The 29th Annual CSM of the Year Award

A Bid for Greatness
Lauren Kramer-Whelan, director of meetings for the Alexandria, VA-based American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, had quite a jolt when she realized she had to print the organization’s speaker disclosure/disclaimer statements on site because of a software glitch. The first person she turned to was Sandra Daudlin. Sandra asked for the job specs, and within a day requested bids from three printers and then had everything back to Kramer-Whelan—in writing. “And they were all correct. We had our printer lined up,” recalls Kramer-Whelan. And that’s just one example. On site, we actually needed a tiara and a scepter and it was Sandra to the rescue. She got it within 30 minutes.”

Flooring ‘Em
Sometimes the little things just fall through the cracks. Libby Gray, vendor liaison for the North Carolina Association for Educational Communications and Technology would have welcomed that situation—she was missing an entire floor. Gray had forgotten to order a dance floor for the groups’ big gala. She told Raymond of her dilemma about two hours before the event—he said, “No problem.” “Dave took his jacket off and proceeded to put the dance floor down himself,” says Gray. “He saved my day. It was very important to him that the conference be successful. He is also very aware of the limited income that professional education organizations have. He went way beyond the call of duty to get us excellent prices on Internet hookups for our technology workshops and presentations, which are crucial to the success of a technology conference.”

Exceeding Expectations
Nancy Coll, CMP, national conference & events manager, Canadian Pharmacists Association, has worked with countless CSMs across Canada and around the world. Some have been stellar, some indifferent, others merely adequate. “What sets one above the other is their love of their job and their honest appreciation for those whom they work with,” says Coll. “Ed rises above his colleagues and now will be the bar against which I measure all other CSMs. His dedication to me, as his client, was excellent. His ability to bend with circumstances and adapt quickly was a talent I appreciated. His personality, and the way he made me smile each morning, noon, evening, and through the wee hours—it was more than I could have expected.”

Educating the Suppliers of Great Meetings
Each year, Successful Meetings, in partnership with the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM), organizes the CSM of the Year awards program for outstanding convention service managers.

ACOM was formed in 1988 to serve the needs of convention service managers (CSMs)—the professionals at hotels, convention centers, and convention and visitors bureaus who work with association and corporate meeting planners to produce conventions, meetings, trade shows, and public events.

ACOM’s largest contribution to meetings industry professionals has been its ability to aid its members in continuing education. Before ACOM, there was virtually no opportunity for continuing education specifically for CSMs; The Association changed all of that. Today, ACOM carries on the tradition of education through its various webinars, Lunch and Learns, and conferences. Through the networking and educational programs the association provides, ACOM has helped to raise the standard of excellence for convention services management. For more information on the offerings of the association, or to join, visit

Originally published Feb. 01, 2007

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