People Update

November 1, 2007

Noted Hospitality Industry Executive Drew Toth Joins Associated Luxury Hotels As Senior VP

Veteran hospitality industry executive Drew Toth has joined Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) as senior vice president. In this newly created position, Toth will head up ALHI’s Southeast and Mid-Atlantic sales regions, which include national sales offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Orlando. He is based in the Washington office, and will report directly to David Gabri, president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels. ALHI has national sales responsibilities for its membership of more than 100 premier Four- and Five-Diamond/Star quality hotels and resorts worldwide.

Toth joins ALHI from Tishman Hotel Corporation, where he served as vice president, with regional asset management responsibilities for Tishman’s resorts in the Caribbean. Prior to that promotion, he served Tishman as the Director of Sales and Marketing for The Westin Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, for five years.

For more information about Associated Luxury Hotels, or to inquire about a potential meeting at any of the Associated Luxury Hotels member properties, call the “ALHI Luxury Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544). Planners also may call to acquire a copy of Associated Luxury Hotels’ “2007-2008 Guide to Meeting Destinations and Facilities.” Information about Associated Luxury Hotels and its member properties also may be obtained by visiting

New President Named for Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

Barnes Wyli

After a four-month search that included applicants from all over Mid-America, the Table Rock Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced a highly respected, local Branson executive named to its top position.  Wyli Barnes, formerly with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, will be President and CEO of the growing Table Rock Lake Area Chamber located in southwest Missouri.

Along with a decade of chamber experience, Barnes’ diverse business background includes retail merchandising, property management, sales and marketing management, and human resource recruitment and training in Albany, New York, and Springfield, Mo.

Staff Changes Take Place at the Springfield, Mo., CVB

Whistler Laura

Several changes have taken place recently at the Springfield, Mo., Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Laura Whisler was promoted to communications director. Whisler, who has been at the bureau five years, is responsible for placing advertising to encourage leisure and convention travel to Springfield, developing bureau publications and coordinating cooperative advertising programs. She also oversees three employees in the communications department.

Tullos Gina

Gina Tullos was hired as partner development manager, a position formerly held by Whisler. Tullos is responsible for advertising sales in bureau publications and on the CVB’s Web site. She also manages the Marketing Partnership Program, which provides CVB services for businesses outside Springfield city limits.

Michaels Amy

Amy Michels was hired as communications coordinator. Michels is responsible for graphic design, photography and communications department assistance. She also oversees the Discover Springfield! program, designed to educate frontline employees at hotels about the city’s amenities so they can better serve visitors.

Box Bobbi

Bobbi Box was hired as sports sales manager in the group sales department. Her primary responsibility is to secure sports-related events in Springfield. Box represents Springfield at sports-related trade shows, conducts site visits and familiarization tours for prospective sports and convention groups and develops bid proposals for such groups.

The goal of the Convention & Visitors Bureau is to encourage tourism development and increase overnight travel and occupied rooms at Springfield hotels and motels. For more information, call 417-881-5300 or 800-678-8767.

Guyton named new GM of BBj Linen

Guyton Laura

Laura Guyton has been named the new General Manager of BBj Linen in St. Louis. BBj is a national specialty linen company with 17 offices around the country.

Guyton is a St. Louis native.  Prior to joining BBj Linen, she was the Sales Manager of The Aries Company, a full-scale party rental company that includes sound, lighting and event management.  She also served five years on the International Special Event Society Missouri Board, and was the Missouri President from 2003 to 2004.

Ameristar Casinos Names Chet Koch VP and Assistant GM of Ameristar Kansas City

Koch Chet

Ameristar Casinos Inc. has announced that Chet W. Koch has been appointed Vice President and Assistant General Manager of Ameristar Kansas City. In this capacity, he will play a major role in the management of the property’s team member development efforts, guest service initiatives and financial operations and report to Ameristar Kansas City Senior Vice President and General Manager Timothy Wright.

Koch, whose gaming industry career spans three decades, served previously as Ameristar Kansas City’s Vice President of Finance. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Finance at Grand Casino Tunica, Regional Vice President of Finance for Caesars Entertainment’s Northern Mid-South Region and Vice President of Casino Finance and Casino Controller at Windsor Casino Ltd.

Koch also served in various operational capacities for casinos operating under the Harrah’s, Claridge, Hilton and Resorts flags; he has served in major domestic and international gaming destinations such as Reno; Atlantic City; Queensland, Australia; and Windsor, Ont.

