Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel

DVORAH A. EVANS, CMP heads the Conventions & Tourism Department for the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce (nation's oldest and largest Black chamber) and, in addition to coordinating several of the chamber's annual events, is responsible for the marketing of the City of Dallas to increase the business and economic opportunities created by Dallas' ethnic meetings market for the local business community.

Evans has been active in the meetings industry over 13 years and holds membership in several industry organizations. She has written and contributed to articles for several national publications and has served as a speaker at top industry conventions including MPI, ASAE, ACCED-I, NSMH and NCBMP. Dvorah currently serves as the Vice President of Finance for the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of MPI, which is one of MPI's largest chapters with over 1,000 members. Her past leadership roles include 2 terms on the MPI International Board of Directors, ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Scholar (first from the State of Texas), countless business and association boards and committees and she was selected Association TRENDS Magazine Young & Aspiring Association Professional, which recognizes outstanding business and industry leaders under 40 in the association community. Dvorah also serves on boards and committees of several charitable organizations including the Dallas Women's Foundation, Genesis Women's Shelter, Girl Scouts of North Texas and the YWCA Young Leaders Board.

In educational efforts, Evans teaches meeting management courses at Richland College and helped spearheaded the development of a hospitality curriculum at Paul Quinn College (Dallas' only historically Black college).

ELLIOT FERGUSON serves as senior vice president of Convention Sales and Services for the Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation (WCTC). In this position, Ferguson directs and manages the activities of WCTC's convention sales and services staff as they promote Washington, D.C. as a premier meeting and convention destination. Ferguson is also charged with developing the corporation's convention sales strategy and working with local hotel properties to further build business for individual hotels in the metro area.

A 19-year veteran of the CVB industry, Ferguson has been with the WCTC since December 2001. Prior to working at the WCTC he served as vice president of Sales at the Atlanta, Georgia CVB. He has also served as Director of Sales for both the Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia CVBs.

AVA GARDNER is currently the director of citywide marketing for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and handles the overall marketing efforts for the City. Gardner previously was director of sales and marketing at the Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Centers, which is a department of the City of Kansas City, Missouri. There she was responsible for the sales and marketing efforts of the convention facilities.

Previously Gardner was citywide sales manager at the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, charged with selling and marketing to national organizations and companies to convene in Denver for conventions and meetings. She also served on the Tier III Denver County Cultural Council (Science and Facilities Cultural District), which distributed grants to art and cultural entities.

Her current position involves selling Kansas City as a meeting and business destination. She creates marketing plans, messaging, and strategies for the city under the direction of the city manager's office, and supports marketing and convention efforts involving local and national member participation. Gardner cultivates and manages external relationships with industry partners, corporate partners, and ad agencies, as well as political entities within the city. She is a Certified Meeting Professional, which is a professional certification provided by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). Gardner is also a member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP) for which she serves on the Conference Planning Committee, Professional Convention Management Association, International Association of Assembly Managers, and the American Society of Association Executives.

DONNA GLOVER is a native New Orleanian, enjoying a career of 18 years promoting her hometown of New Orleans with the New Orleans CVB. Glover returned home after spending five years in Washington, DC. Her responsibilities as director of Association Sales, includes handling convention center business, in all markets. Glover also has the responsibility of working with five sales managers in the placement of convention center business. The New Orleans Convention Bureau continues its role as the leader in putting New Orleans back on the map as one of the countries major convention destination.

MICHAEL GUNN, CMP is the vice president of Convention Sales for the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this position he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Convention Sales staff in booking state, regional, national and international convention business for the Greater Birmingham area. He supervises a staff of 14, and prepares monthly, quarterly and annual sales and marketing business plans.

Gunn is a board member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP) and a former member of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) foundation board. He has over 26 years of industry experience.

TANYA HALL works as the executive director of the Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC), a division of the PCVB, to ensure that Philadelphia's multicultural communities are included in every aspect of the Philadelphia hospitality industry. Since MAC's inception in 1987 as the first division of a CVB in the nation, the MAC and PCVB have measured an increase of more than 800% in multicultural bookings, resulting in an economic impact of more than $1 billion.


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