Board Members: 2013

Jenny Abreu
Chairman

Direct Marketing Association, www.thedma.org/
Director of Awards & Recognition Programs

Ms. Jenny Abreu, CMP, currently serves as the Director of Awards and Recognition Programs for the Direct Marketing Association in Washington, DC where she started as the Director of Conferences & Education Programs for the Nonprofit Federation (DAMNF) in December of 2011.

Jenny is responsible for the initiation, organization, communication and execution of all strategic initiatives relating to the production of the DMA International ECHOTM Awards, as well as the DMA Marketer of the Year Award, the DMA Hall of Fame Awards, the Nonprofit Federation’s (DMANF) Max Hart Nonprofit Achievement and Organization of the Year Award, and the Email Experience Council’s (eec) Stefan Pollard Marketer of the Year Awards (and all other awards that DMA produces).

As related to the call for entries, Jenny develops and executes communication and promotional efforts with internal staff/departments, advertising agency and respective committee to increase the awareness and participation of the awards & recognition programs. She also manages the advertising agency and/or committee in the implementation of the process and call for marketing campaign entries and nominees. As far as the award judging process she oversees the entry process to determine if they are up-to-date, and accurate, works closely with the respective committees to recruit judging chairs and/or other volunteers as needed, prepares judging and selection materials, reviews, maintains, evaluates, and develops the guidelines and requirements for each award & recognition. For award content, Jenny manages the execution of all other awards & recognition programs, nominee and committee special events. This includes but not limited to working with internal staff /departments, outside vendors, preparing scripts, guiding rehearsals and performance. Finally she coordinates with the Office of the President & CEO and the respective committee members to develop the list of award presenters.

With over 11 years of experience in the management & execution of conferences, meetings, social events, and tradeshows for professional (corporate), academic, non-profit and social organizations, Jenny’s had the opportunity to work at some pretty interesting organizations. Those organizations include, the World Trade Center Boston, Inverness Medical, Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health, the American Bar Association, and the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association.

Before joining the Direct Marketing Association, Jenny was a Manager of Meetings, a Senior Meeting Planner, a Programs Coordinator and a Year 1 Course Manger. She also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing (from Suffolk University in Boston) as well as a Master’s Degree in Tourism Administration with a concentration in Events & Meeting Management (from George Washington University Business School in DC) – and in her career has combined all three of her passions – MARKETING, EVENTS and TOURISM. She is also a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP).

On her spare time Jenny volunteers for a number of charitable and nonprofit organizations in the DC, MD, and VA area. She loves all things EVENTS – whether social or professional, but more importantly she loves bringing people together to learn, to network and have fun!

Trudy Singh, CMP
Co-Founder &
Vice Chairman

NYC & Company, www.nycgo.com
Director of Sales

Trudy Singh, CMP is Regional Director of Sales for NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism marketing organization. A transplanted New Yorker and graduate of Drexel University, Trudy is a seasoned professional in the hospitality industry. She has held several positions in the industry ranging from Banquet Manager to Regional Sales Manager before joining the Washington, DC office of NYC & Company. This background makes her particularly effective in offering solutions to the meeting and convention planner. In her current position with NYC & Company, Trudy manages the satellite office operations in addition to soliciting key Mid Atlantic accounts to bring their meetings to New York City. She serves as a primary resource for meeting planners, tour operators, travel agents, and individual visitors interested in New York City. She also acts as a liaison for the convention industry customers to member hotels, restaurants, attractions, venues, and service providers-offering such services as familiarization tours, site inspections, promotional materials, and housing services. Trudy serves on the Board of Directors for the Network of Latino Meeting Professionals
() and as an advisor for the Northern Virginia Community College Travel and Tourism Program. She is a member of the Emerging Leaders Program for the Capital Chapter of Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA). She is a former Board Member and active participant in the National Capital Chapter of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP). Trudy is also a member of several other industry associations, including Meeting Planners International (MPI), the Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPs), International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP).

