• Meet Ashleigh Esselman, 2019 Best Meeting Professional

     
    POSTED April 29, 2019
     

    Minnesota Meetings + Events is proud to introduce our 2019 Hall of Fame, made up of seven top-notch individuals who are positively impacting the meetings and events industry.

BEST MEETING PROFESSIONAL
Ashleigh Esselman

Energy Programs Director; MEA Energy Association

On her work at MEA: “I work with about 15 different committees, about 150-plus individuals, [planning in-person learning events]. ... It’s a lot of opinions and a lot of perspectives and trying to steer that in a direction where everyone is focused on the same mission and vision is a challenge, but also a good opportunity to get a lot of people involved. … We’re touching on things like safety and regulations and it makes a difference, it impacts their day to day and their successes and their careers and they look to us for that and I think that’s a pretty rewarding role.”

On being overprepared: “I try really hard as I get ready for an event to take into consideration all the possible ups and downs and variables that could come my way so that hopefully by the time the ones that you didn’t think of show up, everything else is managed as well as it can be so those don’t become as rattling and I can take them on with a good sense of composure.”

On how she unwinds: “I do take a couple of days off to be home with my family. I have two little girls at home and the third one [was born in January] and two dogs. My husband is home with them by himself when I’m travelling … it’s always good to settle back into that chaos.”

On her future: “I am pretty happy where I am right now in a lot of ways. I’m a lifelong learner so I’m always looking for a new challenge or a chance to grow professionally. … I’m just enjoying the balance of work and life and the people that I get to see every day and the great industry that I work in right now. A lot of it feels very settled in a good way.”

Minnesota offers vibrant autumn color and provides a kaleidoscopic backdrop for your event.

New England often gets the most credit for its spectacular fall color, but many rank Minnesota in the top tier for seasonal beauty, making fall an ideal time for meetings anywhere in the state. From the North Shore of Lake Superior to the Twin Cities and Rochester, there are a variety of venues with ideal seasonal settings that can cater to groups of all sizes. 

Duluth

 

Experience Rochester MN appointed Angie Richards to the position of vice president of sales. She previously held the position of area director of sales for Avra Hospitality in Rochester, Minn. 

Richards will lead Experience Rochester MN’s sales team, which is responsible for the booking of meetings, conventions, and other events at Mayo Civic Center as well as group sales for the entire city.

 

Radisson Blu Mall of America promoted Kate Anastasi to director of sales and marketing. Anastasi has been with the Radisson Blu Mall of America team for eight years and has held many support and leadership roles within the sales team. She had most recently served as the assistant director of sales and marketing. Anastasi won the 2021 Radisson Blu Manager of the Year award.