It was an ad that inked the deal for Kelley Thwaite, co-owner of KM Event Productions, a full-service boutique event management company in south Jersey. “I answered an ad in the newspaper for a job at a small association management company,” she says. The company was indeed small, as Thwaite worked for the husband-and-wife team out of their basement. She learned a lot about the industry, though, and it’s where she’s spent the last two decades building a name for herself.
Megan Buzzetta is no stranger to the meetings and events industry. She started her company Global Planners, Inc. in 2000 and now has grown to 30 employees. Global Planners specializes in full-service and ancillary corporate meeting and conference planning services, but when the economy collapsed in 2010 it was Buzz Registration, a slice of the business, that kept them afloat.
Mary Ann Romano and Teresa Kelly, partners in Hamiltonbased Simple Creations, are the Laverne and Shirley of corporate team-building. These two finish each other’s sentences and have Tasmanian devil-like levels of energy. “We’ve been told we should have our own TV show,” says Romano. “But we’re never scripted. We just do what we do.”
With the closure of Trump Plaza, Showboat and Revel Resort in September, some say Atlantic City is old news. But not Jim Wood, president and CEO of Meet AC, a private nonprofit sales agency started in June 2014 and funded by the CRDA luxury tax. Meet AC’s raison d’être is to drive meeting and convention business to Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, Convention Center and surrounding hotels.
HALF-FINISHED BUILDINGS, disrepair and historical regulations would put off many, but it doesn’t stop Jeanne and Frank Cretella of Landmark Hospitality. This dynamic husband-and-wife partnership has more than 25 years of experience under its belt, and polishing diamonds in the rough is what they do best.