Desi Whitney, Senior Vice President, Sourcing Operations and Industry Relations, HPN Global
Inspiration: I am inspired daily by family, love, creativity, self-improvement, learning, gratitude and my accomplishments. More importantly, I draw inspiration from the appreciation I have learned to garner for all the incredible opportunities in life. From true appreciation comes heart-felt inspiration.
Superpower: Caring. Plain and simple, I care. I care about others more than myself. I care about the success of our industry and the success of the relationships we build. I care about others as human beings and friends. By caring for others, we foster a depth of health that paves the path for a brighter future.
Action Item: This truly is a pivotal time in the world. Many changes and divisions exist that are beyond our control. Threats, generational differences and technology are just a few examples of the ever-evolving environment we’re faced with. What will change the world for tomorrow are the relationships we build today. There is no way to forecast the future and what it may bring, but by building strong foundational relationships, we build a network of strength that is efficient and adaptable to handle any challenge that heads our way.
Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations HPN Global
2018 Official Press Releases
Smart Meetings Announces 3rd Annual Smart Woman Summit
SAUSALITO, California — Smart Meetings, the most trusted resource for meeting professionals, is proud to announce its third annual conference for women in meetings. Smart Meetings Presents the Smart Woman Summit will take place on April 19, 2018 at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
The Smart Woman Summit has come to serve as a celebrated conference for its introduction of critical tools and resources. Attendees will discover effective business strategies, tools and techniques to advance their professional growth, share poignant stories of personal success and explore how women can overcome their own set of unique challenges in the workplace.
With education, leadership and camaraderie at the forefront of its agenda, the Smart Woman Summit is designed to advance the careers of women in meetings, cultivate an empowered community of female meeting ambassadors and foster growth. Now in its 3rd year, the signature conference will feature opportunities for professional development, dynamic speaking presentations and multiple networking sessions.
The meetings and events industry is a staggering 77.4% female, and yet, many critical leadership roles are filled by men. Led by a passionate, self-made female CEO, Smart Meetings is proud to be a women’s champion and support such a vital industry group.
“I am delighted to host this event for our incredible community of women in meetings.” said Smart Meetings founder and CEO, Marin Bright. “As a woman who has faced many challenges on my own entrepreneurial path, I’m heartened and humbled to share this opportunity with my fellow meetings peers. The Summit promises to educate, empower and inspire, and reaffirm our place in the meetings industry as an informed, passionate, united community.”
Smart Meetings is honored to partner with Fort Worth Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, a premier travel destination that shares in the spirit of this influential and timely initiative.
“We are proud to sponsor the third annual Smart Woman Summit,” said John Cychol, vice president of meeting sales for the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Fort Worth is home to many strong women leaders including our mayor, Betsy Price, the trail boss for the Fort Worth Herd, Kristin Jaworksi and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson. We are excited to showcase some of the women who lead in creativity and entrepreneurship at the Smart Woman Summit.”
The Smart Woman Summit will also feature an awards ceremony and dinner to honor winners of the 2018 Smart Women in Meetings Awards, an awards platform that recognizes top-performing women in the meetings industry. The 2018 categories include Visionaries, Innovators, Industry Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Trail Blazers and Rising Stars.
The conference will immediately follow Smart Meeting Midwest, a hosted-buyer event that connects high-quality meeting planners with premier hotels and destinations on April 18, also hosted at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
About Smart Meetings:
Smart Meetings is the premier partner for connecting quality meeting professionals with hotels and destinations. We cultivate powerful business relationships through robust, business-driven programs and services to ensure that planners and suppliers, alike, reach their goals. Providing best-in-class service, Smart Meetings publishes cutting-edge meetings content in print and digital magazines, offers world-class hosted-buyer networking events, CEU-accredited webinars, as well as myriad digital solutions.
Smart Meetings Media Contact:
Director of Marketing
Fort Worth Media Contact:
Director of Marketing & Film Commissioner
Fort Worth CVB/Fort Worth Film Commission
817-698-7842 cell: 817-709-7601
Greetings! An official ‘Happy New Year’ to those I haven’t connected with yet.
I’m personally very excited about 2018 and all the opportunity it represents. Coming up off an absolutely incredible 2017, it seems 2018 has some big shoes to fill – and I have no doubt we are up to the challenge!
Here’s a recap of 2017:
Sourcing Lead Volume increased by almost 20%. Great appreciation and gratitude go to our dedicated Sourcing Team, who rocked the increase in volume – with smiles on their faces, and smoke coming off their keyboards.
Top Sourced Destinations for the year:
4. San Diego
40% of our volume was sourced in the year, for the year – a similar trend from 2017, so hotels with short-term availability (and great deals!) should connect with us. email@example.com
30% of all RFPs sourced were considered short-term (within 90 days of arrival).
HPN Global Partner Conference News:
Our 2017 hosts, The San Francisco Marriott Marquis and San Francisco Travel, knocked our socks off. We had overwhelming feedback on the success of the conference, and greatly appreciate San Francisco Travel for ordering up the right temperatures.
