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The West Point Alumni Glee Club delighted the crowd at the 22nd Annual Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner and Dream Auction, March 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Association Forum Presenting Shapiro Award to H. Steve Lieber, President & CEO, HIMSS

In the mid-1980s, H. Steve Lieber, CAE, President & CEO of HIMSS (Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society), desired to become a more proficient association executive bv investing himself in the Chicago Society of Association Executives—now the Association Forum of Chicagoland. Thirty years later, Lieber is a pillar in the nonprofit community and the 2015 recipient of the Samuel B. Shapiro Award for Chief Executive Achievement.

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Experient Settles with THS in Trade Secret Fraud Case

Experient, Inc., and THS Co., LLC, a New Jersey-based group sales travel service coordinator, have settled a case in which the latter said an Experient employee posed as a potential customer in order to steal trade secrets and proprietary information.

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Oregon Senate Passes Hotel Bill; Project Moves Closer

The Oregon Senate last week passed a bill that helps the proposed hotel at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center move closer to construction.
The bill confirmed Portland government agency Metro’s authority to build or pay venues related to tourism without a public vote. A group of local hoteliers have challenged the agency’s ability to do so, seeking a public vote on the proposed $212 million project. They are also saying such a hotel will cut into their profits and possibly lower overall room rates.

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David Whitaker Named Chief Marketing
Officer for Brand USA

After eight fruitful years as President & CEO of Tourism Toronto, seasoned travel sector executive David Whitaker is returning stateside, having signed on as Chief Marketing Officer for Brand USA. His tenure commences on May 11.
“I am thrilled with the opportunity to join a great team already in place,” Whitaker told USAE. “They’ve laid a great foundation during the first four or five years of the organization. Obviously, we want to take it to a new level, and I look forward to being a part of that.”

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Read CustomNEWS Blog

How to Sell St. Patrick’s Day

By Todd McElwee

St. Patrick’s Day is getting the shaft. It’s March 17, by the way.
Buoyed largely by a romantic cartel of greeting card, jewelry, candy and flower conglomerates, Valentine’s Day has nearly monopolized the nation’s holiday attention between New Year’s Eve and Easter Sunday.

And the travel industry is partially to blame for fueling the fire of Cupid while only providing cursory attention to the Patron Saint of the Emerald Isle because nobody really knows how to promote his holiday.

Well, here’s how.

Keep your love Valentine’s Day—St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t need it. It’s an informal day to be spent with friends. And that’s how you should sell it.

We’ve all been sold on the celebration of love. It’s big business and the travel industry has done a fantastic job capitalizing on America’s adoration for Valentine’s Day. Couples are easy targets for romantic dinners, hotel packages and intimate getaways as readily available as overpriced bouquets and assorted boxes of chocolates. There’s a lot of pressure—particularly on men—to set that idyllic Valentine’s Day agenda.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t stuffy. Unlike its February cousin, there’s no pressure to send the reddest of roses or express your adoration with a grandiose gesture. And though green attire is preferred it’s arguably the most casual of holidays.
Irish in nature, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a niche holiday. It’s a relaxed time to be spent with the one you love and those you really like as well. Tables for two on Valentine’s Day can turn into tables for six or eight on St. Patrick’s Day. And while only couples can be targeted on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s is a communal affair with parades, pub crawls, festivals, and Irish cultural tours among the myriad of events offered. All are welcome.

Does that interest you marketers?

That’s how you sell St. Patrick’s Day.



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