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MCCSNS Inaugural Luncheon Honors Six Outstanding Women In San Diego's Hospitality And Tourism Market

More than 200 people attended the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network's (MCCSN's) first inaugural Women Visionaries Luncheon celebrating Women Leading the Way in Hospitality and Tourism Thursday, March 17 at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego. The sold-out luncheon attended by tourism executives, industry professionals, business leaders, renowned guests and students, celebrated six outstanding women whose achievements, leadership, courage, strength and passion have helped build the hospitality industry and shape its future in San Diego and abroad .

The event featured an exhilarating luncheon and awards program moderated by Peggy Cooper, community relations specialist at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. The panel of six honorees included Lucy Burni, president of Burni Enterprises; Maureen Carew, general manager at the Courtyard Rancho Bernardo Marriott; Karima Zaki, founder of sanctuate! a Tech-SpaJulia Slocombe, vice president of Operations at Smart City Networks; Terri Breining, president of the Breining Group; and Christine Shimasaki, managing director, at Destination Marketing Association International. These phenomenal women motivated and inspired guests and provided a better appreciation for the work they do, as well as, insights into the future of the meetings industry for women. 

"The inaugural Luncheon went above and beyond any of our expectations, which is a testament to the support and commitment of the individuals who make up this dynamic industry," said MCCSN founder and event producer, Clara Carter.

According to Hotel News Now, the hotel industry IS a Woman's World. In recent years, the influence of women has been growing in the hotel industry. There have been significant increases in the number of women holding leadership roles at all levels of hotels, inns, lodges and resorts across the country. The tourism and hospitality sector has become an economic and social phenomenon, demonstrating above average growth for the fifth consecutive year since the 2009 economic crisis and being set to create 70 million new jobs over the next 10 years.

Within the industry, women make up nearly 70% of the workforce. However, inconsistently, there is a marked under-representation of women in senior positions, with women holding less than 40% of all managerial positions, less than 20% of general management roles and between 5-8% of board positions.

"MCCSN produced and hosted this event celebrating Women's History Month to spotlight the amazing work of these visionary leaders and "Sheroes" of our industry - their commitment, tenacity and their persistence in how they managed to overcome obstacles to success. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the women in hospitality, while at the same time inspiring students who we know are going to do great things for the industry's future." said Carter.

"MCCSN is tremendously grateful for the contributions of our supporters, planning team and guests, including the esteemed members of our panel. We couldn't have done it without you! Special thanks to our Trailblazing sponsors and industry partners, Lafayette Hotel, RAR Hospitality, Atlas Hospitality, Smart City Networks, San Diego International Airport and Wal-Mart", continued Clara.

"We look forward to bringing leaders together again during Women's History Month 2017 to celebrate the imagination, inspiration and innovation of women in the tourism industry, and to continue our work to build awareness of the industry through increasing its inclusiveness for women and other minorities; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in the industry." For more information about MCCSN, visit

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