2016 Suppliers of the Year: Enterprising Up and Comers

Hotels & ResortsMeeting Planning

kelsey-dixonKelsey Dixon

Few people know how to capture the interest of the coveted millennial demographic better than Kelsey Dixon. She is co-founder and chief business officer of Seattle-based Davies & Dixon marketing firm. She and her counterpart, Mackenzie Davies, curate extraordinary experiences and empower their clients to become strategic communicators with their consumers.

Dixon, in particular, is dedicated to changing the way the hospitality, travel and events industries communicate with the rest of the world. The firm has delivered successful campaigns for many local and national organizations in the meetings industry, including entertainment and audiovisual companies.

In 2013, she was a Meeting Professionals International Potomac Chapter Rising Star nominee, and in 2014, she received Discover Lancaster’s Rising Star award. She has also co-chaired the MPI Potomac Chapter’s Affiliate Membership Committee and simultaneously chaired the Lancaster Lodging, Attractions and Meetings Association’s Meetings & Conventions Sales Committee in partnership with Discover Lancaster.

Dixon caught Smart Meetings’ attention through her correspondences on behalf of Association for Women in Events (AWE). She’s been very busy promoting AWE during the past year, and now it’s her turn to receive some well-deserved attention.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.


deidre-wetelainenDeidre Wetelainen

Deidre Wetelainen, vice president for sales and convention services for Visit Rochester in New York, comes from the hotel side of things, having worked for Crowne Plaza and Hyatt properties. In her role at the convention and visitors bureau that promotes New York’s third largest city, she implements innovative selling strategies and has developed strong collaboration with her counterparts across the state.

There are lots of reasons to meet in Rochester, according to Wetelainen. Planners and attendees are benefiting from multiple developments, including the $16 million renovation of the Hyatt Regency Rochester and opening of the new Port of Rochester. Greater Rochester International Airport has been awarded $40 million for a mass airport redesign, and $2 million has been invested from the state to revitalize downtown and the convention area.

“I have spent the last year bringing Visit Rochester into the national convention sales arena,” Wetelainen says. “I listen to the ideas of employees on the front lines and use their experiences to formulate successful strategies that have helped Visit Rochester to achieve and maintain a position as a leader in the industry.”

Wetelainen was named as a Top 40-Under-40 by Central New York Business Journal in 2013 for her accomplishments as director of sales and marketing at Crowne Plaza Syracuse, where she worked for five years before entering the CVB world last year.

“A competitive strategist who works best under the gun, she has a keen eye toward the big picture and a composed quality that guarantees success,” says Wendy Ford, sales manager for Visit Rochester.


terri-toddTerri Todd

Terri Todd has made a significant impact in her role as director of sales at Big Horn Resort in Billings, Montana, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by members of her community.

“She is a forward thinker, always seeking to make improvements to her property that are specifically engineered to meet and exceed her clients’ needs,” says Stefan Cattarin, sales manager for Visit Billings. “Terri is part of organizing a full-service Outfitter Guide program for her guests. She has expanded convention space, improved F&B and always positions her property as an asset to the DMO in attracting meetings and conventions around the country.”

Todd feels blessed to live in Big Sky Country, partly because it allows her and the rest Big Horn’s team to create unique memories.

“We have been able to advance our travel industry by selling personal experience over amusement,” she says. “Trail rides to fly-fishing on the Big Horn River, snow coach rides and a trolley brewery tour are all part of the innovative approach that has made Big Horn Resort and me a successful supplier for the meetings industry.”


See all the winners of our 2016 Suppliers of the Year awards here.