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September 8, 2017, McLean, VA The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) celebrated 90 years of fueling sales, inspiring marketing, and optimizing revenue, and honored current leaders and chapters at HSMAI’s 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner on September 6, 2017 at Lansdowne Resort & Spa in Leesburg, Virginia. The Greater New York Chapter was named Chapter of the Year and the University of Memphis was honored as Collegiate Chapter of the Year. Other “Chapter Best of the Best” award winners were honored throughout HSMAI’s annual Mike Leven Leadership Conference, held in the same venue September 5–6, 2017.

“Our chapters and their creative approaches to revenue optimization have strengthened HSMAI’s commitment to fueling hotel sales over these past 90 years,” said Fran Brasseux, HSMAI executive vice president. “We are proud to recognize these achievements and are appreciative of these chapters’ hard work.”

Held the final evening of this year’s Mike Leven Leadership Conference, HSMAI’s 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner recognized and honored HSMAI leaders and innovations. Fifteen Past Presidents and seven HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Award honorees were on hand for the celebration. The evening included remarks and remembrances from past and present HSMAI leaders including HSMAI Lifetime Award Winner Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association; Past Chairs Bruce Himelstein, BJH Group; Barb Bowden, Loews Hotels; Dorothy Dowling, Best Western Hotels & Resorts; current HSMAI Board Chair Jeff Senior, KSL Resorts; HSMAI Foundation Chair John Fareed, Horwath; incoming Chair Mark Thompson, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau; and HSMAI President & CEO Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA.

“We may be celebrating a major milestone tonight, but we’ll also recognize a number of outstanding leaders and some special guests who have helped to grow HSMAI over the last two decades,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president & CEO of HSMAI, in his opening remarks. He added, “We really feel HSMAI is 90 years young. Tonight is the celebration of many industry feats and firsts—but it’s also the beginning of a new chapter for our game-changing organization.” (For a brief recap of HSMAI’s 90 years of innovation, view the 6-minute video, “Celebrating 90 Years: An HSMAI Video Story.”)

A special part of the anniversary celebration was devoted to presenting HSMAI’s first-ever Hotel Sales Professional of the Year Awards. Adreana Bailey, National Sales Manager, Hilton DFW Lakes, was recognized as the HSMAI Hotel Sales Professional of the Year in the On-property category. Jane Pearsall, Senior Manager of Worldwide Sales, Global Business Travel, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, received the HSMAI Above-property Hotel Sales Professional of the Year Award.  HSMAI’s annual Advisory Board & Council Chair’s Leadership Award recipients were also annpounced:

  • Sales Advisory Board: Michelle Crosby, CMP, the Senior National Sales Manager at Allied PRA Dallas
  • Marketing Advisory Board: Katie Briscoe the Executive Vice President of Client Services at MMGY Global
  • Revenue Management Advisory Board: Kelly McGuire, Ph.D., and Senior Vice President of Revenue Management for MGM Resorts International
  • Digital Marketing Council: Isaac Gerstenzang, CHDM, the Assistant Vice President of Corporate E-commerce at Two Roads Hospitality

HSMAI honored chapters in the Americas Region for leadership, communications, membership, educational programming, and community involvement. The Frank W. Berkman Best of the Best 2016–2017 winners are as follows:

Chapter Leadership Award Winners

  • Greg Bodenair, Boston Chapter
  • Erik Dorr, Arizona Chapter
  • Jason Edwards, North Carolina Chapter
  • Blair Green, Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Chapter

Large Chapter Winners

  • Arizona, Special Events
  • Greater New York, Membership, Partnership
  • South Florida, Education
  • Washington, D.C., Communications

Medium Chapter Winners

  • Boston, Education, Membership, Partnership
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Communications
  • Missouri, Education, Special Events

Small Chapter Winners

  • Austin, Communications
  • British Columbia, Communications, Membership, Partnership
  • Florida Keys, Special Events
  • North Carolina, Partnership
  • Seattle, Education

Collegiate Chapter of the Year

  • University of Memphis

Conference highlights included “deep dives” into critical topics such as volunteering, partnerships, recruiting, educational programming, and profitability. The conference kicked off with an executive interview with conference benefactor Mike Leven, CEO, Georgia Aquarium & Former President and Chief Operating Officer, Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Attendees were treated to an insightful discussion on harnessing the headwinds by Col. Nicole Malachowski USAF, first woman Thunderbird flyer, former White House Fellow, and former executive director of Joining Forces—the Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden military and veterans initiative. As part of the HSMAI Helps service program, attendees hand-stuffed more than 100 bears to give to a children’s hospital.

Mike Leven, namesake of HSMAI's annual leadership conference,
speaks at HSMAI's 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

The conference was renamed the HSMAI Mike Leven Leadership Conference following a generous donation from the Mike and Andrea Leven Foundation in 2013. This year leaders came together at the Lansdowne Resort & Spa September 5–6. The conference was made possible by Conference Partners: The Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, Anniversary Partner: Accor Hotels, Two Roads Hospitality, Lansdowne Resort & Spa,, Visit Fairfax, and Visit Loudoun.


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI ROCET, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927 and celebrating 90 years in 2017, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at,,, and

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