining concept, Azabu. "We are elated to present guests with the comprehensive additions to the renovated Marriott Stanton South Beach under its new resort classification," said Diego Ardid, co-president of Key International, which manages the property. "Each purposefully appointed concept was intended to reach our goal of delivering an amenity-rich retreat that offers esteemed culi- nary experiences, and premium fitness and wellness programs, all in a distinguished location." Located in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood, the 224- room resort has 4,663 square feet of meeting space and Lolo's Surf Cantina, a Mexican beachside eatery. n Browning York

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