Thank you to our 2018 Symposium Speakers!

Terri L. Roberts

Membership Engagement and Training Manager - Destinations International 

Joining Destinations International in June 2010, Terri brings over 25 years of hospitality industry experience to her role.   She has held previous positions with Marriott Hotels and Resorts and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, in both a director of sales and regional director of training capacity.  During her time at Destinations International, Terri has created webinars, interviews, blogs and designed training sessions to help planners and CVBs to get the most from their partnership. Her current role now focuses on helping members engage more fully and get the most from their Destinations International membership. 

Her personal forte is the design and delivery of high energy, high impact, and humorous training sessions aligned with business needs to engage participants and to enhance learning on all levels for maximum personal and professional growth! 

Monica Smith, CMP, CASE, CDME

President & CEO - Southeast Tourism Society 

Monica joined the STS team as President & CEO on August 6, 2018.  She has served on the STS Board of Directors, most recently as Chair, and served on the Recognition and Education Pillar committees. Smith, who has more than 26 years’ experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, most recently was vice president of sales and services for Visit Jacksonville, the city’s tourism sales and marketing organization.

She previously was president and CEO of the Macon-Bibb County CVB in Macon, Ga. She also has worked at the Pasadena CVB and the Newport Beach CVB in California and for the Cleveland CVB in Ohio.
Smith, who served on the STS board of directors through her positions in Jacksonville and Macon, is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

 

 

Terri Woodin, CMP 

Vice President - Marketing & Global Meeting Services 

Terri Woodin, CMP, is Vice President, Marketing & Global Meeting Services at Meeting Sites Resource (MSR). She has been with MSR since 2012 and is responsible for strategically partnering with MSR customers on all facets of global site research, custom hotel contract negotiations, meeting support services, and Strategic Meetings Management (SMM) solutions. Terri is also the MSR Marketing Team Leader responsible for coordinating all marketing activities including publications, presentations and related marketing materials.

Terri is an industry veteran with 35 years in the hospitality industry with extensive experience in hotel operations, hotel sales, and as a meeting planner. Committed and passionate about the industry she is engaged and contributes by presenting workshops and webinars on topics such as Strategic Meeting Management, Hotel Contracts Negotiation Strategies and How to Demonstrate Real Meeting Value to Senior Management. Additionally, and she authors articles for many industry publications.

Professional memberships include Meeting Professionals International (MPI) since 1996 and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) since 2010.

 

Wendy Thomas, TMP

Director of Marketing & Communications - Southeast Tourism Society 

Wendy is the Director of Marketing & Communications for Southeast Tourism Society in Roswell, Georgia and is a graduate of their STS Marketing College, having received her Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) certification in 2013. 

A native of Illinois, Wendy traded the cornfields of the Midwest, and four football seasons with the Chicago Bears, for the sandy beaches of the South, when she joined the staff of the Gator Bowl Association, in Jacksonville, Florida as its Ticket Manager in 2003. While in Florida, she also worked two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and took part in the successful bid process to bring the Inaugural ACC Football Championship Game to Jacksonville in 2005.  It was also during this time that she began to find a piqued interest in festivals competing against her love of football.  This led to her eventual move to Atlanta, Georgia and Stone Mountain Park (SMP) where, as the Special Events Manager, she organized more than 30 outdoor festivals and events throughout the year.

At the end of 2011, Thomas joined the Atlanta-based Southeast Festivals & Events Association (SFEA) as their Executive Director. In this role, she expanded the Association’s outreach throughout the Southeast via monthly seminars, socials, and behind-the-scenes tours of various festivals.  In 2014 she joined TRRU Event Management as their Production Manager working with a variety of clients that included The National Black Arts Festival, The Atlanta Dogwood Festival, The Fox Theatre and Taste of Atlanta.

In her free time, she enjoys exploring the Southeast via road trips and attending football games as a supportive fan in the stands.

 

Kimberly Payne-Ward, LEC

Banquet and Hospitality Sales Coordinator – Edgar’s Hospitality Group, Anderson Conference Center

Kimberly has over 7 years’ experience in the Hospitality Industry.  Previously Director of Sales with the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott – Macon, GA, Director of Sales with Visit Macon Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and currently Banquet and Hospitality Sales Coordinator with Edgar’s Hospitality Group and the Anderson Conference Center, Macon, GA.   In her new role, she adds to her skill set Banquet and Event Sales and Social and Corporate Meeting Planning.

Kimberly obtained a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management and has successfully completed Leadership Macon, Class of 2015 and the Leadership Excellence Certification through GACVB in 2018. In her spare time Kimberly enjoys spending time with family and travel.

  

Megan Drew, CMP, TMP

Specialist, Event Strategist & Sales Enablement - BD UCC

Megan Drew, CMP, TMP, is an Event Strategist and Sales Enablement Specialist for BD UCC, formerly Bard Medical Division.  She has been with BD since 2014 and is responsible for planning and managing over 40 domestic and international programs each year. These programs include large scale conventions, training and launch meetings, National Sales meeting and sales incentive trips.

Prior to joining BD, Megan served as the Senior Manager of Business Development for the Macon Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has a long tenure in tourism and development; having previously worked at the Clayton County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce and Walton County Development Authority.

In her free time, Megan enjoys time with family, involvement in her daughter’s school and Georgia Bulldog football.  

