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Bonus! TSE Featured Speakers: Cindy Novotny & Jen Salerno

Meet the speakers at Catersource + The Special Event!

Cindy Novotny, Managing Partner, Master Connection Associates 

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Cindy Novotny is a “radical mentor," consultant, speaker, author, executive facilitator, and Managing Partner of Master Connection Associates.  

As the founder of Master Connection Associates, Cindy is an international icon in the hospitality industry. Her specialties are leadership, sales and customer service excellence. A “radical mentor” for many, Cindy’s straightforward, no-nonsense leadership approach delivered results to thousands around the world during the pandemic. Her style, expertise, and approach led to a Board of Directors position with The Miss America Foundation to assist in moving the organization to a new level.  

Cindy is recognized by several organizations in learning and development, meetings and events, and hospitality as one of the most powerful, engaging, innovative, and passionate speakers in the industry. HSMAI awarded Cindy the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award in Hospitality for her exemplary contribution to the industry. Her ability to close the “gap” with senior executives and line employees has earned her firm a revered reputation in many industries. Her exposure is vast, ranging from features in The Wall Street Journal, sharing the stage with global leaders at luxury events to broadcasting live through many different channels.  

Energy, passion, and drive guarantee Cindy’s message will captivate each person in her audience. Her targeted message and popularity have no boundaries as she addresses groups across the world. Her charisma and humor, combined with in-depth knowledge, bring an audience alive with reality-based skills and cutting-edge training technology. During COVID, Cindy helped her clients throughout the US and Mexico not just survive but thrive. As we come out of the pandemic, Cindy is helping people all over the world create their team of the future and be more successful than they’ve ever been before. As a true “road warrior,” Cindy is on the road 50 weeks a year and loves the smell of jet fuel in the morning! Cindy is in the final stages of her second book, “My Secret to Stamina.” 

Doing What It Takes to Win Today! 

Tuesday, March 28 at 8:30 a.m. 

Life is unpredictable and that means you must keep your eye on the ball and not lose sight of your goals. There is no reason to let any changes in the economy or industry take you away from your initial objectives. In this session, Cindy Novotny with Master Connection Associates will lead you through a session that will help you get in the habit of becoming a big thinker and winning more than you have in the past! Today, it is so much more than just being present. You need to become a business thought leader—an influencer. You will walk away learning how to hit the targets, making an impact on your business by taking a relentless approach to winning. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • How to become a sales influencer 
  • Creating value within your company and for your clients 
  • Learning to never back away from being the best, winning more, and becoming more ambitious 
  • How to create a learning environment in your company 
  • Learning how to take advice and feedback from your trusted allies 

The Power of Leadership & Team Development 

With Robin Selden (Executive Chef | Managing Partner, Marcia Selden Catering) & Jeffrey Selden (Managing Partner, Marcia Selden Catering) 

Tuesday, March 28 at 2:30 p.m. 

“Great leaders inspire greatness in others” and that is precisely why leadership development is so crucial! Sit back and listen hard as this dynamic trio of Cindy Novotny, Robin Selden and Jeffrey Selden share the keys to success and strategies to help build and mentor a stronger and more effective leadership team. 

  • Leadership begins with a positive outlook for the future 
  • When leaders take the time to better understand the individuals (and the personalities) on their teams, they gain the tools to help manage, mentor and guide them. 
  • Great catering and event companies succeed when everyone on the team is trained and empowered to do an exceptional job 
  • What the skills/attitude/knowledge are needed to build a profitable business 
  • Contingency plans to win during volatile times. 


Jen Salerno, CMP, DES, Host & Moderator, JTS Connect, LLC | The Room Block Podcast 


Jen Salerno, CMP, DES is the owner of JTS Connect, LLC, which provides emcee, moderation, and facilitation services for live, virtual, and hybrid events. She is also host of The Room Block, the podcast where hospitality and event professionals meet. Jen is passionate about the way meetings and events can positively impact the world and is ready to connect your team or audience with ideas that inspire action. 

Jen spent over 20 years in various facets of the hospitality and events industry and has worked with and consulted for several major hotel brands, meeting professionals and event organizers. Through this experience, Jen has the ability to understand the different priorities of her customers and brings extensive knowledge of the industry to help achieve them. Jen’s hospitable background enables her to engage with any guest or audience in a genuine, authentic way, building a sense of community within your organization or event. 

Jen continues to partner with key event industry organizations such as the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and is an active volunteer with the Greater Midwest Chapter. She is also a proud associate of and a founding member of Event Minds Matter. 

Five Hacks to Ensure Your Conference (Emcee) is a Hit! 

Tuesday, March 28 at 1:15 p.m. 

An experienced emcee will connect the many threads of your meeting event, weaving together aspects of the meeting; content, speakers, audience, and partner to create a cohesive event rather than a meeting with many parts. As experienced event professionals, emcees will seamlessly manage the rapid flow of the event, the segues between people and content, and most importantly, the unexpected challenges that might arise during the event. But how do you know that the emcee you are hiring is right for your participants, your team and ultimately your success? Join us as we run through 5 hacks that will guarantee you find the best emcee to support your next meeting. 

You can connect with Cindy and Jen at Catersource + The Special Event this March 27-30 in Orlando. 

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