CAM+E: What’s a typical working day like for you?
MM: There’s never a dull moment. The wonderful thing about my position is it’s so varied. Some days are customer-centric, where I’m engaged with my clients on FAMs, site inspections, trade shows and assorted industry events. Then there’s the sales leader part—productivity reports, bookings, leads, all the things that drive our business. There are the administrative elements, and there’s the community-facing part of my job, which means participating in community events, serving on client advisory boards and on our conference center advisory board.

CAM+E: What do you want planners to know about Monterey?
MM: Our tagline in the meetings space is “Inspired Moments in Meetings.” We’re not your ordinary destination. You can have meetings that are transformative here.

You don’t have to conform to the standard ballroom. You can be in a vineyard or on a boat, you can take a hike along the coast or in the redwood forests. You can hang out with bees or with otters. You can make your own wine or pick vegetables from the fields. There are so many ways to inspire your team, your company, your colleagues!

We have 12,000 hotel rooms in the county and 4,000 of those are part of the group room inventory. These range from a 550-room hotel with commensurate meeting space to a 90-room inn in a vineyard. We have 800 rooms in downtown Monterey alone, adjacent to or in walking distance of the Monterey Conference Center that recently completed a $60 million renovation.

CAM+E: What are the challenges Monterey faces as a meetings destination?
MM: The biggest thing is awareness of all that Monterey encompasses. People have heard about Monterey, but they’re not exactly sure where it is. They may not know that the beach is a part of Monterey or that Big Sur is a part of the county.

And while Pebble Beach and Carmel are places of renown, they’re not always linked to Monterey. People are often surprised to hear that we have an airport. Well, we do, and it has direct connections to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix.

CAM+E: What’s on the calendar for Monterey in 2020?
MM: The first thing is that Monterey is turning 250! We’re going to have a year-long celebration to commemorate the founding of Monterey in June 1770, with the biggest events taking place over the summer. 

Texas is bursting with history.  Ever  wonder how the authenticity and legacy of those landmarks are maintained and upheld for everyone to enjoy? It’s thanks to individuals like Pamela Jary Rosser, Alamo conservator. A ninth generation Texan, Rosser was born in San Antonio and has a degree in fine arts and art history. She studied conservation in Italy with a team that worked on the Sistine Chapel, as well as Mission Concepcion and Mission San Jose. Rosser was kind enough to share her passion for history with us.

 

For Chicago-based event planner and stylist Rachel De Marte, her bright, dynamic personality isn’t just one of her many amiable characteristics. It’s her calling card.

“I’m a big personality and a maximalist through and through. There’s definitely an energy and excitement level I bring to each event that you’ll start to grasp as we sit down together to brainstorm,” says De Marte. “‘Where does she get all of this energy?’ and ‘force of nature’ are things I hear all the time,” she laughs.

 

At just 16, Jack Schripsema had already set a long-standing hospitality career in motion with his first job washing dishes at the local Holiday Inn.