- Clara Carter President and Founder MCCSN
- Pierre Charmasson, CMP Corporate Meetings & Events Manager, Professional Event Solutions
- Colleen Connor, Associate Vice President, Fast Forward
- Sandi Cottrell, Managing Director, ArtWalk
- Mark Fisher Marketing Manager, Microsoft Corporation
- Gineen Fulton, CMP Independent Meeting Consultant
- Shelby Greene, CMP, CMM Manager, Quality Assurance and Business Development for AlliedPRA
- Annette Gregg, CMP, CMM, MBA
- Nicole Osibodu Founder & CEO, Pink Pineapple Event Design
- Rachel Peniche Founder, Plan It San Diego
- Annie Revel, CSEP President of Revel Productions, Inc.
- Cindy Shtur, CMP Director of Global Accounts, ConferenceDirect
- Elisa Trotter, CMP, CMM Implementation Consultant, CVENT
Clara Carter is an award-winning and seasoned hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience in meeting and event planning. She is president and founder of the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN) Inc., providing global meeting, event management, and hotel sourcing services to associations and leisure travel clients. She has also served as an instructor for the Mira Costa College Extended Meeting Planning program for three years. She is the creator of several city tourism and hospitality events — most recently the Women in Tourism and Hospitality (WITH) Awards Luncheon. Carter has three days named in her honor by the City of San Diego, and serves as an advisory board member to several community organizations.
Pierre Charmasson is a broadcast journalism graduate of Northern Arizona University. He is a seasoned meetings and events manager, technical show director, and professional voice talent. He began his career in commercial radio and eventually transitioned his talents into television where he worked for CBS and NBC affiliates in Arizona. He returned to his home town of San Diego, California in the late '80s to become the owner/operator of COGITEK Productions, a corporate video and film company. After a decade of writing, producing, and directing corporate theater, he redirected his talents into the convention & meetings industry and currently serves as the corporate meetings and events manager for Professional Event Solutions, a division of Kleege Industries, Inc.in San Diego.
Charmasson served as the director of audio visuals services at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and has directed meetings and events for Fortune 1000 companies across the globe. His extensive experience both in front of the camera and his technical skills behind the scenes have earned him a reputation as a polished meetings and events professional. He is the 2007/2008 president for the San Diego Chapter of Meeting Professionals International (SDMPI) and enjoys sharing his passion for the industry by participating as an instructor and public speaker within the industry.
Pierre Charmasson's Instructor Profile
Colleen Connor is the associate vice president of Event Operations & Sponsorships at Fast Forward, an event production and public relations agency based in San Diego. She has more than 17 years of experience in event production, sponsorship relations/management, corporate events, onsite talent management, trade shows, festivals, and management of conferences both in the U.S. and internationally. Connor holds the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation and is active within the San Diego hospitality industry, with committee positions with Meeting Professionals International (MPI). She graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with a degree in sport and recreation management from the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management.
Sandi Cottrell is a native San Diegan, who has spent her entire adult life in the special events field. She opened and ran the Los Angeles office of California Leisure Consultants, then spent four years at the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, before becoming a partner in PRA Destination Management. At PRA she opened and ran the Orange County office. Cottrell has been managing ArtWalk in San Diego’s Little Italy since 2004. ArtWalk, which attracts more than 100,000 attendees each year, has become San Diego’s largest annual art event. In 2006, the ArtWalk team introduced ArtWalk @ Liberty Station which has become a signature event for the district. In partnership with the Little Italy Association, Cottrell’s team took over management of Little Italy’s annual FESTA!, an Italian cultural celebration with also has more than 100,000 attendees. She is a past international president of the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence, and has and has been recognized with many industry awards.
Sandi Cottrell's Instructor Profile
Mark Fisher has been a marketer in many areas of concentrations for over 20 years. After receiving a bachelor's degree in communications from UCSD, he spent several years with Ziff Davis Corporation. While at Ziff Davis, he created event marketing plans for some of the largest high tech trade shows, meetings and events in the industry including Comdex and Networld Interop. In roles at Concepts Worldwide and MTI Marketing, premiere meeting management companies, Fisher was able to explore meeting and trade show planning, promotions and event marketing in the pharmaceutical industry, associations, franchise, and other industries. Currently he holds the position of marketing manager for the Life Sciences group at Microsoft Corporation focusing on marketing to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He has had articles published in event magazines and is also an established speaker at shows such as Exhibitor Show, Healthcare Exhibition Association (HCEA), and the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA). He also has sat on the board of directors for CEMA.
Gineen Fulton, CMP, started her career in 1990 working for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as a special events manager for Ed Debevic’s restaurant in Beverly Hills. She planned special events ranging from birthday parties for ten to movie premiere buyouts for 600. In 1994, she became director of sales & marketing for McCormick and Schmick’s seafood restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. In 2000, she relocated to San Diego and was hired as a meeting manager by Concepts Worldwide, a prestigious third party meeting planning company. For the past ten years she has managed corporate, pharmaceutical and incentive programs ranging from 15 to 2,250 attendees and has traveled both internationally and domestically. She received her CMP certification in the spring of 2002 and was the CMP study chair and committee lead for two years for the local San Diego chapter of Meeting Professionals International.
