Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: July/August
Apex Awards Presented in Miami

BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM MAGAZINE presented itsBM&T Annual APEX DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their particular fields of endeavor that have positively impacted the travel industry.



The awards were presented at a gala dinner event during the International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show on July 27th at the Marriott Biscayne Bay Hotel in Miami, FL.


To be considered for a BM&T Apex Award, a candidate’s record of service must:  Provide long-term benefits for the travel industry and the African-American market segment; Represent a national level of prominence; and, Demonstrate a track record of a minimum of two years.


2019 Award Recipients Include:

·  Julie Calvert , President/CEO of Cincinnati USA CVB

·  Joseph McCray , Convention Sales Manager, Greater Miami CVB

·  Essence Banks , Executive Director, New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network

·  Laura Mandala , President/CEO of Mandala Research

·  Katrina Ruff , Owner/Operator of Forums Meetings & Events.

·  Linville Johnson , Deputy Director of African-American and Multicultural Markets for the Islands of The Bahamas.

·  Wendy Kallergis , Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association

·  Ed Ponder , CEO, The Rednop Management Group

·  Ibis Romero , Executive Director, Sunny Isles Beach Tourism & Marketing Council

·  Rocco M. Angela , Associate Dean, School of Hospitality, Florida International University

·  Frances X. Suarez ,Mayor, City of Miami

·  Rebecca Ann Fields ,Educational Specialist, Department of Career & Technical Education, Miami-Dade County Public Schools

·  Denella Ri’chard, Senior Director, Trade Communications & Engagement for Holland America Line


Previous Apex Award recipients include Arnold Donald, President/CEO of Carnival Corp., Rita D. McClenny, President/CEO of Virginia Tourism Corp., Julie Coker, SVP for Philadelphia CVB, Elliott Ferguson, President/CEO of Destination DC, Gary C. Sain, President/CEO Orlando/Orange County CVB, William Norman, President/CEO of TIA, Dionisio James D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America Line, to name a few.





Publishing since 1994, BLACK MEETINGS & TOURISM is the exclusive, African-American owned, awarding-winning, international, trade publication for and about the $72+ Billion plus African-American meetings, incentives, leisure and group travel markets


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