AMI Provides Talented Certified Suppliers Through Its Industry Leading Tier 2 Supplier Program

AMI Provides Talented Certified Suppliers Through Its Industry Leading Tier 2 Supplier Program

Learn more in this Out Entrepreneur interview with CEO and Founder of AMI Andy McNeill on his advice for the next generation of Out Bosses.

For over 25 years, Andy and his husband and business partner Todd have witnessed a number of ups and downs in the travel and event industry but believe the recent pandemic has changed the industry for good. Andy said the pandemic had driven the “largest, most jarring shift” they’ve experienced, and forced what AMI did to GROW during this challenging time.

In this interview, Andy also shares the philosophy of AMI’s Supplier Diversity Program and how it is successfully positioning minority businesses to pitch to large corporations and win bids. He gives tips on how to be more effective, as just being able to pitch doesn’t simply seal the deal. (Even though AMI’s suppliers have received millions of dollars in contracts because of the program.)

And finally, Andy shares how his LGBTQ life experience and the experiences of others in the community have allowed him to be MORE successful. He advises the next generation of Out Bosses to use their platform to offer themselves as beacons of safe space, education, and connection.

“If you aren’t your whole self at work, people can feel the un-authenticity. And when people aren’t comfortable with who I am or our philosophies, we are fine not working together because it won’t be successful for either party.”

Check out the podcast, The Out Entrepreneur here (@outentrepreneur), and be inspired today!

Palm Beach: LPGA Golf Meets the Iconic History of The Breakers Resort

Palm Beach: LPGA Golf Meets the Iconic History of The Breakers Resort


DE 31 | Palm Beach

 

Michelle McGann, professional golfer and Palm Beach local, shares her favorite golf courses and places to shop. Plus, we sit down with The Breakers’ Senior Vice President of Sales, Jim Mostad, who breaks down the hotel’s greatest offers and amenities, which led to Palm Beach becoming America’s first resort destination. As in all of our destination discoveries, we talk about local flare, popular sites to visit, and the unique activities to make your next meeting or event the best ever. As America’s first resort destination, Palm Beach is truly a sight to behold and a place full of exciting things to do with your meeting or travel partners.

Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings Inc. From sourcing hotels in Palm Beach to corporate event management in Palm Beach, their team sources corporate event venues and have a team of corporate meeting planners in Palm Beach for their clients. They provide ideas for convention themes and how to run global meetings and events in Palm Beach and around the world. For more information go to www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:


Turning pro at the young age of 18, Michelle has played in almost 40 tournaments in her first year alone. Her career brought her around the world and allowed her to play with the most prominent people, from George W. Bush to Michael Jordan.

Palm Beach is home to some of the most beautiful golf courses out there. For Michelle, the course at Seminole is somewhat challenging, but The Bear’s Club offers the true challenge. She also frequents the Old Palm, a club that she represents, and the Jupiter Hills Club, which is one of her favorites situated on the side of a mountain.

Michelle was diagnosed with diabetes when she was young. Her challenging life fighting this disease inspired her to start the Michelle McGann Fund, which brings diabetic children to camp to educate them and help build their self-confidence.

Michelle’s Favorite Food Places

  1. Captain Charlie’s Reef Grill
  2. River House
  3. The Barcelo Aruba
  4. Limoncello Ristorante
  5. Russo’s Submarine Sandwich Shop
  6. C.R. Chicks

Rapid Fire Questions With Michelle

  • Have you ever completed anything on your bucket list? My entire life is a bucket list, and I’ve ticked so many boxes off.
  • If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be? Ireland, because of its greenery that you see in pictures, magazines, and books.
  • When packing for a trip what is something you bring that might surprise people? A soft pillow and several pillowcases so I can switch them out.
  • What is your most memorable experience in Palm Beach? As a local, I’m just grateful to live in such a great community and blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family.