 

Pabs Raghava, CEO - Tours Limited

Pabs established “Tours Limited” a destination management company in the year 2008, and since then has guided the company to great heights to become one ofthe most recognized tour operating companies in America. Pabs established this company with limited resources and through sheer grit and hard work grew the company into a multi-million dollar business, serving hundreds of business clients and thousands oftraveling customers. Tours Limited has earned a stellar reputation within the travel industry in a relatively short period oftime, and much ofthe credit for this goes to Pabs “lead by example”leadership style. Tours Limited is a predominantly women managed company, where practically all departments are headed by women, who were initially mentored by Pabs. This team of enterprising women with little or no experience in the travel industry was groomed and trained by Pabs,to conduct meticulous tours for travelers and visitors from abroad coming to visit our great country and other countries in the Americas. Today,this team of women stands tall and confident with extensive product knowledge ofthe USA and other contiguous countries, providing a valuable service to the traveling customers, and generating valuable employment opportunities for local communities at various tourist destinations. More information on Pabs Raghava and Tours Limited 

 

 Pam Rosenthal, CMP 

Owner - Meeting Street South, LLC

Pam Rosenthal, CMP is the owner of Meeting Street South LLC.  She has been planning memorable meetings and events for over 20 years, specializing in the corporate and non-profit sector. A native Atlantan, she graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in Marketing.

Pam began her career as a marketing specialist and meeting planner and continued to gain the knowledge, tools, and experience through her professional and volunteer work with several Atlanta-area companies and non-profit organizations.
She is past Board President of Leadership Sandy Springs and currently serves on the Board of Visit Sandy Springs and Family Promise of North Fulton/DeKalb. She is also a member of Meeting Professionals International, Georgia Chapter and the Atlanta Independent Planners Alliance. She has earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from the Convention Industry Council.

 

Lee Klaer

President and Owner, Lamplighter Tours of Atlanta

Lee Klaer, President and Owner - Lamplighter Tours of Atlanta, was raised in a “tourist” town in Pennsylvania, so he got his start working with tourists at an early age. After college and a stint in the Army, he began a 38-year career in sales. Upon retirement, Lee attended the American School for International Tour Directing, and soon after was working as much as he wanted as a Tour Director/Guide with several companies. One of these was Lamplighter Tours of Atlanta. When the founders decided to retire in 2006, Lee and his wife, Virginia, bought the company.

Lamplighter Tours is a full service group tour receptive operator, serving Atlanta, Georgia, and the neighboring southeastern states. Despite his love for guiding groups in person, old legs have limited him to planning and arranging tours for others with his business partner, Christine Peters.

 

Jeremiah Cook

Sales Manager, Athens CVB

Jeremiah Cook has been at the Athens CVB since 2016 where he has held various roles including Information Coordinator, Sales and Services Manager, and his current role: Sales Manager. Jeremiah was named to Destinations International’s 30 under 30 for 2018 and subsequently traveled to Thessaloniki Greece to attend the 32nd European Cities Marketing Summer School in 2018. During his time as Sales and Services Manager, Jeremiah oversaw the launch of the Athens Housing Bureau, an online reservation system for conferences. As of November 2018, the Housing Bureau is expected to provide an additional revenue stream of $60,000 in FY19 to the Athens CVB.

 

Nick Arnold

Director of Sales, Athens CVB

Recently promoted to Director of Sales in August of 2018, Nick grew up in Northern California and Hawaii, before moving to the east coast to attend the University of Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Poultry Science. Prior to his promotion, Nick served as the Athens CVB Senior Sales Manager for nearly 2 years and has a proven track record of success during his time in Athens, as well as a strong background in operations management, sales and marketing. He has over 5 years’ experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, and holds a master's degree in Sport Management and Policy from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining the Athens CVB, Nick spent three years leading sponsorship and in-house advertising sales with The Classic Center's Marketing Department.

 

Jeff Hewitt, CDME

Senior Vice President for Visit Savannah

Jeff manages the Destination Sales and Service efforts for Savannah. These efforts include Conventions, Meetings, domestic and international Group Tourism, Sporting Events, Festivals and Special Events as well as the Services that Visit Savannah provides to support these efforts. With over 25 years of hospitality experience, his work includes senior management positions with Visit Charlotte and Visit Tampa Bay where he helped organize the Republican National Convention, the Democratic National Convention, the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Final Four. He’s also worked with Marriott and an independent luxury resort. He serves on numerous boards and committees both locally and nationally.

 

Peter A. Miller 

President/CEO, Strategic Database Research, Inc. 

A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Peter has held senior-level sales & marketing positions with companies such as Doral Hotels & Resorts, Inter-Continental Hotels & Resorts, and Holiday Inns.  In addition, Peter has been a guest speaker at many Hotel Sales Marketing Association International (HSMAI) events, on both local and national levels.  He also participates in and facilitates for a number of resorts' and destinations' advisory boards.  Peter has been President/CEO of Strategic Database Research, Inc., for over 22 years.

 

Steven Schumacher

Director of Sales, Dunwoody Convention + Visitors Bureau

Steven Schumacher is the Director of Sales for the Dunwoody Convention and Visitors Bureau. His prior experience comes from hotel group sales with Crestline Hotels, IHG and Remington Hotels. He currently services on the Executive Board of MPI Georgia as the VP of Membership and previously as the VP of Finance. Schumacher is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality Studies and a minor in Geography. He lives in Smyrna with his wife, MaryKate, and daughter, Quinn.