Southwest Showcase congratulates our 2019 Award winners. These award recipients were recognized on Wednesday, January 23 during the 2019 Southwest Showcase Luncheon. Join us for 2020 as we recognize a leading industry peer and state-of-the-art meeting destination.
2019 Industry Professional of the Year Award
Joe Bedsole, CTA
Director of State Accounts
Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau
Joe Bedsole, CTA, started in the event and hospitality industry in the 1980’s while in college, working first as a hotel lifeguard, then as front office manager in San Antonio. He has extensive hotel sales experience, including Marriott, Fairmont, Adam’s Mark, DoubleTree, Sheraton and Le Meridien. In 2007 he accepted a job in destination sales, opening Arlington CVB’s first ever Austin-based satellite office. Joe has an impressive 17 years of current and previous board service and leadership for a host of meetings industry organizations including SGMP, MPI and TSAE. And his dedication to the meetings industry looks to the future as well–he shares his industry knowledge as a volunteer Applied Meetings instructor at Austin Community College.
2019 Most Exciting Meeting Destination Change
Toyota Music Factory
Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau
Due to Irving’s prime location and business-friendly hospitality community, the city has always enjoyed a reputation as a place “built for grownups.” There was only one thing missing: a good variety of dining and entertainment options. Beginning in 2005, the City of Irving set out to fill that void and the concept of an entertainment center was born. For the first time in its history, Irving now has an extensive entertainment district in the heart of the city. The Toyota Music Factory is an adult playground of shops, restaurants, clubs and more. Easily walkable from the Irving Convention Center and surrounding hotels, it is just a short shuttle ride from the majority of the city’s 75-plus other hotel properties. The state-of-the-art, indoor/outdoor Live Nation Pavilion anchors the complex with an entertainment lineup that competes with virtually any arena in the world. The Toyota Music Factory has been a game changer for the City of Irving and its nearly $2.7 billion visitor economy.