The new year ushers in a new Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) for ConventionSouth. The magazine long has had an EAB, and we thank our past board members for their service, dedication, and time. Our eight new members begin their two-year term with the latest issue.
The well-rounded team is comprised of industry veterans, each of whom brings an area of expertise from backgrounds such as convention and visitors bureaus, technology, planning, hotels, convention centers and other meeting venues, and food and beverage.
Here, in this new section of the magazine we call Talking Points, we introduce our impressive board members; no doubt many of you will recognize these industry leaders. We thank them for their commitment to the industry, our magazine, and our readers. Welcome aboard!
Linda Baynham is director of sustainability and corporate social responsibility for the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in Louisiana. Baynham has more than 20 years of experience in the environmental, energy, and utility sectors and recently led the center’s successful bid for LEED Gold certification. She also has worked with prestigious initiatives, including the White House Office on Environmental Policy.
Karl Groux is general manager of Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Ala. Groux joined the resort team in 2013 and holds a master’s degree in revenue management from Cornell University. During his tenure, he has helped steer the resort through major renovations, the pandemic, and three devastating hurricanes and is a driving force behind the property’s community-service focus.
Dean Miller is a national sales manager with Visit Fairfax. He has spent 32 years attracting groups to Fairfax County, Virginia. He assists associations, reunion groups, and faith-based organizations and serves on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. Prior to joining Visit Fairfax, Miller worked in the restaurant and retail industries and in hospitality sales for industry-leading brands.
Dusky Norsworthy is founder and CEO of Behind the Scenes and owner of V2 Media in Memphis, Tenn. She opened a video production company at age 22, and in 2000, Norsworthy launched Behind the Scenes, a project management firm specializing in event and meeting management, printing and fulfillment, and multimedia production for global clients.
Brett Sterenson is owner and president of Hotel Lobbyists, a site-selection firm specializing in government and association conferences. A 24-year member of the industry, Sterenson founded his Washington, D.C.-based firm in 2007 after working in government sales at major hotel chains in Boston and the nation’s capital. Sterenson is a frequent contributor to industry publications and a recognized speaker.
Jamel Taggart is director of beverage at Choctaw Casino & Resort-Durant in Oklahoma. He serves as the strategic leader of beverage operations for 15 bars, a 3,000-seat concert venue, and a resort pool with 50 cabanas. With more than 15 years in the industry, Taggart has held leadership food and beverage positions at acclaimed resorts in Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, and Texas.
Tess Vismale is founder and CEO of iSocialExecution, Inc., an event-planning firm in Atlanta, Ga. With more than 25 years’ experience, Vismale has received numerous awards, including a 2023 Women of Impact Award, and earned a spot on the 2020 BizBash 500 list of the country’s most influential event professionals. She was among the inaugural class of certified digital event strategists and holds many titles, including tech whisperer, podcast co-host, and professional speaker.
Sam Voisin is general manager of the Branson Convention Center in Missouri. Voisin has 27 years of live entertainment, hospitality, and venue-management experience, including serving as regional vice president for SMG (now ASM Global, the world’s largest public-facility management company). Voisin also is past president of the International Public Facility Management School in Wheeling, W.Va.