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President Obama gave his Farewell Address at McCormick Place in Chicago.
Photo by Scott Winterroth

Judge Strikes Down Labor Dept. Motion to Stay Overtime Ruling

By Todd McElwee

Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas has denied a U. S. Dept. of Labor’s (DOL) motion to stay court proceedings concerning the controversial overtime rule. The agency had requested a delay in the proceedings until after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on the government’s appeal of the injunction, meaning the judge could rule on the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, which would effectively strike down the rule entirely, according to ASAE.

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HSMAI Honors Randy Smith, Melanie Brandman With Lifetime Achievement Awards

By Grant Broadhurst

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) announced the winners of the 2016 HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Awards on Jan. 9: Randy Smith, Chairman & Cofounder of STR, and Melanie Brandman, Founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency.
Smith and Brandman will be recognized for their achievements at the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on February 21, 2017, at the New York Marriott Marquis. Specifically, Smith won the 2016 Albert E. Koehl Award for Advertising, and Brandman won the 2016 Winthrop W. Grice Award for Public Relations.

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State Official Ken Lawson Takes Reins of VISIT FLORIDA

By Jonathan Trager

Ken Lawson, who’s Gov. Rick Scott’s handpicked successor for VISIT FLORIDA, has taken over as President & CEO following the abrupt departure of Will Seccombe.
The appointment of Lawson, Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), was announced on Jan. 10. VISIT FLORIDA Board members had been meeting in Orlando.

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McCormick Place Hosts Obama’s Farewell Address

By Todd McElwee

McCormick Place in Chicago was the venue for President Barack Obama’s farewell address Jan. 10 as he gave encouragement and issued warnings to not forsake the Constitution and American principles.
About 17,500 people attended the address in Hall D in the Lakeside Center. Using their experience with similar events, the staff had no trouble meeting the challenges of hosting the historic address.
“Keep in mind that McCormick Place has done these kinds of events not only for the president but for NATO,” Lori Healey, the CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, told USAE. The MPEA owns and manages McCormick Place and the surrounding campus.

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