• Meet Sarah Anello, Center City Distric

     
    POSTED September 30, 2014
     

CITIES ARE SYNONYMOUS with skylines. Think of any major city and a landmark building or glittering glass tower probably springs to mind, but a city’s real personality comes alive in its parks. These down-to-earth spaces are where you’ll find children playing, co-workers lunching and couples canoodling. In areas where traffic is snarled and elevators are crammed, parks give us a respite from all that is, well, urban. Literally and figuratively, parks offer us a breath of fresh air. As Sarah Anello, venue sales specialist for the Center City District, says, “Great parks make great cities.”

The CCD (a non-profit dedicated to preserving the beauty of Philadelphia’s Center City) began renovating the district’s parks in 2009 and Anello was hired in 2013 to oversee sales and marketing of the parks as venue/event spaces. Selling the city’s parks was something new for both Anello and the Center City District, but it’s a challenge she relishes. “It does keep you on your toes and forces you to think outside of the box, but making people happy makes me happy,” she says.

This Ohio native has owned catering businesses in both Kansas and New Jersey, worked with Frog Commissary at the Franklin Institute and Drexelbrook Catering and even freelances as a food stylist for QVC, but “taking on this new venture with the CCD is like starting my own business again,” she explains. “I love that I can pull pieces of experience and wisdom together from all of my previous jobs. I love that certain aspects challenge the heck out of me. I thrive on cultivating, nurturing and watching the rental department grow, and the warm and fuzzy feeling I get knowing the revenue generated goes to a mission I believe in.”

Three parks—John F. Collins, Sister Cities and the brand-new Dilworth Park, which debuts in September—are now under the Center City District’s watchful eye. “Each park’s unique character appeals to a different clientele,” Anello says. “Collins Park is a favorite of couples because it is so tranquil and intimate, while Sister Cities is a favorite for families because of its water features.” (It’s a veritable water wonderland with 10 geyserlike spouts and a children’s wading pool.) Anello really lights up when discussing the soon-to-be-unveiled Dilworth Park. Set on the west side of City Hall and spiffed up thanks to a $55 million investment, Dilworth Park is definitely “the hot new venue,” according to Anello. “Fresh air, vitamin D, lush green grass, blossoming flowers, beautiful fountains—what is not to love?”

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 

 

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.