Press Release: January 5, 2006

Network of Latino Meeting Professionals Formed

Washington-based group aims to foster relationships

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 5, 2006) – Recognizing the growth in multi-cultural meetings and conventions, a group of volunteers have announced the formation of the Network of Latino Meeting Professionals.

The organization, composed of meeting planners and others working in the convention industry, took root after a focus group was conducted in November 2005 with senior Hispanic meeting professionals indicating the need for such a group.

The mission of the group is to “create a nurturing environment for all Latino meeting professionals, fostering the exchange of ideas and learning to embrace the concept of living our lives in color.”

“We wanted to start a Network for all Latino meeting professionals that will provide a nurturing environment and foster the exchange of ideas,” said Jeannette Gonzalez, CEO of Agora Occasions and a charter member of the board of directors. “We hope to create unique events and professional relationships that will ultimately enhance our passion for excellence.”

The first event for the group will be held January 20, 2005 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington, D.C. on the topic “How to conduct a critical analysis of your meetings.” The group will meet the third Friday of each month at various locations around the D.C. area from noon – 2 p.m. with various convention and visitors bureaus sponsoring the luncheons. Meetings planners can attend these meetings at no cost. For further information, visit the group’s Web site at: www.nlmponline.org.

The board of directors for the Network of Latino Meeting Professionals include: Jeannette Gonzalez, CMP, chief executive officer, Agora Occasions; Laurie Nelson-Choice, director, eastern regional sales, VISIT Milwaukee; Linda Parker, vice president, Agora Occasions; Trudy Singh, CMP, senior national sales manager, NYC & Company; Belinda Thompson, CMP, national sales manager, San Diego CVB and Anita Nunez, sales manager, The Beacon Hotel and Corporate Quarters.

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