Nearly 100 meetings industry thought leaders gathered at Northstar's Leadership Forum, held last week at the Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, Calif. The three-day event brought together planning professionals and suppliers to network, reflect on the past year, share best practices and plan for recovery. Participants also helped raise more $55,000 for frontline hospitality workers, in partnership with The Above and Beyond Foundation.
The program's morning educational session consisted of brief interviews conducted by Northstar Meetings Group's vice president and content director Loren Edelstein, with six industry leaders about hot topics of the day, including lobbying efforts to support recovery. (See details in the gallery below, with photos taken by Michael Troutman of DMT Imaging.)
The event included unstructured activities and offsite experiences in and around Monterey, coordinated in partnership with the Monterey Convention and Visitors Bureau and supported by the event’s transportation provider, CCM&E, providing attendees ample opportunity to share, learn and network.
The final night of the Leadership Forum was especially poignant, with a dinner and live auction in the hotel's St. Andrew's Ballroom. Participants bid on travel and high-end goods donated by their colleagues, raising $55,400 for The Above and Beyond Foundation, which provides monetary awards to outstanding individuals employed on the front lines of the hospitality industry.
"We have a large number of grant applications for consideration," noted Mary Jo Valentine Blythe, founder and CEO of the charitable organization. "The Northstar Leadership Forum auction proceeds will allow us to accelerate our grant distribution for 2022 and recognize and reward even more frontline workers than anticipated."
Following are highlights.