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NYC & Company's Convention, Exhibits, Meetings and Events (CEME) Committee (a group of more than 200 companies organized to bring group business to New York after the September 11 attacks) set sail in the New York harbor to award a who's who of the business world at its first annual Anchors of the Hospitality Industry awards. Spirit Cruises and Bateaux New York sponsored the event, and donated dinner for more than 200 guests. Honorees and members of the New York business community boarded the glass-enclosed boat for a dockside cocktail reception, followed by a dinner cruise that sailed fairly smoothly in spite of rain and rocky water. The boat cruised down the Hudson River, and guests got a close-up view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island while the Bateaux staff served smoked breast of Magret duck appetizers and a pan roasted Chilean sea bass entree.
Cristyne Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Company introduced the event's M.C., WNBC's Maurice DuBois, who jokingly gave his secret of being a good M.C.: “Be brief, brother.” He proceeded to present nine awards in less than 40 minutes. Honorees included Jeff Little, president and COO of George Little Management; Mark Sirangelo, chairman of Meeting Professionals International Foundation; Michael Hudson, president of Meeting Professionals International
Greater New York and Gerald McQueen, president and CEO of the Javits Center. Thomas Madden, managing director of Rockefeller Plaza and Tishman Speyer Properties, and Dennis Swanson, general manager of WNBC, were presented with awards by Radio City Music Hall's Santa, Charles Edward Hall.
Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum; Amund Skarholt, deputy CEO of Securitas; and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, were also honored, but unable to attend.
Back at dockside, Tahitian vanilla creme brulee was served for dessert, and guests departed with a Bateaux gift bag filled with a branded glass champagne flute, chocolates and a pen.