Andy and Todd’s Top 10 Bucket List

  1. Walking down Worth Avenue Drive
  2. Chartering JFK’s Presidential Yacht
  3. Visiting Peanut Island
  4. Enjoying the five-day SunFest event
  5. Immersing into the polo community in West Palm between January and April
  6. Attending the Palm Beach Food and Wine Festival every December
  7. Seeing the annual Honda Classic PGA Tour
  8. Taking part in the Spa Wellness Month during the whole month of October
  9. Joining a baseball spring training
  10. Going to the Whitehall at the Flagler Museum

Jim Mostad, Senior Vice President – Sales at The Breakers

Dubbed as the crown jewel of Palm Beach, The Breakers Hotel is an iconic place and an admirable resort destination in Florida. Founded in 1896 by Henry Flagler, it withstood the test of time and is still owned by his direct descendants. Its current Senior Vice President – Sales, Jim Mostad, has experienced working in conferences services before getting his current position.

The Breakers’ Most Desirable Amenities

  • A dozen of exciting restaurants
  • 140-acre golf course
  • Tremendous tennis complex

Jim also highlights the hotel’s signature experience: bungalows. Unlike some destinations were renting one means only getting a pop-up tent, The Breakers ups the game by offering an entire facility. It includes restrooms, an air conditioning unit, and a television. Concierge services, dining options, and recreational activities are all available in the bungalow.

The Breakers is also not short of flavorful cuisine. Jim highly recommends dining at the Seafood Bar and Adam D. Tihany. To make the trip to Palm Beach a bit more memorable, he also recommends visiting when annual events are taking place, particularly the Concours d’Elegance and Cavallino Classic.

Jim’s Top 3 Favorite Things To Do In The Breakers

  1. Riding a bicycle along the Palm Beach bike trail
  2. Renting a bungalow for a day
  3. Visiting the Flagler Museum

About Jim Mostad

Jim has spent 36 years at The Breakers in various Sales and Conference Services positions. Current responsibilities include overseeing group, social, event sales and conference services.

Nearly a long long resident of Florida, and hobbies include golf and fishing!

About Michelle McGann

DE 31 | Palm BeachMichelle first stepped on the golf course when she was only 7 years old, having special “alone” time with her dad and learning how powerful she could feel from the perfect swing. At age 13 she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but through diet, monitoring and proper medications, her diabetes has proved to be just another challenge in the game.

The sport has kept her traveling as a 3-time Florida State Junior Champion, the 1987 USGA Junior Girls Champion, AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, 1987 Rolex Junior First-Team All-American, and the 1988 Doherty Cup Championship. She was also recognized by GOLF Magazine and GOLF Digest as Amateur of the Year in 1987. At age 18, Michelle decided to skip college and give the LPGA tour a go, making it on her first attempt!

Since joining the LPGA Tour, she has won 8 professional tournaments and participated in two (2) Solheim Cups. She has been fortunate to play golf with Presidents, captains of industry, and some of the greatest sportsmen and women in history.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Destination Everywhere Community today:

Best Meeting Destinations For Winter Travel

Best Meeting Destinations For Winter Travel


DE 29 | Winter Travel

 

After the holiday season, there’s no better escape to have than an exciting winter travel plan. But with so many places in the world to visit, where should you take your winter meeting venue? In another spotlight episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth count down their most exciting winter destinations, diving deep into what each place has to offer. They also share their personal experiences and their thoughts on the must-try activities for every winter traveler.

Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels for winter meetings to corporate event management around the world, their team sources event venues and meeting planners for their clients worldwide. Learn more at www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Best Destinations For Winter Travel

After discussing summer destinations in their last spotlight episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth now turn their discussion to winter travel. They have been to many places fit for a cold escapade, both for business or vacation.

1. Rio de Janiero, Brazil

Mostly featured in film, Rio de Janeiro is one place in the world that fascinates many people. It has warm weather that attracts big crowds throughout the year. When the season turns colder in the latter parts of the year, tourists may find smaller crowds.

Most Significant Things:

  • Rio Carnival, where you can be involved in endless parades and activities that turn the city into a huge bundle of energy

2. Seville, Spain

Offering mild weather, Seville (pronounced in Spanish as Se-BEE-ya) attracts only a manageable crowd during the winter season, even with its popular Christmas markets.