New for 2017, based on the changing dynamics of the world, HPN Global showed our commitment to attendee safety, by adding Conference Emergency Preparedness in partnership with ECI: Emergency Concierge International https://emergencyconcierge.net/.
Moving on to 2018, we are so excited we can’t see straight!! Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort will welcome us for #HPN18. Who’s ready to have some fun in Miami? I am!! Save the Date for November 6 – 9, 2018. Our event is invitation only, so please submit your interest thru this link: http://hpnglobal.com/2018-hpn-global-partner-conference/ It’s guaranteed to sell out fast!
Get In Touch!
The HPN Global Sourcing Team is here as a resource for both our Sales Associates and our Industry Partners. We’re here to bridge the gap between the two, and we’re also very social! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly to follow up on RFPs, schedule an office visit or local event, discuss strategy, you name it. We look forward to hearing from you!
Wishing Everyone a most Delightful 2018 – Cheers!
Senior VP, Sourcing & Industry Relations
13825 N Northsight Blvd., Suite 201
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Phone: 480.998.9770 Ext 236
Website | LinkedIn | Blog
Performance Powered by Passion
So 2017 was flat out the Best…. Year….. Ever….. for HPN !!
This was the best year in the company’s history for revenues booked; The largest number of individual bookings; The largest year-end sitting funnel on the backlog in company history; and again I think we set the bar for the BEST CONFERENCE EVER in San Fran !!! (except for that super smelly live chicken !) Oh yea, and a Million room nights booked ! That’s a big deal all, for real.
You all should be proud of yourselves and we here in Scottsdale are proud to be associated with each and every one of you. This is absolutely the best team in the business.
It was truly another great year! Awesome new associates and friends and we are more like a family than ever and too much fun …….. Thanks to everybody !!
So here again are those basic founding ideas of the company, and our culture to set out a basis for our combined success in the new year.
Love you all and let’s go have an absolutely awesome 2018!!!!
Family First – for most of us our family and loved ones are why we do this, they are why we get up in the morning and go do what we do, time with them is the most precious thing we have. Hug them every day.
Have FUN – Have fun every day doing what you do. If you enjoy what you are doing, it pretty rapidly ceases to be work, it’s pretty cool to do something every day that you are having fun at! A lot of people go thru life without ever having that opportunity. We are in the best business in the world! I’ve never met a happier, more fun and successful group of people in my life !!
Be Nice to People – It’s a basic fact, People are nice to people who are nice to them, we are in the service business, people buy from people they like!
Be Passionate and Enthusiastic – Both are absolutely infectious, I put on a positive attitude every day first thing in the morning like clothes, Every day is the best day of my life because I choose for it to be that! Be passionate and enthusiastic about what you do and success will certainly follow.
Life is all about Relationships – Relationships, Relationships, Relationships! At the end of the day, nothing else matters but the connections we make with other people, people we work with, people we love, people we do business with.
Change is our Friend – It’s another fact, everything changes, We are going to continue to see a ton of that in 2018 for sure. No matter what you think is the status quo, it is in fact, going to change and increasingly rapidly. The people that can assimilate and appreciate, and perhaps even lead change, are the ones who are successful, the ones who hate change are rarely successful.
Do what you say you are going to do – Business (and our competitors) are full of people that say “yea, I can handle that” and then drop the ball or don’t follow through. Nothing is worse in business than relying on somebody to get something done and then having it not happen, most especially in the service environment. Do what you say you are going to do every time !! Success will follow!
Let go of Negativity – Stuff is going to go wrong, somebody is going to make you mad, deal with it and then let go of it and move on. Harboring ongoing negativity hurts you, not them. I’m by no means saying to put up with bad behavior from toxic people, but get over it and realize life is too short. The past is the past, the only things we can affect are in the future.
Be a “Kid” as much as possible – Laugh easily and often, run around and play with your kids, set off fireworks, travel and marvel at the wonder of the world, do silly things with your family and loved ones, learn something new every day, cook something you have never cooked before, just have fun…….. life is short ☺
Thanks again to everybody and here’s to an absolutely phenomenal 2018!!!!! Let’s go do some epic shit!☺
Love you all!
William J. Kilburg CPA
Chairman and CEO
13825 N. North Sight Blvd
Scottsdale AZ, 85260
Have fun every day doing what you do. If you enjoy what you are doing, it pretty rapidly ceases to be work, it’s pretty cool to do something every day that you are having fun at! A lot of people go thru life without ever having that opportunity. We are in the best business in the world! We’ve never met a happier, more fun group of people in our lives! – HPN Global
Welcome to #HPN17
HPN Global Arrives
HPN Global arrives early to get ready for the event and our partners—a New Associate Reception sponsored by Two Roads Hospitality gave new associates the opportunity to mix and mingle with our executives and learn about the week ahead. Later that day we departed for a Sunset Cruise and our Annual group photo (shown above). Thank you, Hyatt Hotels and Allied PRA for a journey that featured a world class view of the Golden Gate Sunset.
Partners Start Arriving
The day finally arrives after months of planning, the first day of #HPN17. Our partners start arriving early to the beautiful host city and by evening, we are kicking off our Annual Partner Conference with a fantastic reception by our host the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.
