Showing posts from April, 2021

Connections Housing Partner Spotlight: Kelli Orpen, Marriott International

Connections Housing Partner Spotlight is a new series that shines a light on the incredible leaders we have the privilege to work with across the event and hospitality industry. This month we’re excited to talk to Kelli Orpen, Group Account Manager, National Group Sales, Marriott International.  Where’s Your Hometown?  I was born in Chicago, but raised in the Poconos in a small town called Stroudsburg, PA. How Did You Get Your Start in Your Career?  My “first hotel gig”, was the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort in the Poconos. My husband was the beverage manager and I worked the front desk. It was my first job out of college. What Attracted You to the Hotel Industry?  I always knew I wanted to travel. I have always had a passion for it. I went to East Stroudsburg University, and the first two years  of study I was undeclared. I had no idea what I wanted to do. The summer before my third year, I got a letter from the school telling me I needed to declare a major. The second letter I opened w

Something To Cheer About

10,000 participants...just under 800 competing  teams spectators… 72+ and safety  protocols.....It all came together for the successful run of the 2021 CHEERSPORT National Cheerleading Championship  at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.    From pre-event reservations to onsite hotel support to giveaways creating a fun, welcoming environment for the athletes, the Connections team was proud to work with the CHEERSPORT team as we continue to return to live events.  CHEERSPORT is a Varsity All Star event producer, part of the Varsity Spirit family out of Memphis, TN. We had the chance to talk to Kelley Thorp, National Director of Stay Smart for Varsity All Star, about the incredible undertaking and the extensive planning, communication and behind-the-scenes organizing that she and the CHEERSPORT team put into hosting this successful event. What was the biggest challenge in hosting the live Cheersport Nationals in Atlanta?  Athlete safety continues