MI

Meet Susan Keels, Royal Park Hotel

You know someone is destined for a career in hospitality if she loves waiting tables.

Susan Keels, director of sales and marketing at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, started her career as a waitress at Shield’s while studying accounting and merchandising in college. Soon she was offered a promotion to manager, and then joined Bill Robert’s highly respected group of restaurants (which includes Beverly Hills Grill).

Grand Rapids Offers a Clean, Comfortable & Cosmopolitan Choice

Want all the benefits of a big city with the simplicity and charm of a small one? Then Grand Rapids is the place for you. Located on the Grand River, after which it’s named, in the southwest section of the state about 25 miles east of Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids offers everything from world-renowned art and historic sites to world-class golf courses, recreation and beaches. It’s no wonder Lonely Planet named this vibrant city of nearly 200,000 people the country’s No. 1 travel destination in 2014 and that Forbes has called downtown Grand Rapids one of the country's 10 best downtowns.

Meet Julie Pingston, GLCVB

When you work in the tourism industry, diplomatic savvy comes in handy. Julie Pingston, CMP, CTA, gained hers in the field.

Pingston, senior vice president and chief operating office at the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau (GLCVB), started her career as a campaign intern for George Bush the elder. After he was elected, Pingston, newly graduated from Alma College, was appointed to the nowdefunct U.S. Travel and Tourism Association, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Event Snapshots: 10th Annual Best of Michigan Readers Choice Awards

MIM+E held its annual Best of Michigan party May 22 at the new Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron. Empty Canvas provided the entertainment; Kurt Colone and the team from Mike Staff Productions emceed and played music; Chateau Chantal provided a wine tasting table; SugarHigh Bakery delighted guests with a sweets table; and Emerald City Designs provided the floral arrangements and linens. 

4 Event Designers Dish on Trends that will Delight Attendees

Event décor is a planner’s ally. It creates a mood, moves attendees through a space in a predetermined way and gives them something to talk about with people they may not know well. Of course, décor trends come and go. The popular trends tend to overstay their welcome; most planners would probably be happy at this point to never see another Mason jar. The best ones never go away forever, but get reinvented and imagined for each new generation.

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