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Sunrise on the porch of Gracie Mansion was magnificent as financial and insurance meeting and event professionals from more than 40 companies gathered for an elegant breakfast hosted by NYC & Company's Convention, Exhibition, Meeting and Event (CEME) Committee. Labeled as a summit, the event was designed to use the imagery and ambiance of Gracie Mansion to woo financial and insurance professionals to hear about the advantages of scheduling large and small events in New York. Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff, NYC & Company chairman Jonathan Tisch and NYC & Company president and CEO Cristyne Nicholas spoke in the ballroom of the newly renovated mansion about the importance of acting now to help the city.
In a coup for NYC & Company, Brett Barrowman, the president of the Insurance Conference Planners Association (which coordinates conventions and meetings
for the financial services and insurance industries), flew from Oklahoma just for the breakfast. He announced that his organization will hold its annual conference in New York in 2005 for the first time since 1969. The importance of such an announcement is that the conference's attendees control the meetings and events of a large portion of the insurance meeting industry, and they may be swayed to bring their own events to New York.
NYC & Company's Convention, Exhibition, Meeting and Event Committee was founded after the September 11 attacks to help bring group business back to New York, and the group's membership has grown to more 300 companies. During the past year the group has hosted several Gracie Mansion events, including ones for the pharmaceutical and trade show industries. “Our Gracie Mansion events are a team of volunteers who donate everything from the food and rentals to the entertainment and event planning,” said Ellis Island's Patti Golden, chairperson of CEME's event committee. “Our goal is to help the city, which in turn will help everyone. Gracie Mansion is one of the most inspiring locations in New York and it is an honor to work here.”