We can feel the anticipation of another great event as the main conference theme “Relationships Matter, Winning Together” can be felt all throughout the day.
#HPN17 Day 1
As we inch closer towards the “Opening Act” attendees are greeted with The Buena Vista World Famous Irish Coffees brought to us by our partners at San Diego Tourism Authority. Bill Kilburg aka BK tells the story of the time they were in San Fransico for a site tour of the city to determine the location of this event. During the tour, a member of the San Francisco Travel team took the HPN crew to the Landmark “Buena Vista” Restaurant for a post-tour pick me up. As they sat there enjoying their Irish coffee, BK suggested that we hire them to provide coffees for all of our attendees before the General Session. And like that, magic happened.
The “Opening Act”
Individual Appointments between our associates and partners kicked off around 1 pm and featured a reverse trade show where hotel partners moved around the room meeting with HPN Global associates whom they had made appointments with leading up to the event. This opportunity, for some face to face time, was enhanced by a contest to see what HPN Global associate could decorate their table the best. We saw some interesting and creative tables and in at least one case, no table at all!
Check out the virtual tour of the Individual Appointments sponsored by Wyndham Hotels
#HPN17 Day 1 Recap
#HPN17 Day 2
Day 2 of #HPN17 featured a massive teambuilding experience that featured a walking adventure through Chinatown which ended with a culinary experience at China Live, brought to us by our partners at San Francisco Travel
The day and conference ended as it usually does for these conferences, with Club HPN Global sponsored by Access DMC. This evening of great food and entertainment is a great way to end a busy and event-filled few days. As always, HPN Global once again delivers by standing behind our core principles, “People do business with People they like,” and “Relationships matter.”
What a show in San Francisco—thank you, everyone, who joined us to spend a few days in the Bay area enjoying this great city and spending amazing time with our associates and partners “relationship building.” Our business is all about relationships and our Partner Conference is just another way we celebrate. Celebrate our industry, our business, our associates and our partners.
Interested in #HPN18?
Post Hurricane María Statement
President & CEO, CDME
In our goal to keep you updated on our news and plans, we are pleased to share the week’s positive news for our industry – more cruises have been arriving in our ports; more attractions are opening; more hotels are accepting new reservations; and San Juan was just recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the World’s Top 10 Cities for Travel in 2018!
A list of attractions including the Bacardi Welcome Center, Plaza Las America’s and Mall of San Juan, and many of our water sports venues can be found here with opening dates from now to the end of December. San Juan’s hotels continue to post opening dates (please click here for exact dates per the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), power (by generator) continues to keep the lights on in many of our hotels, gas lines continue at a normal level, the port is fully operational, the airport is fully operational and open 24 hours – by the end of November we will have more than 700 domestic and international flights daily.
Additional service status can be found at status.pr for daily updates.
We are also pleased that the Puerto Rico Convention Center will resume its schedule of conventions in January, kicking off with the region’s largest tourism marketing event, The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace, January 30 – February 1. CHTA has expressed confidence in the readiness of Puerto Rico to host in January. Last year more than 1,100 delegates from 31 countries participated in more than 10,000 pre-scheduled appointments.
Our calendar of events remains intact and you will have the opportunity to hear personally from us at upcoming trade shows, conferences, and events. Please click here for the list: http://puertorico.simpleviewcrm.com/webapi/rsvp/v2/. Next week we will be participating in TEAMS, the world’s leading conference and expo for the sports-event industry. We will be sharing updates on our sporting venues, many which are, like our convention center, being used by the military and/or as collection centers. A complete list of those facilities and their availability for groups can be found here.
As a part of our engagement phase – interacting with the industry and media on a consistent basis – we are continuing to ask for input on new ideas, new approaches and new commitments that we can work on together and share in the anticipation of relaunching and rediscovering Puerto Rico.
Many continue to ask how they can help or contribute. We continue to provide the link to United for Puerto Rico, an initiative brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by the passage of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane María. Please click here.
We intend to keep you updated on our progress in real time – keeping you informed, engaged and connected. As you know, Puemeetingso has always been one of the most desired meeting and convention destinations and we intend to continue the same tradition soon.
The 20 latest Blog Posts
- 29 Year Marriott Associate Joins HPN Global
- Top Nashville Hospitality Executive Joins HPN Global
- 30 Year Hospitality Pro Joins HPN Global
- HPN Global Sweet 16
- New Orleans Hospitality Veteran joins HPN Global
- Smart Meetings includes our very own Desi Whitney as one of the Top 100 Women in Meetings Who Inspire Us!
- HPN Global 2017 Recap
- HPN Global Million Room Nights Booked
- #HPN17 Winning Together
- Post Hurricane María – Puerto Rico
- HPN Global Hotel Database
- The HPN Global President’s club represents the top 10 producers in our network!
- Hotels Impacted by Hurricane Irma
- Getting the most out of your frequent flyer miles
- HPN Global Announces 2018 Partners Conference Location
- Destination Review: Havana, Cuba
- Congratulations, Tulcy!
- Hotel Meeting Trends Survey Results
- HPN Global Job Opportunity
- Welcome to 2017!
- 2018 HPN Global Partner Conference
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