Most Significant Things:

  • Seville Cathedral, a Roman Catholic church that showcases the grand art of Gothic architecture, also a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Royal Alcazar’s Palace, the palace of kings in Seville built for the Christian King Peter of Castile
  • Three Kings Day festivities, which involves a long parade through the streets of Seville featuring giant elaborate floats and camels
  • Affordable room rates

3. Tulum, Mexico

Located in the south of Cancun in the Iberian Peninsula, Tulum is home to the most breathtaking beaches. By tracking the hurricane seasons, this specific body of water can be hit pretty badly by natural calamities every year. Therefore, the best time to visit is between October and December, when the hurricane season ends. The crowd is not that big as well, and the weather is quite warm.

Most Significant Things:

  • Ceviche, an appetizer consisting of marinated raw fish of seafood, commonly served in South America
  • Cenote, or natural swimming holes
  • The best nightlife in the entire Mexico

4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Offering the warmest winters to every traveler, Dubai has been one of the fastest-growing cities in the Middle East for the last 30 years. It is one of the favorite destinations by a lot of people from the US and Europe.

Most Significant Things:

  • Golden Spice Markets, locally known as souk, where you can find the most unexpected yet amazing purchases
  • Indoor ski mountain, found in the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest in the entire world
  • Gorgeous beaches
  • Sandboarding
  • Camel rides
  • Amazing hotels

5. Tahoe, California

Found on the western coast of North America, Tahoe is a popular tourist destination even during summer. With beautiful snowy landscapes, this place is a great addition to the bucket list of winter athletes or anyone who simply in love with winter sports. MTV even hosted their SnowGlobe Music Festival here, which is a real delight for lovers of live music.

Most Significant Things:

  • Lake Tahoe, which provides an amazing amount of snow that makes for an incredible skiing experience
  • Ski biking
  • Whitewater rafting

6. Patagonia, Argentina

While it is winter in the United States, Patagonia is actually enjoying the summer heat, making it a wise choice for a holiday trip. Located in the very southern tip of South America, it is a lovely place that every traveler would love.

Most Significant Things:

  • Torres del Paine National Park, known for its blue mountain iceberg and the iconic three granite towers from which the place derived its name
  • Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, the biggest attraction in Argentina, home to the world’s most dramatic icefalls and a huge variety of bird species
  • Amazing kayaking experience
  • Whale watching
  • Long hiking trips
  • Endless outdoor activities

Rate, review, and subscribe to the show through your preferred podcast application or by visiting www.destination-everywhere.com. Follow on Facebook and Instagram at Destination Everywhere Podcast.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Destination Everywhere Community today:

Best Destinations for Summer Meetings and Events

Best Destinations for Summer Meetings and Events


DE 28 | Best Summer Destinations

 

It’s time for your team’s summer summit! Whether your business event or meeting warrants more time in the sun or away from the heat, the world has so much to offer when it comes to this wonderful travel season. In this spotlight episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth shine the light on their top five best destinations for summer travel. They take a quick round trip to the northerly charms of Vancouver, Scotland, and Alaska, the tropical paradise of Bali, and the southerly quirks of South Africa. They also mention a couple of US and European cities that are worth visiting this summer. Listen in and get ready to pack your bags at one or more of these inspiring destinations!

Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings Inc. From sourcing hotels to corporate event management, their team sources corporate event venues and have a team of corporate meeting planners for their clients. They provide ideas for convention themes and how to run global meetings and events around the world. For more information go to www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

Best Destinations For Summer Travel

The world has a lot to offer when it comes to summer. Whether you’re looking to achieve a sun-kissed glow or escape the oppressing heat of your city, you are sure to find treasures all over the globe that will satisfy your hankering for summer travel. Scouring the world from north to south and from east to west, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth take on the tough, but fun task of picking the best places that you can take your family, team, or clients to during the sunny season.

First off, just across the border – the beautiful city of Vancouver. Sitting on Canada’s Pacific coast, the world-famous city features a unique urban setting surrounded by nature. From dozens of outdoor activities to exhilarating events, you’re never going to run out of things to do in this diverse and colorful city.

