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Industry Briefs
Portland, Oregon/Roy Jay Host Standing Room Only Reception In Washington DC Featuring Mary Wilson oF The Supremes
Dan Mitchell


The convention marketing team of Portland, Oregon brought excitement and business motivation to the nation’s capital in last September. A specially selected and approved list of over 150 meeting planners, association executives, elected officials and legislators on Capital Hill packed into the Embassy Suites ballroom in downtown Washington DC hotel, not only to experience the hospitality of Portland, Oregon, but also the high energy of the marketing guru, Roy Jay. It was obvious why Jay has been recognized by BM&T as one of the most influential African-Americans in the convention and tourism industry for well over a dozen years.

The “Portland Party” stood head and shoulders over other receptions and events that were being held on opening night of Congressional Black Caucus. Just like Portland, the other events that evening had lavish food surrounded by sophisticated atmosphere, but you could hear the music on 10th Street half way to the Walter Washington Convention Center as people were singing those Motown Songs.



Mary Wilson
of the Supremes headlined the evening and bought the house down. A crowded ballroom fueled by great food prepared by African-American head Chef Allan Wambaa of the Oregon Convention Center, cash prizes, trips and tablets and e-readers was just part of the magic created by producer, Roy Jay. In addition, over 40 lucky people had the opportunity to purchase NIKE shoes for 99 cents that evening.



Wilson at 68 years young still has the high energy and poise of the MOTOWN Diva that she is. A recall of Supreme songs got the audience on their feet as Jay, a former radio personality, introduced Mary. It was non-stop including one person that was in a wheel chair that had maneuvered to the dance floor to do a couple of wheelies.

The event not only brought out invited meeting planners and their guests, but also Oregon’s US Senator, Jeff Merkley (D) who was in attendance not only to bring opening greetings but also to mix and mingle with the potential new business that Oregon could generate in future conventions. Team Portland came on strong in attendance with executives and sales teams from both the Oregon Convention Center and Travel Portland. “I’ve never seen so many White people at a predominately Black event said one person that attended”… “it’s pretty cool”.

New Video Unveiled
During the evening, Roy Jay unveiled one of several new videos promoting Portland’s convention and tourism industry in tandem with the African American Chamber of Commerce. The upbeat nine-minute presentation kept people focused on the entire video from start to finish. Jay, known for his economic empowerment posture in business, utilized many African-American vendors for the VIP reception. Even the volunteers that handled registrations were paid, in advance says Gigi Ransom of Washington DC.
Professionalism at it’s best!
Even the Embassy Suites was very accommodating to the Portland contingent as well as to the hundreds of people that came that evening. “We strive to always provide the best in service and value” says Christopher Perry, director of Catering. We always get excited when “Mr. Portland”, Roy Jay shows up in Washington DC. He has set a new standard and raised the bar when it comes to event planning and coordination. Everything is handled according to detail and more importantly, by the time he walks in the door from a long flight to DC, the bill is already prepaid in full, up front… that’s his DNA. You could see Roy all over the hotel thanking staff and providing cash gratuities to everyone from the housekeepers to the valet and front desk.

Roy Jay and sponsors host a special invitation only reception each year in Washington DC on the opening of Congressional Black Caucus week. Rumors have it that 2013 will bring another well known artist to headline the reception plus more cash prizes and surprises.
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