Carlson Marketing Announces Its 2009 Spirit of Excellence Awards

MINNEAPOLIS | March 24, 2009

At an event at its Minneapolis headquarters, Carlson Marketing recently recognized 14 organizations as "Premier Partners" in its Spirit of Excellence awards program.

For 17 years, Carlson Marketing has recognized hospitality partners in meetings, events, incentives, hotels, destination management companies, cruise lines and airlines through its Spirit of Excellence program. This year's "Premier Partners" - those that attained an internal evaluation score of 90 percent or better - were:

Premier Partners

American Airlines
Alynne Hanford, Manager, Global Agency & Incentive Group Sales

Bellagio
Sandy Sutherland, National Sales Manager

Fairmont Banff Springs
David Woodward, Regional Director of Incentive Sales

Fairmont Chateau Whistler
Tracy McIvor, Sales Manager

Hilton Americas - Dallas
Jan Rapp, Senior Sales Manager

Hilton Americas - Houston
Janice O'Neill-Cox, Director of Sales and Marketing

Hyatt Regency O'Hare
Melissa Meyers, Sales Manager

JW Marriott San Francisco
Ruth Spraggs, Senior Sales Manager

New York Palace Hotel
Thomas Hines, Assistant Director of Group Sales

Northwest Airlines (now Delta)
Norma Dean, General Manager, Delta Specialty Sales

Royal Park Hotel
Lynnette Parkhill, Director of Sales and Marketing

Tropical Incentives- Cabo San Lucas
Dalila Ceballos, Director of Sales

Ultimate Ventures- Dallas
Val Lennington, Vice President, Co-Owner

Westin Maui
Christi Lewis, Director of Group Sales

Wynn Las Vegas
Karolyn Graves, Executive Director of Regional Sales

As a blueprint for performance standards, Spirit of Excellence clearly delineates Carlson Marketing's expectations for service excellence. It not only develops strong business relationships with suppliers, it also provides a method - through solid feedback against specific criteria - to continually enhance those relationships. Carlson Marketing's best suppliers readily embrace the challenge to demonstrate their effectiveness, and use Spirit of Excellence as a platform for continuous improvement.

In that regard, Spirit of Excellence combines the best aspects of a true recognition program. It establishes standards, provides measurable criteria against those standards, offers feedback and constructive advice, improves business practices, and rewards those who have committed themselves to performance excellence. Many believe that Spirit of Excellence is the most rigorous evaluation process in the industry.

"Carlson Marketing would not be able to create outstanding meetings and events for our clients if it weren't for great partner relationships," said Fay Beauchine, president, Engagement & Events, Carlson Marketing. "The Spirit of Excellence awards are an important part of the way we do business."

Each year Carlson Marketing invites its top suppliers - with scores of 90 percent or better - to the company headquarters in Minneapolis for a special recognition event. At that time, they are awarded their "Premier Partner" plaques. The companies which have earned that honor are also permanently enshrined on Carlson Marketing's Premier Partner Wall of Fame.

"Spirit of Excellence is a very extensive evaluation of each of our supplier-partners," said Kari Vrba, vice president, Business Planning & Industry Relations, Carlson Marketing. Those companies which have delivered at or above these high expectations deserve to be recognized as 'Premier Partners.'"

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About Carlson Marketing Worldwide
Carlson Marketing helps global Fortune 1000 clients increase their ROI by designing and delivering sales and marketing programs that drive measurable results. Carlson provides its clients with cool new marketing concepts, coupled with rock solid delivery across its two global service offerings - Brand Loyalty and Engagement & Events - supported by six core capabilities: Strategy & Planning; Creative, Interactive & Media; Incentive & Event Management; Award Services; Technology Services; and Decision Sciences.

Carlson Marketing employs 2,500 marketing professionals in 44 cities across 15 countries.

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