Top Events and Activities in Vancouver

  • Canada Day parades
  • Celebration of Light fireworks displays over English Bay
  • August Pride Parade
  • Hiking
  • Water Expeditions
  • Wildlife Tours

Halfway across the world is fair old Scotland. If you’re into long walks in historical walled towns, then the city of Edinburgh is a perfect destination for you. There is a good reason why this centuries-old city is the second most visited city in the United Kingdom. Scotland is also home to what many would argue are some of the best things in the world – golf and whiskey – all the more reason to take your plaid jackets on a plane to this Northern European charm.

If you’re more into tropical excursions this summer, then head down the Equator to Bali, Indonesia. It is safe to say that this little Hindu-Buddhist island is on everybody’s bucket list. April to October is Bali’s dry season and it is also the perfect time to enjoy its offerings while avoiding high rates at the same time. Be careful, though. Half of your sales team may not want to go back if you take them to this picturesque paradise!

Top Outdoor Activities in Bali

  • Hiking Mt. Batur at sunrise
  • Visiting the Hindu temple, Pura Ulun Danu Batur
  • Snorkeling in the black sand beach of Lovina
  • Temple and beach hopping

When it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the winter dry season in South Africa – the perfect season to visit this beautiful place. You can go inland into Johannesburg and ride along on a safari just outside the city. You can explore Kruger National Park, which is South Africa’s oldest national park and one of the best places to spot Africa’s iconic wildlife. For cooler weather and raw, beautiful beach sceneries, you can head down to Cape Town and enjoy the lower fares and fewer crowds during this season.

Closer to home, Alaska has proven itself to be one of the most popular destinations in North America. With 19 hours of sunlight at this time of the year, there is plenty of time to enjoy the state’s gorgeous outdoors, amazing wildlife, and beautiful views. It’s relatively easy to go there. You can just hop on a plane or one of those excellent cruise ships that ply their way to the state during this season.

Those are the top five destinations that you can tick off your bucket list this summer, but there are some great honorable mentions that you might also want to consider.

Top US Destinations for Summer Travel

  • Chicago
  • Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Acadia National Park
  • San Diego
  • Boston
  • Napa Valley

Other Interesting Picks

  • Paris, London, Rome, Dublin, Monaco and all other major European cities
  • Morocco
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rate, review, and subscribe to the show through your preferred podcast application or by visiting www.destination-everywhere.com. Follow on Facebook and Instagram at Destination Everywhere Podcast.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Destination Everywhere Community today:

Dubai

Dubai


DE 27 | Dubai

 

Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? When you are in Dubai, you can have the best of both worlds. In this episode, Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth dive deep into the Jewel of the Middle East, Dubai! They are joined by TV Host, Ryan Pyle, who will explore with us why this city of gold is the top business hub, charting with us its dynamic growth over the last few decades. He takes us to some of the great hotels and destinations that are fit for meetings, events, and, of course, travel!

In line with that, Andy and Todd also sit down with Omar Souab of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk to share with us some of the unique opportunities offered in this luxury hotel. He also takes us outside to give his recommendations on how best to enjoy the city. Join this episode for some fun and luxurious travel options, where you get to enjoy the finer things in life while discovering a different culture that just might enhance your appreciation of respect and tolerance.

Todd Bludworth and Andy McNeill are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels in Dubai to corporate event management, their team sources corporate event venues with and meeting planners for clients worldwide. They provide ideas for convention themes and how to run global meetings and events in Dubai and around the world. For more information go to www.americanmeetings.com.

Watch the episode here:

Dubai

TV Host Ryan Pyle Calls The City Of Gold The Top Business Hub, And Explore Luxury Dubai Hotels With Omar Souab Of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk

Who says traveling for business has to be a task? In Dubai, you can mix business with pleasure as you enjoy not only its growth as a global business hub but also its many luxurious travel destinations. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth dive deep into the Jewel of the Middle East with none other than two great people who live there who can share with us all there is you need to know about the city.

