M.T. Hickman, CTA, CMP, has directed the Richland College Travel, Exposition and Meeting Management (TEMM) program for over 15 years. She is an industry veteran with experience ranging from convention and visitor bureaus to travel companies and associations. She developed the curriculum for Richland’s Certificate in Meetings. She has written chapters for both beginning and advanced meeting planning in textbooks, and has been published in a scholarly journal. She is an instructor and trainer on industry topics including meeting/event management, tourism and professional development.
In 2009 she received the MPI D/FW Chapter Planner of the Year award and in 1999 received the Richland College Excellence in Teaching Award. She earned her BS Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a MS from the University of North Texas and is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and is a Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) trainer.
With the motto "Student Come First," M.T. focuses on ways to help students learn outside the classroom though participation in the TEMM Club @ RLC of which she is the Faculty Advisor and industry events.
Tony Cummins, M.Ed., CMP
Tony Cummins is the owner of THE MEETING DEPARTMENT LLC, a site selection and meeting management company in Dallas, Texas. Tony holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of South Carolina-Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He has taught a variety of hospitality classes at DCCCD’s El Centro College and CCCCD’s Collin College.
Tony’s career in the hospitality industry began in 1991. Tony has extensive experience in hotel sales and operations, off-premise catering and event planning. The early days of his hospitality career were spent cooking at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. He moved from the culinary side of the business to off-premise catering and eventually into hotel catering sales before opening his business in 2005. He has served six terms on the Board of Directors for the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. He was named MPI D/FW Supplier of the Year in 2005 and received the President’s Award in 2006-2007 for outstanding Chapter service. He became a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) in 1999 and earned his Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) designation in 2012.
TRVM 2331 Convention Law and Ethics
LuAnn Edger, ECC
Travelers Edge, CTA,
Owner of a home-based travel agency since 1994, Lu Ann Edger began teaching the Home Based Travel course in Richland’s TEMM program in 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of South Florida in Tampa, and is certified as an Elite Cruise Counselor (ECC) through Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). She currently serves as director of the Dallas Chapter of Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN).
My outside of the box thinking and passion for hospitality and tourism marketing lead me on a path to help destinations build on their tourism marketing strategies through project management and development of unique service training programs.
I teach a Customer Sales & Service class at Richland College through the Travel, Exposition and Meeting Management program. I really enjoy working with future hospitality industry leaders in creating a fundamental base of great customer service and professional attitude. This custom program is applicable across industries because Customer Service is at the heart of all business. My goal is to create professionals who understand that great service starts with them, whether they are a front line person or CEO.
TRVM 1201 Customer Sales and Service
Christine Fletcher, CEM
Encore Event Management
One of approximately 500 individuals worldwide who is Certified in Exhibition Management (she also teaches CEM classes), Christine Fletcher founded Encore Event Management after 15 years of professional experience in domestic and international exhibits at Nortel, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola. Among her successfully launched consumer expos in various U.S. markets are America’s Baby Expo, College Expo, New You Expo and Adventure Sports Expo.
She has served as chairman of the board of directors for the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and was a contributing author for the third edition of the textbook Art of the Show, used at more than 20 colleges and universities. She also instructs industry professionals on crisis prevention and management, project management and event operations for IAEE and their CEM (Certified Exhibition Management) program. A third-party consultant who manages association shows, she was nominated Show Manager of the Year by the Expo Group in 2006 and 2008, and has been twice recognized by Expo Magazine as a leader in the industry.
TRVM 1325 Exposition and Trade Show Management
Marti Fox, CMP, CTC, CMM
GlobalGoals, Inc., a Meeting & Incentive Resource for corporations in Texas. 60% of its business involves meetings, training sessions, and small conferences. Marti began her career in a travel agency as a corporate travel agent. Then she migrated to the more complex travel incentive reward market, planning for and traveling the world with groups of 25 – 800 participants.
Chuck Laterza, CMP
He received his Bachelor of Arts of Degree from University of Toledo. He received his CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) in 1996. He received his CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) in 1997. Previous teaching experience was at Tiffin University, International Aviation and Travel Academy and American Airlines Travel Academy.