Koch has been directly involved in the opening of 13 casinos that have ranged from small riverboats to land-based destination casino-hotels of up to 100,000 square feet. Chet received the 1993-1994 Promus Companies (Harrah’s) Chairman’s Award for Expert Skill for his various roles in the opening of six riverboat casinos in less than 18 months.

Tri-Lakes Center GM Has Much to Offer

Harrison Thomas

Thomas Harrison is General Manager of Tri-Lakes Center, a Theater and Event Center, in Branson, Missouri. He has managed major market radio and television stations in Arkansas and Oklahoma, established advertising agencies and worked at the executive level of national and world-wide nonprofit organizations. Harrioson is an author, educator and speaker and is known as The Ambassador of Communications. He has a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications (with a media management emphasis) from The University of Oklahoma. Harrison is an instructor for the University of Phoenix at campus locations in Oklahoma and Missouri. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. Harrison is a sought-after consultant for nonprofit organizations in the faith community, as well as a speaker and television personality. His work on television earned him a Telly Award and an Angel Award. Thomas and Kathy Harrison have been married for more than 28 years and make their home in Branson, Missouri.

Kemp Auto Museum Announces Staffing Enhancements

The Kemp Auto Museum announced the recent addition of two new event coordinators to its special events team: Jaci Burgess and Lisa Rosell.

Burgess Jaci

Jaci Burgess is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville,  where she received her bachelor of science degree in speech communications (public relations track). While at SIU-E, she was an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA.) Burgess interned with State Representative Dan Beiser in Alton, Illinois, where she planned and executed the Annual Child Seat Safety Check Day in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club. While an intern in Rep. Beiser’s office, she also addressed constituents’ concerns and attended local meetings in Beiser’s absence.

Rosell Lisa

Lisa Rosell joins the Kemp Auto Museum with a bachelor of science in marketing  degree from Maryville University, where she received an Academic Achievement  Award Scholarship and was a member of the Maryville Business Organization. Rosell completed a marketing internship with Purchase Partners, and is a member of the American Marketing Association.  She has also volunteered with the Clayton Art Fair for the past three years.

For more information about the events and meetings at the Kemp Auto Museum, the public can visit the Museum’s Web site at; or contact Burgess, Rosell, or  museum general manager Allison Hershberger at (636) 537-1718.

Haney Joins The Aries Company as Director of Sales and Marketing

Haney Cheryl

Cheryl Haney of Webster Groves, has joined The Aries Company as Director of Sales and Marketing. Cheryl will be responsible for the enhancement of current customer relations as well as the development of new business.  After her tenure with Classic Fare Catering at Anheuser Busch, she is looking forward to this new chapter in her career.

Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fontbonne University and 18 years’ of experience in the industry. She is a two-time winner of  the ISES Louie award for the Best Off-Premise Catered Event.

For more information, call 314-664-6610 or e-mail [email protected].

AGENDA: Kansas City Announces New Staff

Jenelle Canfield has joined AGENDA: Kansas City as Sales and Marketing Manager. In her role, she will identify new business opportunities for AGENDA: Kansas City and its sister company, AGENDA: USA, while representing the company in the hospitality industry through active involvement in various professional industry organizations.

Canfield was previously with the Alan Waxler Group (AWG), a destination management company in Las Vegas. In her most recent position there as Senior Program Manager, Canfield managed corporate incentive and destination programs and also headed up the operations of its destination management team.

A graduate of Missouri State University, Canfield began her professional career as an Event Operations Intern for Destination St. Louis, where she assisted in planning and coordinating events including conventions, tours, corporate functions and private parties.

Canfield is a member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and the Kansas City Society of Association Executives (KCSAE). She will also become involved with the Association of Destination Management Executives (ADME), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Mid-America Business Travel Association (MABTA), the National Limousine Association (NLA) and the Hotel & Lodging Association (HLA).

Tricia Clement has joined AGENDA: Kansas City as Event Coordinator. In her new role, Clement will create and produce interactive events for a number of AGENDA: Kansas City clients.

Clement, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, began her professional career as an intern and project coordinator for Clear Channel Entertainment in St. Louis. After moving to Kansas City, she joined Holiday Inn Northeast where she served in both Sales Coordinator and Catering Coordinator positions. Tricia most recently worked for Hotel Phillips in Kansas City as Catering Sales Manager, where she managed the execution and evaluation of corporate and social meetings as well as the coordination of entertainment and décor.

Clement will maintain her involvement in the International Special Events Society (ISES). She is also Membership Chair of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and is active in the Kansas City chapter of Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

Further information about the company can be found on its Web site,


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