Meeting People

Former San Diego CVB Head Peckinpaugh Joins HelmsBriscoe

David Peckinpaugh this month joined site selection firm HelmsBriscoe as vice president of business development, less than three months after resigning as president and CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Peckinpaugh will be responsible for creating new programs, enhancing existing business channels specifically for the association sector and enhancing the firm's CVB partnership programs, HelmsBriscoe officials said. "David's extensive career in the hospitality industry, and specifically with a highly visible CVB, will make him an invaluable asset in further defining our strategies for servicing this important business segment," said HelmsBriscoe founder and CEO Roger Helms.

"Outsourcing continues to be on the rise in the meetings industry as organizations seek to address economic and staffing challenges," said Peckinpaugh. "I look forward to leveraging my experience to create initiatives to increase HelmsBriscoe's offerings to this growing marketplace."

Peckinpaugh in March asked the San Diego CVB not to renew his three-year contract when it was scheduled to expire on June 30. He left days later, and both parties averred the decision was entirely Peckinpaugh's.

Peckinpaugh came to the CVB in 2006 from meetings-management giant Conferon, now known as Experient, where he served as chief marketing officer. He previously spent 15 years in the hotel industry in Las Vegas. His hotel career spanned more than 15 years, including sales and marketing roles at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, the Broadmoor Hotel, La Costa Resort & Spa and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in Denver, San Diego and Long Beach.

Benchmark Names Noble House's Greg Champion COO

Conference center chain Benchmark Hospitality International this month named former Noble House Hotels & Resorts president Greg Champion as chief operating officer.

Champion has more than 15 years of hotel industry experience, including his stint at the helm of the 14-property Noble House hotel chain and shifts as managing director for The Adolphus in Dallas and as general manager of the LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort of Naples, Fla.

"As Benchmark approaches its 30-year milestone as an industry leader," said Benchmark chairman and CEO Burt Cabañas, "it is clear that Greg's extensive operational experience with independently owned properties and unparalleled leadership skills make him the perfect choice to lead the Benchmark team through what is a vastly changing era in the hotel industry."

Meetings Tech Vet Malinchok Establishes SMM Consultancy

Industry veteran Mike Malinchok, who has worked in meetings-technology roles for StarCite, GetThere, BCD Meetings & Incentives and McGettigan Partners, last month launched S2K On Purpose, a Philadelphia firm featuring strategic meetings management and technology training and consulting and executive coaching.

"At this time in the evolution of the SMM industry, the opportunities are tremendous for organizations to drive significant value, ROI and relevance to the management of the meetings spend category and its practitioners," Malinchok said. "S2K's combination of intelligent consulting, results-oriented training and laser-focused executive coaching is a powerful triumvirate of approaches to bring about truly profound and lasting results."

Gorin Launches Training Collaborative Initiative

Meetings-management firm GMeetings this month launched a collaborative training and consulting initiative that includes nine well-known meetings industry figures, including GMeetings founder Eli Gorin and Eisenstodt Associates' Joan Eisenstodt. The initiative, dubbed Train2Meet, consists of individualized training programs that focus on best practices within the specific trainer's segment, including technology, legal issues and contracting, international meetings, special events and strategic meetings management.

"Learning never stops, nor should it," according to Eisenstodt, who will serve as lead trainer for the meetings design, content delivery and meetings and hospitality ethics practices. "Learning what's new and brushing up on basic skills allows participants to bring more to their companies, organizations, jobs and their meeting constituents."

Originally published June 22, 2009