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Veteran meeting planner Marie Botvinick's new firm specializes in contract negotiations for corporations and associations.

Marie Botvinick
Marie Botvinick
Photo: Stefanie Blue

In her 15 years as a meeting planner, Marie Botvinick has covered a lot of territory. She has been a corporate meeting planner for Price Waterhouse L.L.P. and a senior planner and global director of sales for Meeting Sites Resource, a site selection and contract negotiation company. She earned the Certified Meeting Professional designation in 2004 and became a Certified Meeting Manager in 2008. In February, Botvinick launched her own company, D’or Solutions, handing out a stack of new business cards for the first time at Meeting Professionals International’s MeetDifferent conference in Cancún, Mexico.

Based in Oceanside, D’or Solutions specializes in global hotel site research, contract negotiations, and on-site management for corporations and associations. (D’or also does full-service meeting planning, but only for certain clients.) Botvinick regards her longtime partnerships with hoteliers and suppliers as one of her strengths, and she works to make sure contracts are tight and favorable for her clients.

“Some seasoned [internal corporate] planners’ departments have been cut dramatically, so we come in and create fewer things they have to worry about, and try to help them to be more strategic with their plans,” Botvinick says. “What we do is listen to our client’s story of who they are, what they need, what they are trying to accomplish, and work to help them communicate with C-level decision makers to provide [and demonstrate] the R.O.I. that shows that what they’re doing is very business-related.”

There is no fee to the client for site research and contract negotiation services; instead, D’or Solutions receives a placement fee from the hotel. Botvinick claims her company’s buying power with hotels gives clients a 5 to 20 percent savings over meeting group rates.

When one client had a contract already approved by the company’s own legal department, Botvinick advised that she could help improve the terms. The revised contract resulted in favorable additions like suite upgrades, staff rates, some complimentary guest rooms, parking and audiovisual price reductions, complimentary Internet access for guest rooms, storage, and late checkout for staff.

D’or’s current and past clients include the U.C.I. Department of Biomedical Engineering, California Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, Allergan, Blockbuster, and Lucent Technologies.

“I have worked with [Botvinick] for two consecutive conventions. Her work has been exemplary in both cases,” says Ken Deitz, executive vice president of the United Nurses Association of California/Union of Health Care Professionals. “In preparing for our convention, she did the groundwork to find a site to meet our needs. Through a complete and exhaustive search, she narrowed our search to just three facilities and, as such, saved me hours of work.”

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