North America

ESPA welcomes new president, board members

The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) welcomed Denise Reid (pictured) as its new president at its 2023 annual conference in Pittsburgh.

Reid, who is an event planning manager at Hyatt Centric French Quarter (HCFQ) in New Orleans, pledged to focus on rebuilding the association’s membership to pre-pandemic levels, while ensuring ESPA is an inclusive advocate for all stakeholders in hospitality.

“In 2023 I intend to present myself as an ESPA mentor to a fresh wave of event service professionals who have joined the most exciting and rewarding professional organisation designed for professionals in the event service industry. I hope that the life lessons I have gained throughout my 30+ year career can be a source of support and guidance as they navigate the amazing educational tools that ESPA has to offer,” said Reid.

ESPA, which has 300 members, advocates for the role and impact that event service professionals have on the success of events and destinations, hotels and convention centres.

ESPA said it was grateful to the outgoing president Paola Bowman, for her leadership, as well as outgoing directors Kristen Turner and Victor Sanchez.

ESPA also welcomed the following new board members and a new officer:

  • Carol A. Gagnon, CMP, CEM, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, is the new Treasurer
  • Tammy Jeffries, CGSP, Greater Raleigh CVB
  • Michelle D. Moon, CMP, CTE, CPCE, CTA, Visit San Antonio
  • Brynn Showalter, Tampa Convention Center

ESPA also announced recently at its annual conference in Pittsburgh a raft of awards.

Travis Tague, who is general manager at Hyatt Centric French Quarter HCFQ, was honored with the Executive Excellence Award and Yvonne Williams, senior manager of Destination Services at The Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida, won the Event Service Professional of the Year award.

Meeting Professional of the Year went to Rene Daines, executive director of Governor’s Hurricane Conference (GHC) based in Tarpon Springs, Florida, while Amanda Fox, CMP, director of Event Services & Events at Visit Rochester, won ESPA’s Inspiration in Service award.

For more information on ESPA, visit


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