• Meet Karen Fogle, Visit Plano

     
    FROM THE Spring 2016 ISSUE
     

    Karen Fogle has served as the association and corporate sales manager of Visit Plano for more than a decade.

When Karen Fogle speaks to meeting and event planners about the city of Plano, she draws on a lifetime of familiarity with the area.

“I was raised in the area, so planners can speak to me as a native Texan,” says Fogle, a Dallas native and the association and corporate sales manager for Visit Plano.

With more than a decade’s experience at Visit Plano, Fogle was recently honored with the Distinguished Affiliate Award from the Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE). The award recognizes those who have made a “significant contribution to TSAE and its members through exceptional service to associations.”

“The award is given not only for the contribution to TSAE and its members but also to the association industry in general,” Fogle says. “There’s a lot of gravity to it, and I’m very honored and humbled to receive it.”

Fogle has served on the board for the Texas Hill Country Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is a member of the Gulf States Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association.

Prior to working for a CVB, Fogle worked in the hospitality industry, real estate development and agriculture and has raised and raced thoroughbred horses. Her experiences in sales and marketing have helped her better serve her current clients, she says.

“Those experiences helped me understand what people really want to get out of their meetings, and how to help planners have really successful events,” Fogle says.

In addition to a variety of hotels, the city includes the Plano Centre, which accommodates 5,000 people and offers 122,500 square feet of meeting space. Dining, entertainment and nightlife are available within walking distance.

“Plano is one of those lucky cities that has a fantastic location,” she says. “The city has a lot to offer for meetings, conventions and conferences. You can find everything you want in a short radius.”

Plano’s restaurant scene offers hundreds of options, according to Fogle. “Plano is the city of choice for chefs to start a new concept restaurant or try something in a market,” Fogle says.

As she talks with clients, Fogle points to Plano’s high quality of life as a draw for visitors. “It’s very welcoming and friendly,” Fogle says. “I really enjoy working here and being a part of Plano.”

Event planning and experience design go hand in hand. Just ask Maria Moyano, experience designer for the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC), based in NYC. “I think that everything is an event. You can go have coffee, and that’s an event. Everything is also an experience. You feel happy, and that’s an experience. It’s about what you are trying to get out of the event—and then how does an experience elevate it,” says Moyano.

 

In the midst of the pandemic last year, Loris Menfi joined San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter and Riverwalk as general manager. At the time of her hire, Rivercenter had recently unveiled a renovation to its 70,000-plus square feet of meeting space.

 

Dorothy Hecht was just 16 years old in 1937 when she waited on her first table at what was then Fischer’s Restaurant in downtown Frankenmuth, and ecstatically earned her first 25-cent tip. When she met and eventually married William “Tiny” Zehnder, whose family owned Zehnder’s Restaurant across the street, her happiness continued, and a legacy began.