New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Announces Convention Industry Panel Discussion During Katrina 10 Commemoration


Industry leaders will discuss how New Orleans’ business landscape has changed and grown into one of the best meetings destinations in the world


One decade after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is a thriving city, considered among the top meeting destinations in the world. As part of the citywide events taking place throughout the week leading up to the Katrina 10 (K10) anniversary, the City of New Orleans and New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau invite you to attend “A Convention Destination Once Again.” Moderated by respected local PR professional, John Deveney, the panel will feature meetings industry leaders who will discuss their commitment to New Orleans, changes in the hospitality industry and how New Orleans has continued to evolve as a top meeting destination.

In August 2005, the New Orleans CVB was forced to cancel $2 billion in convention business and helped to relocate hundreds of scheduled meetings. Ten years later, New Orleans is once again hosting prominent meetings and events, and has been named the number one city in the U.S. for business travelers by Condé Nast Traveler, among a myriad of other awards and accolades. The commitment of these panelists to the city has brought millions of dollars in economic impact helping to bring back the 80,000 jobs supported by the hospitality and tourism industry. Bringing 9.52 million visitors to the city who spent more than $6 billion in 2014, the tourism and hospitality industry is the city’s largest economic driver supporting nearly one-third of the city’s operating budget.

The following panelists played a pivotal role in the city’s recovery by bringing their events back to New Orleans:

  • Robert Kolinek CEM, CMP: President, Helen Brett Enterprises
  • Steve Pitt: Vice President, Conventions & Expositions, National Automobile Dealers Association
  • Joy Collins: General Manager, Essence Communications Inc.
  • Pam Henry: Deputy Executive Director, Water Environment Federation
  • Marty D. Balogh: Associate Executive Director, Meetings and Travel Group, American Bar Association

The media center will host a variety of panels throughout the week featuring leaders in different industries. For the full schedule download the K10 Media Information Book here. Panel information is on page 45.

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Rhythms I Ballroom, 2nd Floor, 500 Canal St.

Tuesday, August 25; 10 a.m.

General registration: (All panels are free and open to the public)
Media registration:

TWITTER: @Katrina10, @MayorLandrieu, @ResilientNOLA, @NewOrleansCVB
INSTAGRAM: @Katrina10, @MayorLandrieu, @VisitNewOrleans
HASHTAGS: #Katrina10, #MyK10Story, #K10Serve

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 2nd Floor
Friday, August 21-Saturday, August 29: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

Kristian Sonnier, 504.481.7933,; Tara Letort, 504.220.7414,