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Special Events Blog

Who's News for August 25, 2022

Special Events business news

People on the Move

Nikki Leiba has been named Sales Manager for Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla. In her new position, Leiba is responsible for negotiating deals with prospective clients. A member of the Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE), she has 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry and has received various awards including a two-time “All Star” winner in 2013 & 2016, as well as being recognized as “Leader of the Quarter” in 2019.


Andrea Smalls of the Georgia International Convention Center is among eight venue industry professionals receiving the designation of Certified Venue Executive (CVE) from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) in July 2022. The CVE designation demonstrates that a venue executive is a skilled manager, is committed to the industry, and is pledged to continued professional growth and development. “With over 29 years in the industry, the Georgia International Convention Center is extremely lucky to have such a dedicated, highly trained and well-regarded individual in a leadership role,” says Mercedes Miller, Executive Director, of Smalls receiving the certification. 

Hot off the Presses

LEO Events is celebrating their 10 year anniversary. The event company has hosted events across the world, including Prague, London, Singapore, and Berlin and has worked with high-profile clients such as Walmart, The Ryder Cup, and Autozone. The growing company has four offices and over 65 employees. 

VisitScotland’s Rory Archibald has launched an advocacy organization for the business-events industry focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as environmental issues. New Intent, a DEI and environmental advocacy organization, offers speakers, consultant services, and information about partnerships and membership. “I believe that consultancy, collaboration, and making DEI a main-stage speaking opportunity are all required to advance social transformation,” Archibald says. He plans to maintain his position at VisitScotland while overseeing the growth of his new organization. 

New research measures which cities have regained their downtown activity from before the pandemic, and which cities have not. A report from the University of California-Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies tracked the number of people who frequented the downtown districts of 62 U.S. and Canadian cities in June 2022, using cell-phone signals captured by transmission towers in those areas. Cities that have bounced back include Salt Lake City, Columbus, and Omaha. This report may be useful for event planners looking to host events across the country in the forthcoming months.  

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