On Aug. 3 2016, the Certified Destination Management Executive designation was awarded to John Groh, the president of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau in Illinois. Groh received his CDME recognition at the Destination Marketing Association International 2016 Annual Convention in Minneapolis. As well, Groh was elected to the Destination & Travel Foundation Board of Directors Executive Committee for one year. This committee pushes industry leaders and experts, in their respective fields, to find new strategies in the wake of a growing business environment.
Tear out this one-sheet and stash it in your “back pocket” for future reference.
Chicago hotels are inviting meeting attendees to bust a move with new fitness programs that really stretch the limits of breakout sessions.
JW Marriott Chicago recently launched the “Fit Meetings” program, exclusively tailored to meeting participants. It offers a choice of three breakout enhancements that focus on meditation, posture and boosting energy or three longer-format fitness classes led by the spa’s Nike-certified personal trainers. Groups of up to 200 are welcome.
Once again, ACCESS Destination Services in Chicago has made Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private companies. Each year, Inc. ranks the fastest-growing companies, and ACCESS is one of the few destination management companies that has made the list four years running.
Running a town is a lot like running a convention, says Deb Bullwinkel, and she should know. As a full-time meeting planner in the nonprofit sector the past 20-plus years, Bullwinkel decided to extend her reach even farther in 2009 by becoming a trustee in her home village of Villa Park before eventually becoming mayor in 2013. She was a top vote getter in both races. “I enjoy serving the people and public service,” she says, speaking from her village office before heading to her home office for round two.
What better reason to toast a cocktail than the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition? With that “spirit” in mind, the Chicago History Museum organized The Last Speakeasy event in December, a party to celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the passage of the 21st Amendment that reversed the ban on alcohol. Before it, 1930s speakeasies and coordinating mob activity were ubiquitous to Chicago, which was the retro feel the museum had in mind for the event.
Tourist spending in Rockford and Winnebago counties has continues to rise year after year—in 2015 it reached $349.91 million, a 3 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism.
"We are delighted to see such strong results again this year for the tourism economy in Winnebago County," says Roberta Holzwarth, board chair, Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. "Sustained economic growth is crucial as we transform our region.”
In January, the Village of Rosemont celebrated its 60th anniversary—and boy has the community come far in that time, from an incorporated village with a burgeoning convention district to an all-out entertainment destination vital to locals and visitors traveling to and from the nearby O’Hare Airport.
After years of stalled renovation projects due to the economy, change is a-comin’ to a number of hotel properties in Illinois—and it couldn’t be better news for groups