Associations North, formerly MSAE (Midwest Society of Association Executives), celebrated 60 years at Aria Minneapolis on Aug. 4 by honoring the past, present and future. Guests were greeted with stilt walkers, valet parking, champagne tower and a walk through the decades in the form of 8-foot-by-8-foot photo walls from the past six decades. Member logos were highlighted in a big “60” for a memorable backdrop. The four-sided bar and video cube overhead highlighted more member photos and videos on the impact of associations (complete with a blooper reel). Surprise entertainment from Dragons Fire Theater included an aerialist performing to Prince’s “Purple Rain,” LED show and fire dancers. Guests were treated to gourmet food and drink, two Delta airline giveaways (one a surprise), and VIP lounges with custom cigars and wine throughout the evening. Featured entertainment, Free and Easy Band, kept the celebration rocking with their killer vocals, horns and dance music. associationsnorth.com
1. The building that is now the AAA Four Diamond-rated Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis was originally constructed in 1915 as the Minneapolis Athletic Club—a high-end athletic and business club. The Grand Hotel opened in 2000 after a major renovation, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants took over management in 2010 and underwent a full renovation that completed in 2011.