Jennifer Lisette Lucio
Immediate Past Chairman
and Secretary

305 Communications and Events
President, CEO, and Founder

A minority public relations and events management executive for more than 10 years, Jennifer established 305 Communications and Events in January of 2006. Jennifer has assisted clients on all aspects of their event including budgeting, vendor and site selection, logistical matters, marketing materials, government advance and security, protocol, production and audio visual, script and speech writing, speaker invitations, and onsite management. Events include dozens of multi-day conventions with thousands of attendees, galas, receptions, workshops and briefings in cities all over the world, with VIP guests including President Barack Obama, Former President George W. Bush, Members of Congress, Ambassadors, and Foreign Heads of State. She is an active member of several trade organizations including, Meeting Planners International (MPI), the International Special Events Society (ISES), Young Hospitality Industry Professionals (YHIP), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the Capital Communicators Group (CCG), and the Hispanic Public Relations Association.

Maria Fischer Millet
Treasurer

National Council of La Raza, www.nclr.org
Senior Event and Meeting Planner

Maria Fischer Millet is a Senior Event and Meeting Planner with the Strategic Communications Group (SCG) at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Maria has been with NCLR since spring of 2003, when she worked in NCLR’s Education department as the Marketing and Meeting Planner for all of education program trainings and institutes. In 2005, Maria joined SCG’s Events and Meeting team, which is responsible for the development, management, production, and execution of the NCLR Capital Awards and NCLR Annual Conference, and for the management of event logistics for the NCLR ALMA Awards®. In addition to her responsibilities as the workshop, housing, and catering coordinator for the NCLR Annual Conference-attended each year by more than 25,000 people-Maria also helps organize all local, regional, and national NCLR meetings and events throughout the year.

Maria started her career as a Public Relations Junior Account Executive, managing the President and CEO’s calendar of events for Crawford Public Relations in Washington, DC. Through research she conducted on the venues and events that would facilitate proper attendance and visibility for Crawford’s clients, Maria nurtured her appreciation for the event and meeting planning industry. Washington, DC is where she pursued her event and meeting planning career, transitioning to a position as a project manager at a political communications firm, MSHC Partners, before joining NCLR.

Maria earned her bachelor’s of science degree in Communication and Marketing from the University of Mobile in Alabama. Her descent is Nicaraguan American, and she is a proud wife and the mother of Valentina Marie! Maria is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has been an active member of the The Network since it was founded back in 2005, and she is proud to be a member of their team!

Anita Nuñez

Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting, http://www.alpfa.org
VP of Corporate Development

Anita Nuñez started her career in the hospitality industry at the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau as Regional Sales Manager spearheading strategic sales initiatives towards the growing US Hispanic Market working with such organizations as the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, NALEO & ALPFA. After 5 years at the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, Anita’s career led her to work under the guidance of one of the most influential Hispanics in Washington DC’s hotel community, Hector Torres. Anita became part of Torres’ sales force as the Associate Director of Sales at the Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters in Washington DC. Her zest for the hospitality industry and the US Hispanic Market caught the attention of Hilton Hotels Corporation which appointed her the National Director of Multicultural Sales as part of Hilton’s outreach to minority-owned businesses and organizations. After years of handling the Hispanic market, Anita made the move to join one of her top clients, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals in Finance & Accounting), the largest professional Hispanic organization in the US, as the VP of Corporate Development. Anita’s passion for the Hispanic community has come full circle as she focuses on relationships with corporate partners, aids ALPFA chapters in sponsorship outreach and works closely with the ALPFA CEO, Manny Espinoza, on developing fundraising strategies. Anita is active in DC’s hospitality community and dedicates much of her time to and is a proud member of Meeting Professionals International’s Potomac Chapter (www.pmpi.org) as a former Board Member.

Tina S. Kenia

National Association of Clean Water Agencies, http://www.nacwa.org/
Manager, Meetings & Conferences

Tina S. Kenia is currently the Manager of Meetings & Conferences at the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). NACWA represents the interests of America’s clean water utilities as the leading advocate for responsible national policies that advance clean water. In this role, Tina is responsible for managing speaker activities, contractual arrangements, and logistical programming for meetings. In addition, she is responsible for developing, designing and implementing marketing campaigns for all NACWA programs, conferences and conventions. Prior to her time at NACWA, Tina began working at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2008. As the Manager of Event Services, she executed the Annual Convention & Expo, the Annual Legislative Conference, the Latina Leaders Summit, Board of Director Meetings, USHCC Foundation BizFests and Chamber Trainings as well as various other events. She collaborated with the Controller, President and CEO to manage budgets for all events, reducing costs by over $150,000 through vetting budget conscious options without compromising quality. Tina also worked alongside the Corporate Relations Vice President, to provide corporate sponsors with exceptional customer service and ensure they receive their event-related deliverables.

