Appointments & Promotions

John Walsh Joins The National Conference Center and West Belmont Place as Food & Beverage Director

Brings extensive experience and expertise to The National's culinary team

LEESBURG, VA. September 9, 2015 - Geoff Lawson, vice president and general manager of The National and West Belmont Place, announced today the hiring of John Walsh as Food & Beverage Director.

Walsh brings more than 30 years of experience that includes being part of the Jack Welch Training Center's team and working directly with the well-known Jack Welch, chairman and CEO of General Electric as well as Sam Palmisano from IBM Palisades Learning Center. Walsh also developed and oversaw the Gastro Bar inside New York's first Tryp Hotel by Wyndham. He directed and developed the food and beverage program at The New York Helmsley and he served as complex director of food and beverage for the Wyndham Hotel Group in New York City.

"We are delighted to have John as part of our culinary team," stated Lawson. "John brings additional expertise and will work well with our talented Executive Chef Chris Ferrier." The National and West Belmont Place have recently expanded the property's culinary programs to include a chef's table, a wine program, as well as a robust farm-to-table program (not easy to do at a site that oftentimes serves more than a thousand meals a day.)

Both Walsh and Ferrier are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. Walsh also graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. In addition to his passion for food and beverage, he enjoys golf, racquetball and martial arts. He lives in Rockland County, New York.

About The National Conference Center

Located in Northern Virginia 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., The National Conference Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting and group function space, including the West Belmont Place catering complex with its 16,500 square foot ballroom, The National has become the nation's headquarters for productive meetings and West Belmont Place the hub for Loudoun County and surrounding area social functions. West Belmont Place was named 2013 Best Venue by the International Special Events Society. The National Conference Center is also on the GSA schedule. The National is owned by NCC PS Enterprises LLC, a venture between PCCP, LLC and Stoneleigh Capital, LLC., which retained LaKota Hotels & Resorts to oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations. For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com.

Contact:
Vicki Bendure
Vicki@bendurepr.com
540-687-3360

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead
After a decade of sacrifice and struggle, it seems that hotels and meeting planners have every reason to be optimistic about the group meeting business going forward. By every industry benchmark and measure, 2017 is shaping up to be a record year, which means more meetings in more locations for more attendees. And though no one in the industry is complaining about this rosy outlook, the strong demand is increasing competition among meeting planners across the board – for the most desirable locations, for the best hotels, for the most creative experiences, for the most talented chefs, and for the best technology available. Because of this robust demand, hotels are in the driver’s seat and they are flexing their collective muscles. Even though over 100,000 new rooms were added last year, hotel rates are expected to rise by a minimum of 4.0%, and they are also charging fees on amenities that were often gratis in the past. In addition, hotels are offering shorter lead times on booking commitments, forcing planners to sign contracts earlier than in past years. Planners are having to work more quickly and to commit farther in advance to secure key properties. Planners are also having to meet increased attendee expectations. They no longer are content with a trade show and a few dinners; they want an experience. Planners need to find ways to create a meaningful experience to ensure that attendees walk away with an impactful memory. This kind of experiential learning can generate a deeper emotional connection, which can ultimately result in increased brand recognition, client retention, and incremental sales. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.