Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) announces a new role for Megan Wilkinson as manager, convention services and the promotion of Joseph Henry as manager, technology.
In her new role, Wilkinson will work closely with ACVB member companies to source suppliers for customer needs and collaborate with ACVB marketing and public relations departments to provide destination marketing materials to the meeting planners, supporting convention attendance building. She will manage bookings for groups with a minimum of 250 hotel room nights on peak to major citywide accounts. Wilkinson began her career with ACVB in 2016 as administrative assistant, trade show sales and was promoted to manager, sales in 2017.
As manager, technology, Henry is responsible for monitoring ACVB’s local area network (LAN) while providing technical support to ensure equipment and facilities are operating at maximum efficiency. He joined the organization in 2014 as specialist, technology, playing an essential part in the organization’s technological advancement, onboarding new staff members into the internal system and assuring continued availability of resources during ACVB’s recent office renovation.
Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi and gaming convention, attracted a record 85,000 people for the five-day celebration and raised more than $110,000 for American Heart Association’s Georgia affiliate.
“Dragon Con 2019 was another terrific success,” said Rachel Reeves, co-chair, Dragon Con. “For many of our fans and guests, Dragon Con gave them five days to escape the real world and embrace the things they love with friends from around the world.”.
Fans came from around the world and all 50 states, with this year’s convention attracting people from Canada, Mexico, several European countries and Australia.
“Dragon Con is one of Atlanta’s largest conventions, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for its record-breaking attendance this year,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Downtown’s walkability and connectivity make it easy for attendees to travel between hotels, restaurants, events and attractions, which is why Atlanta is the ideal destination for this event.”
Some of this year’s top guests included George Takei, Sulu from the Star Trek franchise, Once Upon a Time’s Lana Parrilla, David Tennant, Jessica Jones, Good Omens, Freema Agyeman, Cary Elwes, Lou Ferrigno, Zachary Levi, Ralph Macchio, Catherine Tate, Cress Williams and pop duo Aly & AJ.
The convention also supported a number of movies and television shows made in Georgia including Stranger Things, Black Lightening, Cobra Kai, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok and The Gifted. Fans also had a chance to talk with creators and professional players from Paladins and SMITE, perhaps the most popular video game to come out of Georgia.
In the Dragon Awards, A Star-Wheeled Sky by Brad R. Torgersen was the fan’s choice in the Best Science Fiction Novel category. The Dragon Awards are the only fan’s choice award in fandom, with more than 10,000 people casting a ballot this year.
In the months leading up to the 2019 convention, Dragon Con Superheroes community service program volunteers and fans worked with Piedmont Park Conservancy to mulch the dog park and handle other maintenance tasks, packed some 1,500 meals for Open Hand Atlanta and sorted and packed medical supplies for MedShare. Since 2014, Dragon Con Superheroes have contributed more than 3,500 hours to Atlanta-area nonprofits.
LifeSouth, which has organized the convention’s annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive since 2002, held another successful drive. This year, 3,600 donors contributed more than 10,000 units of blood and blood products. The annual drive – consistently ranked as the largest convention-based blood drive – benefits LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) announces new roles for Pholeta Alexander as vice president, technology and facilities; Sheretha Bell as vice president, brand; Kristin Delahunt as vice president, convention services and Cynthia Mokotoff as vice president, human resources.
“I am so proud to promote these four employees to our senior leadership team,” said William Pate, president and CEO, ACVB. “Combined, they represent 70 years of experience with ACVB and have each been instrumental in positioning Atlanta as one of the country's most popular destinations.”
As vice president, technology and facilities, Alexander will lead technology and strategy execution and oversee all ACVB facilities including the main office and satellite locations. She began her career at ACVB in 2004 as manager, technology and was promoted to director, technology in 2011.
In her new role as vice president, brand, Bell is responsible for brand strategy and execution including digital and social content, messaging, photography, video content and print publications. Bell joined ACVB in 2000 as specialist, sales and marketing research and has advanced throughout the years with numerous positions throughout the bureau.
Delahunt began her career with ACVB in 2003 as manager, convention services, progressing into new roles as assistant director, convention services and director, convention services. Now as vice president, convention services, she will guide client services to focus on increasing convention attendance and enhancing visitor experience.
Joining ACVB in 1999 as an administrative assistant, operations and finance, Mokotoff has held several leadership positions for the bureau throughout the years. In her new role as vice president, human resources, Mokotoff will lead the people strategy of ACVB including human resources, visitor information centers and management of its board of directors.