Just as one of the main missions of conferences is to educate its attendees, the events industry has coalesced to ensure the powers that be are also educated on how valuable events are to organizations and the country as a whole. The Meetings Mean Business Coalition
, a manifestation of leading associations and corporations, is joining forces to put pressure on Washington to look elsewhere for cuts when the economy eventually turns south again. Its membership is as diverse as the events industry. Meet its top advocates.
Katherine Lugar, American Hotel & Lodging Association
Named one of 2015’s top lobbyists by “The Hill,” a newspaper focused on the federal government, Lugar advocates from a position of strength. Hotel rates are at record highs, pumping increased funds into local economies and increasing the association’s influence. The rise in power comes at a good time, as AHLA members face a stern challenge from Airbnb.
Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association
This industry veteran, who spent 34 years at Marriott International before taking over USTA in 2005, sends out press releases almost weekly on behalf of leisure and business travel facing the challenges of a consolidating airline industry. His knowledge of and focus on legislation is virtually unmatched.
David Peckinpaugh, Maritz Travel and Experient
The co-chair of Meetings Mean Business led the “One Industry, One Voice” initiative, including the creation of North American Meetings Industry Day—a celebration that’s going global in 2016.
Michael Dominguez, MGM Resorts International
With a leadership role at MGM, MPI and MMBC, few have as great a reach as Dominguez. His connections and experience carry weight on issues ranging from diversity to wellness, giving corporations and associations backing to make meaningful change.