Catheryne Lankford, CTC
Travel and Tourism Coordinator/Instructor – Amarillo College, Amarillo, Texas
Catheryne initiated the Travel and Tourism Program at Amarillo College in 1990, one of the first community colleges in the state to offer an Associate Degree in Travel and Tourism. Catheryne has operated her own travel agency since 1978 and received her CTC – Certified Travel Counselor designation in 1986.
As one of thirty shareholders, Catheryne sat on the Board of Directors in the former regional travel agency consortium, Consolidated Travel Services, Inc. in Houston, Texas which represented the interests of over 425 regional travel agencies with combined sales of over $1 billion. As a Company Director, she was responsible for much of the educational format and training seminars to the membership travel agencies. A member of TCCTA, Texas Community College Teachers Association since 1990, Catheryne was instrumental in establishing TEACHM, the Hospitality Section, with her state colleagues in 1991. Her inclusion in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2005 ed., is based upon recommendations from former students. Catheryne, an extensive world traveler, has been involved in all segments of the tourism industry.
Hyatt Regency DFW
A native of Chicago, IL. Don is proud to now call Dallas his home and has ever since moving to the city in late 1979 in the capacity of sales manager with the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. Before entering into the hotel and hospitality industry, Don was an English and History
teacher in a suburban high school of Chicago for nearly 6 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Louis University and a Master of Education degree from Loyola University in Chicago. Since moving to Dallas, Don taught in the GED and ABE programs in the Lewisville ISD in a part time capacity as well as teaching a variety of sales training courses to hotel colleagues and staff.
For the last 40 years, Don has held a variety of sales and marketing positions with major hotel chains such as Hyatt, Loews, Sheraton, Radisson and Four Seasons as well as three major Convention and Visitor Bureaus. Within those 40 years, Don was in leadership positions as a Director of Sales and Marketing at several Dallas/Fort Worth area hotels. Since September of 2006, Don has been a Senior Sales Manager at the 811 room Hyatt Regency DFW.
TRVM 1300 Introduction to Travel and Tourism
Marla Watson CSEP, CTA
Marla Watson CSEP, CTA is the President & creative force behind PeaPod Group, LLC. – A Brand Management Company. After graduating from University of North Texas with film production and event planning in her blood, she immediately started her career as a helicopter traffic reporter, reporting for some of the best stations in Dallas Fort Worth. As she grew with the company, she made the transition to behind the scenes, as a producer.
After several years in Radio, she made the move to television working for KXAS Channel 5, the Dallas Fort Worth NBC affiliate, and then went on to become a reporter/producer for Time Warner Cable. In 2001, when most companies were downsizing after September 11th, she left to pursue her dream – Peapod Productions (now PeaPod Group), a full service Event and Production Company. Her knowledge of cinematography and special events, have helped create one of the top production companies in the DFW Metroplex.
Currently she writes for several blogs, magazines and industry news outlets including Plan Your Meeting Magazine, Special Event Magazine and is a regular contributor to multiple media outlets based on her knowledge of current trends and technology. Marla is also teaching Special Event Design and Wedding Certification at Richland College.
Marla has won many awards in the Film & Television and Special Events industry including both the Gamma and Executive Excellence award from TxACOM, the ISES Esprit Award, the ISES Pinnacle Award and multiple Texas Star Awards.She previously served on the board of Women in Film Dallas, is Past President of both ISES Dallas and TxACOM, and is the creator/moderator for the PartyFest Education Series.
TRVM 1391 Special Events Design
PSAV (Presentation Services)
Mark Lee is the adjunct professor for the Special Topics – Audio Visual for Meeting Professional course at Richland College. Mark is clearly passionate about the subject matter and has been teaching the course since 2011 at Richland College. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a minor in Organizational Communication from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Mark’s true passion is teaching and giving back. He believes that a better educated meeting planner, the more creative the events he/she can manage. In the course Mark teaches the basics of audio, video, lighting, cameras, labor management, and industry specific terminology. Students who take Mark’s class will be able to properly calculate projector throw distances and have a basic understanding of lighting and audio signal flow.
Mark is currently the Director of Sales for the PSAV Dallas Branch Office. Mark has been with PSAV for just over 13 years. Prior to his tenure with PSAV he was a sales manager for Irving, Texas bases The Expo Group.
TRVM 1391 Special Topics Presentation Media Software