First up, they sit down with Ryan Pyle. After realizing a lifelong dream, Ryan took off from his hometown in Toronto, Canada, to China, where he became a regular contributor to the New York Times. In 2009, he was listed by PDN Magazine as one of the 30 emerging photographers in the world. Having designed a career-making travel television based on the aspirational idea of making people want to travel and see the world, he shares what drew him into the city of gold and what he is seeing that makes it so attractive to business people travelers alike.

Ryan regards as Dubai his home. He talks about why it has a fantastic social club with so many things happening all the time—from people in entertainment to the incredible restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

Lest you forget the old world in this cosmopolitan environment, Ryan shares his top must-try things and must-visit places in the city that are unlike no other:

  •     Walk through the gold market
  •     Cruise in a morning boat along the Dubai Creek
  •     Visit some of the deserts just north or south of the city

Plus, if you want to bask in the beautiful sunset with unforgettable views and a fine and luxurious experience, then you don’t want to miss visiting Burj Khalifa.

From one great landmark to the next, Andy and Todd also sit down with Omar Souab, the General Manager of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk—the second largest in the world and largest in the Middle East and Africa. Fit for a luxurious city, Omar talks about the great things that make this luxurious hotel unique:

  •     One, this iconic building is adorned with a gold pyramidion and in the shape of an obelisk, representative of the Luxor Obelisk currently in Paris.
  •     Two, it is in a great downtown spot, just 10 minutes away from the airport.
  •     Three, it houses five amazing restaurants.
  •     Four, it offers the Sofitel Spa with L’Occitane
  •     Five, it has three signature suites inspired from the emperor Napoleon and Cleopatra and designed by an Italian designer

Going out to the city, Omar then shares his recommendations that any international visitor must try:

  •     Safaris in the desert
  •     Boat trips in the Arabian sea
  •     Indoor activities such as ski slope and diving
  •     Shopping malls

Through it all, Dubai has proven itself to be one of the must-visit places, be it for business or pleasure or both. Before we forget, it helps to be reminded of the cultural differences any well-meaning traveler needs to know about Dubai. So get yourself acquainted with their culture and, most of all, always keep in mind to be respectful.

Capping this amazing episode off, here are Andy and Todd’s bucket-list items to do in Dubai:

  •     Sand Dune Bashing and Sandboarding
  •     Visit the Dubai Souks (Markets)
  •     Lounge 152 stories up at Burj Khalifa
  •     Zipline across the Dubai Marina
  •     See the world’s largest natural flower garden at the Dubai Miracle Garden
  •     Experience the culture during Ramadan
  •     Attend the activities at the Dubai Opera House
  •     Enjoy the Arabian Gulf on a private yacht

About Ryan Pyle

DE 27 | DubaiBorn in Toronto, Canada, Ryan Pyle spent his early years close to home. After obtaining a degree in International Politics from the University of Toronto in 2001, Ryan realized a lifelong dream and traveled to China on an exploratory mission.

In 2002 Ryan moved to China permanently and in 2004 Ryan became a regular contributor to the New York Times. In 2009 Ryan was listed by PDN Magazine as one of the 30 emerging photographers in the world.

In 2010 Ryan began working full time on television and documentary film production and has produced and presented several large multi-episode television series for major broadcasters in the USA, Canada, UK, Asia, CHINA and continental Europe.

About Omar Souab

DE 27 | DubaiAs General Manager of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Omar Souab leads the strategic direction and managed the pre-opening and current operations of Sofitel Hotels & Resorts largest property in the Middle East.

Souab brings a wealth of hospitality experience with an in-depth background in operations and sales following a 15-year career with Accor Group in Morocco and the UAE.

Souab holds a Bachelor in International Business from Santa Monica College in Los Angeles, USA, a Bachelor of International Business majoring in Marketing from Schiller International University in Madrid, Spain, and a Masters in Hospitality from Accor’s International Hospitality Management Program in Paris, France.

In his free time, Souab is a keen golfer, enjoys running – aiming for a semi-marathon – and discovering new Hospitality as well as Food & Beverage trends.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Destination Everywhere Community today: