Event Service Professionals Association
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Executive Excellence Award
Is your manager committed to excellence in Convention Services?

Linda Atkins, 2016 Recipient

Each year at the Annual Conference, ESPA recognizes an executive for his or her commitment and dedication to the profession of event service and to giving key support and leadership to members of their services team. As a member of ESPA, if you feel your organization has an executive who is an ESPA supporter and convention services advocate, if he/she encourages continuing education and other avenues for professional development, submit your nomination!

Please fill out our online Nomination Form – winners will be selected at the end of November and the winner is invited to attend and receive the award in person.

Criteria and Guidelines

  • Nominee supports staff participation in ESPA
  • Nominee must be an executive of an organization which has an ESPA member. Executive is defined as a VP or higher at a CVB; a member of the executive committee or GM at a hotel; or a VP, GM or Executive Director at a Convention Center.
  • Nominee personally and consistently supports quality assurance in the organization's convention services operations.
  • Nominee supports staff development, growth and continuing education.


2016 Linda Atkins Austin CVB Austin, TX
2015 Anthony Lombardi Sheraton Dallas Dallas, TX
2014 Eric Blanc, CMP Tampa Convention Center Tampa, FL
2013 Barbara Stone, CTA Fort Worth CVB Fort Worth, TX
2012 Julie Pingston, CMP Greater Lansing CVB Lansing, MI
2011 Casandra Matej San Antonio Convention + Visitors Bureau San Antonio, TX
2009 Gary Musich Atlantic City CVA Atlantic City, NJ
2008 Al Hutchinson Virginia Beach CVB Virginia Beach, VA
2007 Sharon Kobayashi, CMP Positively Cleveland Cleveland, OH
2006   Beth Stehley Greater Boston CVB Boston, MA
2005 Anthony DiFilippo Norfolk CVB Norfolk, VA
2004 Dale Lockett, Jr. Albuquerque CVB  Albuquerque, NM
2003 Jeff Hard Sheraton of Birmingham Birmingham, AL
2002 Kelly Tortoriello    Greater Ft. Lauderdale CVB Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2001 Robert F. Bedell  St. Louis CVA St. Louis, MO
2000  Richard Scharf  Denver Metro CVB Denver, CO
1999 Segi Desta   Fort Worth CVB Fort Worth, TX
1998  Linda Howell DiMario Long Beach Area CVB Long Beach, CA
1997 Jean Ann Brakefield  Myrtle Beach Area  Myrtle Beach, SC 
1996  Gunther Stannius  Hyatt Regency  Sacramento, CA
1995  Carol Wallace   San Diego Convention Center San Diego, CA
1994 Jimmie Dee Fore   Morial Convention Center New Orleans, LA


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