Gineen Fulton's Instructor Profile
Shelby Greene, CMP, CMM, has more than 20 years of professional experience in the meeting planning and hospitality industries. She has held various positions that include director of sales and assistant general manager for Marriott, cruise director for Disney Cruise Line, travel director and project manager for Maritz Travel Company, manager of purchasing and key accounts for Concepts Worldwide, corporate procurement agent for Kia Motors America, and sourcing specialist for Lanyon. Greene values diversification, so throughout the years has made a point to learn the various aspects of sales, operations, and purchasing/procurement. She is currently manager of quality assurance and business development for AlliedPRA. Greene is constantly seeking creative ways to continue the professional learning process, which is why she obtained her CMP and CMM certifications. She has been teaching at SDSU since 2010 and enjoys fostering a dynamic and fun learning environment for her students.s.
Shelby Greene's Instructor Profile
Annette Gregg, CMP, CMM, MBA has a diverse background in the meeting and hospitality industry. She began her career at the Food Marketing Institute in Washington DC. After planning conventions in Mexico, Hong Kong, and throughout the US, she went on to plan corporate and fundraising meetings and events. Annette has managed several successful teams including: the fundraising events team at UCLA, the 250-person event staff at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the 200-person convention team at the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, and was the vice president of sales and marketing for Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has taught meeting planning at universities for several years, and is actively involved in PCMA and MPI.
Annette Gregg's Posts
Nicole Osibodu, Named one of the "Top 25 Young Event Pros to Watch: 2016 Edition” by Special Events Magazine, Nicole Osibodu is the founder and CEO Pink Pineapple Event Design. Her journey began after volunteering to plan the homecoming of the USS TRUMAN and receiving multiple letters from commanding officers for the "best homecoming event the U.S. Navy has ever seen." She then earned her bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management with a focus in event planning and branding. Her client list has included the White House and Harpo Productions. Osibodu is also the director of and coach for IcePlex, a synchronized skating program at Escondido, where she teachers her two teams of 30 skaters about confidence, leadership and, of course, branding.
Nicole Osibodu's Posts
Rachel Peniche is a San Diego native and graduate of the University of San Diego High School. She attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2000, she began working in the special event industry when she coordinated the celebrity and VIP arrangements for The Governor Gray Davis Committee at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. That same year, after training in event and meeting management and special events planning, Peniche started Plan It San Diego, an event planning and coordination company specializing in weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and corporate, political and charity events.
Peniche is involved in many philanthropic organizations in San Diego such as Rady Children's Hospital, The Thursday Club, and The Leukemia Lymphoma Society where she is currently the San Diego/Hawaii Board Chair. Most recently, she works as the executive director of Friends of Vista Hill, a local nonprofit serving those with substance use disorder, mental health issues, and developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Rachel Peniche's Instructor Profile
Annie Revel, CSEP, is a San Diego native and has been prominent in the special event industry for over 25 years. As events specialist for Girl Scouts San Diego, she manages production of large-scale events, working with donors, suppliers, committees, staff, and volunteers to consistently exceed fundraising goals. In 1989, Revel was event manager for PRA Destination Management, creating concepts, negotiating contracts, maintaining time lines and production schedules, interfacing with vendors and site managers, and directing on-site coordination. In 1994, she launched Revel Productions, offering event consulting, training, and management. Some of her clients have included Fleet Week, San Diego Airport, Sweetwater Union School District, Sharp Hospital, Port District, and Qualcomm. She was the founding president of the San Diego Chapter of ISES, the first CSEP in San Diego and is a featured speaker at industry conferences. By "taking fun seriously" she remains on the forefront of the latest trends and continues to set standards of excellence in the event management and fundraising industries.
Annie Revel's Instructor Profile
Cindy Shtur, CMP, brings over 30 years of experience in the hospitality, travel and meeting industry. While with industry leader Rosenbluth Travel, she was the meeting manager handling a large corporate account, and later went on to develop a meeting planning division for the largest travel agency in Pittsburgh. She joined meeting management firm Concepts Worldwide as the director of operations and also held the position of director of site selection as well as national account executive, purchasing manager and key account sales manager. Shtur then led business development for Travel Dynamics, a meetings and corporate travel company. She has consistently given back to the meetings and events industry, as CMP instructor and on several board positions with Meeting Professionals International. She has served on the MPI Pittsburgh Chapter Board as director of education and vice president of membership, where she received the MPI President’s Honor Roll Award. Shtur led fundraising and sponsorship efforts for the MPI San Diego chapter, where she won the “Star of the Month” award. She was the national sales manager of Unbridled Solutions San Diego branch, and is now the director of global accounts for ConferenceDirect. Shtur also teaches site selection and hotel negotiations at San Diego State University for the Meeting Planning Certificate and Advanced Meeting Management Certificate Programs.
Cindy Shtur's Instructor Profile
Elisa Trotter is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality and event industry. Currently, she is an implementation consultant for CVENT, partnering with organizations to implement best-in-class business practices for enterprise clients. Prior to her current role, Trotter developed and led the events department at a local Fortune 500 company for six years. Trotter’s experiences also includes venue management, food-service/catering, tradeshows & marketing, and third-party planning. She earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2009, and the Certification in Meetings Management (CMM) designation in 2011. Trotter is a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and is currently the VP of Education for the San Diego chapter.