Author Archives: Molly Cerreta Smith

Molly Cerreta Smith

About Molly Cerreta Smith

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career as a writer and editor for more than 10 years. She loves writing about local business people, restaurants and chefs, as well as celebrities and all things mommy-related. She lives and plays with her family — including her husband and their two young children — in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In Troubled Times, Meeting Planners Are Learning To Be Advocates For Their Industry

Meeting Planners Are Learning To Be Advocates - AZ Business Magazine Sep/Oct 2010

Politics, economic setbacks and disasters of all kinds pose constant threats to the meetings industry. But increasingly, MPI, its members and others associated with meeting planning, are taking steps to be advocates for their industry before problems arise. Christine Duffy, president and CEO of Maritz Travel Company in St. Louis, wants her peers to “pay… Read More →

New Resorts Are Sprouting In The Valley Despite The Shaky Economy

people gambling - AZ Business Magazine Sep/Oct 2010

Arizona touts dozens of breathtaking resorts with countless amenities, but there’s still room for more. The Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler opened its doors in October 2009, and Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale opened this past April. What makes the opening of these two new resorts all the more remarkable is that… Read More →

Local CVBs Sound Off On Boycotts And Why Arizona Is Still A Top Meeting And Travel Destination

Civic Space Park - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

It’s no secret that the meetings industry, and travel in general, has taken quite a few hits in Arizona over the past few years. As a result, local convention and visitors bureaus — the ones who promote travel to and meetings in the state — have had to overcome new obstacles in their quest to… Read More →

Downtown Art Walk Is A Homegrown Success

At First Fridays, thousands of residents and visitors gather - AZ Business Magazine June 2010

If you’ve ever been to the Downtown Phoenix area on the first Friday night of the month, you most likely noticed that the streets were alive with people. At First Fridays, thousands of residents and visitors gather to tour more than 70 galleries, venues and art-related shops in what has become one of the largest,… Read More →

Local First Arizona Champions Buying Locally

Local First Arizona Champions Buying Locally - AZ Business Magazine June 2010

Today, people generally recognize the importance of shopping locally and supporting our region’s independently owned and operated businesses. But that wasn’t always the case. As recently as seven years ago, the concept was nearly unheard of in Arizona. But in 2003, Kimber Lanning, of the independently owned and operated Stinkweeds music store, started Local First… Read More →

Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors Work To Make Visitors And Residents Feel At Home

Downtown Phoenix Ambassador program - AZ Business Magazine June 2010

Whether you are a visitor to the Downtown area trying to find a parking spot, a new resident in search of a security escort to your car, or a local looking for a new hotspot to frequent, the Downtown Phoenix Ambassadors can help. Perhaps you’ve noticed these boosters in bright orange — you know, the… Read More →

MPI Is Touting The ROI Of In-Person Meetings

meetings industry

The best advocates for the positive return on investment of in-person meetings may very well be members of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. The meetings industry has been hit hard by the media and public scrutiny of the actions of major companies that received bailouts from the federal government. But members of… Read More →

Laura Scheller: CMP, President And Founder, Solmonte Hospitality

Laura Scheller

Laura Scheller, CMP, not only is a member of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, she also is the chapter’s president-elect. In the course of the 18 years Scheller has been involved with MPI, she has held numerous other roles, including chair of various committees and director positions within the organization. Scheller says… Read More →

Jennifer Castro: Dual Market Sales Manager, Dave And Buster’s

Jennifer Castro MPI

Officially the dual market sales manager for Dave and Buster’s, Jennifer Castro prefers to call herself the Ambassador to Fun. With a title like that, you can expect passion, out-of-the-box thinking and positive energy. But there is even more to Castro than that. Castro acts as the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International’s vice… Read More →

Beth Fagan: Senior Manager, Meeting Planning And Membership Services National Council For Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP)

Beth Fagan MPI

Beth Fagan has been an active member of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International for five years, and has served as co-chair of the chapter’s membership recruitment committee for two years. This involvement is a natural fit for Fagan, who manages the membership services and meeting planning departments at the National Council for… Read More →

Mike Stawiarski: Owner/Technical Producer, MFS Event Technology

MSkalny

July of this year marked the beginning of Mike Stawiarki’s one-year term as president of the Arizona Sunbelt Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. With this role comes great responsibility, but Stawiarski is up for the challenge. As president, Stawiarski leads “a very talented 16-member board of directors who sets our agenda for the year with… Read More →

MPI Is A Handy Resource For Professionals Throughout The Meetings Industry

AZ Sunbelt MPI Chapter

Meeting Professionals International has 70 chapters worldwide with 24,000 members who service and support the meetings industry. The Arizona Sunbelt Chapter’s membership currently stands at 532, and is comprised of meeting planners and suppliers who partner to organize and serve the meetings industry across the globe. With statistics like that, who could doubt the importance… Read More →

One Valley Resort Shares Its Side Of The Meetings Controversy Issue

Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

The Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North is synonymous with luxury, indulgence and the utmost in customer service. The property, nestled in the natural desert setting of the Pinnacle Peak foothills, boasts grand casitas, fine dining, breathtaking views of the city below and some of the finest meeting-and-function facilities available. Just a year or… Read More →

Healthcare Solutions Center Provides Onsite Health Care To Large Employers

healthcare onsite for large employers

Time and money are two things few people can afford to waste, especially these days. In an effort to save both, people often put their own health concerns on the backburner. After all, who wants to take time away from work or family to go to the doctor, wait around to actually see the doctor,… Read More →

Executives From West Valley Hospitals Assess The Impact Of The Current Economy

AH Endovascular OR Suite

The need for health care services continues to grow across the state, including the West Valley. And under the current recession, hospitals are being asked to do more with less. Jon Bartlett, CEO of Arrowhead Hospital, says the health care industry is not immune to the impact of the bad economy, but he remains optimistic… Read More →