People News: Edlen, ANDMORE, Impact XM and More Announce New Executives and Team Promotions

April 4, 2024

Spring has sprung in the trade show and events industry, with organizations and suppliers far and wide touting staff promotions, executive team expansions and seasoned industry professionals joining their ranks. Here’s our roundup of the new hires and promotions.


Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services announced several promotions among its executive team members.

Promoted to executive vice president, Zach Wetterling joined Edlen full-time in 2018 and has been responsible for the day-to-day operations in the company’s Mandalay Bay office in Las Vegas. He has worked with the Edlen team on many large events, such as Super Zoo, International Surfaces Event, Black Hat WPPI, MAGIC, SupplySide West, Oracle MCX/MBX, CONEXPO-CON/AGG and Microsoft Inspire + Ready.

Jim Ness has been promoted from executive vice president to president. Bringing more than 40 years of professional experience in the Las Vegas convention services and meetings business to his role, he joined Edlen in 2017 and has played an integral role in Edlen’s event production, labor management and oversight of event operations. He is a second-generation contributor to the convention industry in Las Vegas, following in the footsteps of his father Howard Ness, who pioneered Las Vegas Convention Services, Inc. 

Now at the helm of Edlen as its CEO, Jim Wetterling joined the company in 1987 after practicing intellectual property law for more than a decade in Miami, Fla. He served as Edlen’s president since 1990, and will continue to mentor and grow its team as chief executive. 

U.S. Travel 

Aimee Misako Gabel joined the U.S. Travel Association as senior vice president, events and education, a new position that will play a key role in shaping and transforming the association’s signature events, and also deliver new programs aligned with U.S. Travel’s strategic priorities.

Gabel joins U.S. Travel from RE+, a renewable energy event in North America, where she most recently served as chief experience officer. Prior to that, she was a co-founder of The Rose Company, a consulting firm that supported executive client leadership and event strategy.


Omnichannel wholesale marketmaker ANDMORE promoted Joy Valle to the newly created role of vice president business development, responsible for identifying, incubating and launching new business to expand its footprint in the home, gift, furniture and apparel industries. She will also continue to manage a focused portfolio of gift accounts across all ANDMORE campuses.

Since joining the company in 2012, Valle has led the launch of multiple categories, developed new product destinations and introduced industry-leading representative groups and manufacturers to the Market. Prior to her work in Las Vegas, she was active in the West Coast gift trade show circuit.

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) welcomed Tommy Costales as its new assistant director of information technology. A seasoned professional with more than 25 years of information technology (IT) and process improvement experience, he is tasked with managing all aspects of the core technology infrastructure for the facility, including handling data networks, ensuring infrastructure security, providing server support, managing cabling and wireless setups, overseeing disaster recovery processes and managing VoIP and CCTV systems.

As the MCCNO moves forward with technology infrastructure investments as part of its $557 million five-year Capital Improvement Plan, Costales will play a key role in ensuring these investments produce improved connectivity, security and reliability for all digital services users. His career has spanned multiple high-level roles in the IT sector, including Rouses Markets, where he served as vice president of IT. 

The venue also welcomed Andrew Palumbo as director of security, responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all event attendees, contractors, personnel, vendors and facility assets, as well as planning, directing and coordinating with staff and local law enforcement agencies to create and deliver highly effective public safety measures.

Previously, Palumbo spent more than 25 years with the New Orleans Police Department, and throughout his tenure, held several key leadership positions, including as Lieutenant commanding the Special Events Section in the Field Operations Bureau. Prior to that, he served as the Fifth District Investigative Unit Commander, where he led a team of dedicated officers and detectives in crime reduction efforts. 

Visit Orlando 

Visit Orlando has named 22-year event services industry veteran Tammy McCormick as director of destination experience, tasked with providing leadership to the destination experience team to elevate engagement with clients and further enhance their customer experience while planning and conducting meetings and conferences in Orlando.

McCormick most recently spent 14 years at ACCESS Destination Services, where she served as national director of creative, responsible for providing strategic creative direction for national and brand-wide accounts, leading the creative process for site inspections and presentations through the execution phase and collaborating with the creative team. Before that, she served as its partner/director of business development and director of sales.  

Impact XM 

Impact XM elevated James Morris from senior vice president of client services to executive vice president of growth, responsible for spearheading strategic growth initiatives for the full-service event and experiential marketing agency.

In his new role, Morris will play a pivotal role in shaping Impact XM’s trajectory, spearheading initiatives to broaden market reach and foster ongoing development. Assuming oversight of the client service, new business development and marketing divisions, he will continue to lead the formulation and execution of strategic positioning, while actively contributing to the augmentation of Impact XM’s client portfolio. 

Sodexo Live! 

Sodexo Live! tapped 20-year hospitality industry veteran Randy Morales as general manager of food and beverage at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC), responsible for spearheading F&B operations at the venue.

Morales joined Sodexo Live! in 2022 as a beverage consultant for the opening of the Rum Room at MBCC, and before that, worked at Mr. Hospitality Miami as a human resources manager. He previously worked for 15 years at Hillstone Restaurant Group, where he served in a variety of management roles, including as general manager and manager, in various locations including Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Dallas, Texas and Coral Gables, Fla. 

Visit Salt Lake 

Lizzie Fillo joined Visit Salt Lake (VSL) as associate vice president of marketing, tasked with overseeing the CVB’s core marketing functions and leading strategic initiatives to develop VSL’s brand identity and narrative. 

At PepsiCo UK, Lizzie served as senior marketing lead, crafting full-funnel marketing campaigns for Walkers snack portfolio. She managed multiple stakeholders, agencies and internal teams and won awards, including being shortlisted for a Media Cannes Lion and winning most effective creative by Ad Week. Prior to that, she was the digital lead in the U.K. for PepsiCo’s beverage portfolio, spearheading digital transformation focusing on social and partnerships.

VSL also welcomed Braeden Beckstrand as national sales manager, responsible for pursuing meetings with 200-2,000 attendees from organizations based in Arizona, New Mexico and the upper Midwest.

Beckstrand previously spent six years as Hotel Monaco’s group sales manager, primarily handling the corporate, sports and traveling entertainment markets. Prior to that, he worked as a sales manager at the SpringHill Suites/Courtyard by Marriott in Lehi, Utah. Since the pandemic, he has been Topgolf’s sales account manager, handling up to 25 events per day.   

Gateway Center Campus

The Gateway Center Campus, comprising the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), Gateway Center Arena and Historic College Park Golf Course, appointed Terrin Sampey as marketing manager and graphic designer. In her new role, Sampey will oversee all graphic design initiatives and develop marketing programs to raise awareness of the campus, its facilities and partners. 

Bringing creative expertise and a track record of developing compelling marketing strategies and proficiency in graphic design to her new position, she most recently served as a marketing and graphic design specialist for Georgia Correctional Industries and before that, owned and operated a graphic design and photography company. 

VISIT Milwaukee

VISIT Milwaukee appointed Meisha Bridges as its new CFO, responsible for providing leadership in financial management, operational efficiency and strategic planning, including overseeing financial reporting, budgeting, cash management and payroll processing. She will collaborate closely with the executive team, the Board of Directors and a range of external stakeholders to ensure the CVB’s continued fiscal integrity and forward momentum. 

Prior to joining VISIT Milwaukee, Bridges served as the controller at YWCA Southeastern Wisconsin, where she spearheaded financial and IT operations. Her professional background spans various industries, including roles at Robert Half, IBVI, Baker Tilly, Johnson Controls and C&D Technologies. 

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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact