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Speaking Of People
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has named James Gelfand  director of sales. Gelfand brings more than 30 years of hospitality experience to his new position, in which he is responsible for overseeing the group sales operation at the 2,265-room resort. Prior to joining the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Gelfand was VP of sales, marketing and revenue development at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. There, he implemented new sales strategies and tactics that continued to increase revenue for the hotel. Additionally, he was responsible for applying brand marketing initiatives that reintroduced and repositioned PGA National Resort & Spa in the market place after undergoing major renovations.

Michael L. Matthews serves as sales manager for The Madison, a Loews Hotel, in Washington, DC, where he is responsible for markets as diverse as SMERF, union, and entertainment. Having started in the hospitality as a front desk agent at the Radisson Harbour Inn in Sandusky, OH, Matthews worked his way to management before leaving the Buckeye state for the nation's capital. This was followed by positions as the guest relations manager at the Monarch Hotel, and front office manager at the Embassy Suites Chevy Chase Pavilion, both managed by Destination Hotels & Resorts and located in Washington DC. A move to Loews Hotels in the summer of 2005, included assignments at the beautiful Loews Philadelphia Hotel and his current post at the historic Madison.

Mary Ann Torres serves as event coordinator for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, a post she has held since October of 2008. The facility is 1.3 million sq. ft., with 440,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, including 315,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space; a 31,512-sq. ft. ballroom; 34,960-sq. ft. Grand Hall; and a second 125,120-sq. ft. exhibit hall. Torres responsibilities include assisting clients in planning, organizing, and overseeing meetings and events, as well as monitoring the logistics of these events. Formerly, Torres served as event manager for two years at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and eight years as show manager for Atlantique City Antique and Collectible Show, a bi-annual public show, in Atlantic City, NJ.

Russell Miller has been appointed general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Miller brings an impressive background in hospitality management, including assignments as senior VP and GM of the Harborside Resort Atlantis, and as GM of the One & Only Ocean Club in Nassau Bahamas. His extensive knowledge of hotel operations began in 1979 when he joined Marriott as restaurant manager in Newport Beach, California and held many leadership positions in Food & Beverage. Miller returned to his native Bahamas in 1987 holding many leadership positions prior to joining the Atlantis organization in 1996. Miller, who is married to Linda Miller, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University in New York.

Shawn Torrey has been named event coordinator of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. In her new capacity she will serve as a liaison between the Convention Center and clients. She will manage aspects of the event planning process and be responsible for guiding clients through event preparation and show set-up.

Torrey has an extensive background in event coordination and in training classes for event and service managers. After receiving her degree at Xavier University in 1993, She worked in the Exhibit Services Department of the Morial Convention Center until 1997. She relocated to Chicago to for a position with the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority. Before returning to New Orleans, Torrey served a stint at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
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