Tina has worked on meetings, from 50 to 4,000 people, showcasing VIP speakers ranging from President Barack Obama, to other elected government officials and celebrities. She is also a member of ASAE and is a Business of Meetings CertificateTM Graduate. Tina has a Bachelors in Finance and International Business with a Minor in Spanish from the George Washington University.

Chastain Smith

Administrative Office of the US Courts, Office of Defender Services Training Branch, http://www.uscourts.gov
Meetings Manager

Chastain Smith is a Meeting Manager at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC), Office of Defender Services Training Branch. Chastain has been with the AOUSC since April 2006. She manages all the logistics for continuing legal education programs for Federal Defender Organization staff and CJA panel attorneys who represent clients facing capital charges. Chastain started her career in the hospitality industry in November 1999 when she joined the team at the Courtyard by Marriott. This is when she started to get a taste of the industry. After leaving the Courtyard by Marriott, Chastain headed off to Physician Insurers Association of America where she assisted their meetings department with registration, program brochure design, continuing education and on-site duties. This prepared Chastain and enabled her to start her career in meeting planning. Chastain is a member of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) and attends many industry trainings and events. In her spare time, Chastain enjoys volunteering, traveling, networking, cultural festivals and so much more.

Gregoria Summers

AARP, http://www.aarp.org
Sponsorship & Exhibits Analyst

Gregoria Summers has nine years of experience with event planning through her involvement with AARP’s annual member event. As Sponsorship & Exhibits Analyst, Gregoria handles ad sales for the program book and manages production of the event pocket guide. A major function of hers is to administer the logistics for the sponsor and exhibitor registration & housing. She works with prospects and exhibitors to build their participation at the event with existing and new opportunities. Gregoria’s bi-lingual (English/Spanish) skills are utilized in coordinating event logistics for Hispanic Initiatives.

Prior to AARP, Gregoria was responsible for the administrative management of for The Wireless Foundation. Projects included donations of cellular phones to victims of domestic violence and driver safety programs.

Other skill sets come from office management in the areas of pharmaceutical, property management, multi-media and government sector. Expertise includes opening an office, and hiring and managing administrative and temporary staff.

Gregoria continues to increase her learning skills by attending Adult Education classes at Montgomery College. Areas of interest include volunteering at senior centers, mentoring adolescents and salsa dancing.

Shalimar Alió

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), http://www.chci.org/
Senior Manager of Events

Shalimar Alió is the Senior Manager of Events at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a nonprofit and non-partisan educational organization in Washington, D.C. that was established with the mission to develop the next generation of Latino leaders. Shalimar has worked in event management for the last six years and has unique expertise in the realm of donor recognition and public relations with the nonprofit sector. In her role at CHCI, Shalimar is responsible for developing and implementing strategic fundraisers attended by a powerful network of national leaders, elected officials, corporate executives, community activists, educators, entertainers, and media personalities. In addition, the organization has trusted her as the liaison in charge of managing benefits for event sponsors to ensure outstanding customer service and partnerships for growth.

For her efforts, Shalimar was recognized as a Young Hispanic Leader by the Spanish government in 2012, and as an active member of the The Network, she was invited to serve on the board in 2013. Prior to joining CHCI, Shalimar was the Manager of Marketing and Events at 305 Communications a minority-owned public relations and events management firm, a Assistant Manager of Development at The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts, a Community Outreach Coordinator at the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, a Office of Financial Education Fellow at the United States Department of the Treasury, and a Public Relations Consultant at the healthcare company Baxter.

Shalimar is currently a candidate for the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico, was accepted by Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago to participate in its Study Abroad Program, and also received a scholarship by The Washington Center (TWC) to participate in its Congressional Internship Program.