Carlson Marketing Announces Its 2008 Spirit of Excellence Awards

Minneapolis, MN | April 08, 2008

At an event at its Minneapolis headquarters, Carlson Marketing recently recognized 26 people in 22 organizations as "Premier Partners" in its Spirit of Excellence awards program. An additional 31 companies were identified as "Partners in Excellence."

For 16 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

Air France

Eric Heitmann

American Airlines

Alynne Hanford

Barton Creek Resort & Spa -- Texas

Deb Coulter-Bueide

Celebrity Cruise Line

Patrick Bralick

Ron Gulaskey

Circa Austin--Texas

Mark Waring

ContactIncentives -- Mexico

Jolene Comartin

Four Seasons Hualalai -- Hawaii

Kerstin Busse

Fourth Dimension Tours Italy

Umberto Pagani

Grand Velas -- Mexico

Eduardo Villela

Jose Villela

Hello Florida! Ft. Lauderdale -- Florida

Valerie Matalon

IVI Puerto Vallarta -- Mexico

Francisco Corcuera

Lindsay Cullen

JW Marriott Starr Pass-- Arizona

Paul Canez

JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes-- Florida

Gary Scholl

Marquis Los Cabos -- Mexico

Jose Villela

Marriott Renaissance Center Detroit-- Michigan

Geri Silveira

Ocean Getaways

Trish Cronan

Panache Destination Management-- Hawaii

Harmony Cordeiro

Ritz-Carlton San Juan-- Puerto Rico

Craig Thomas

TAM Travel-- Costa Rica

Mauricio Castro

Ileana de Castro

Tusker Tours -- Africa

Joanne Wadsworth

Westin Indianapolis -- Indiana

Kimberly Timmons

Wynn Las Vegas -- Las Vegas

Karolyn Graves-Rhodes

"Partners in Excellence" recognition - for organizations attaining a score between 80 and 90 percent - was awarded to:

Partners in Excellence

Caribe Royale Orlando -- Florida

Continental Airlines

Delta Air Lines

Destination Concepts -- California

Destination Services of Colorado -- Colorado

Destination VIP Park City -- Utah

Doubletree Oakbrook -- Chicago

EVED Services Chicago -- Illinois

Gaylord Texan -- Texas

Grand Wailea Resort & Spa -- Hawaii

Hello Florida!Orlando -- Florida

Hilton Anatole -- Texas

IVI Cancun -- Mexico


Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino -- Las Vegas

Marriott Detroit Pontiac at Centerpoint -- Michigan

Planning the Globe -- South Carolina

Rocky Mountain Connections -- Wyoming

Rosen Centre Hotel -- Florida

Scottsdale Plaza Resort -- Arizona

SeaDream Yacht Club

Southwest Conference Planners -- Arizona

St. Regis Aspen -- Colorado

St. Regis New York -- New York

The Broadmoor -- Colorado

The Meeting Manager Los Angeles -- California

The Meeting Manager Palm Springs -- California

The Venetian -- Las Vegas

Ultimate Ventures Dallas -- Texas

United Airlines

Westin Kierland Resort & Spa -- Arizona

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.

"Mutual trust and outstanding performance are prerequisites for great partner relationships and long-term success," said Fay Beauchine, executive vice president, Global Engagement & Events at Carlson Marketing. "That's why we consider Spirit of Excellence an integral part of our incentives, recognition, meetings and events business."

Spirit of Excellence has been in place for 16 years. At the end of every year Carlson Marketing invites its top suppliers - with scores of 90 percent or better - to come to company headquarters for a special recognition event. At that time, they are awarded their Premier Partner plaques. Those who have earned that honor are also permanently enshrined on Carlson Marketing's Premier Partner Wall of Fame. The next level, Partners in Excellence, recognizes those who have attained a score of 80 percent or better.

"Carlson Marketing takes Spirit of Excellence very seriously, both in the extensive evaluation process and in recognizing our supplier-partners who have delivered at or above performance expectations," said Barb Hollister, senior director industry relations/purchasing, Carlson Marketing. "Those who have earned membership have done exactly that; they earned it."

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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 3,000 marketing professionals across

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