Sodexo Conferencing Blog

Venue Spotlight: High Country Conference Center

Mandy Volpe - Thursday, January 16, 2014

This week we are highlighting High Country Conference Center, a Sodexo Conferencing Venue located in Flagstaff, Arizona.  

High Country Conference Center gives a high level of attention to audio visual technology. They can customize your event lighting needs based on your color scheme. They will work with you to ensure that your meetings are equipped with slideshow presentations and a sound system.They truly help to create a one-of-a-kind event for your attendees!

The Conference Center features over 25,000 square feet of meeting space. Rooms consist of an 800 person ballroom, spaces for wedding receptions, and staging rooms for your bridal party to get ready for the big day!

The indoor spaces alone are ideal for weddings, corporate meeting, and special events but the extension of the outdoor patio is perfect for a cocktail reception under the stars.

The Conference Center offers the best of both worlds while offering state of the art meeting spaces adjacent to extensive amenities such as shopping, entertainment, and dining in downtown Flagstaff.

Check out the High Country Conference Center today for your next corporate or social event.

Pickwick Garden Wedding Film by Russell John Films

Mandy Volpe - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

We wanted to take a few moments to showcase this beautiful video from Russell John Films. They really captured the perfection of Pickwick Gardens and the joy that took place during this couple’s wedding day.

Arthur & Hermine-Cinematic Highlight from Russell John Films on Vimeo.

Congratulations Arthur and Hermine and we wish you the best in your marriage!

Meet the Planner: Black Canyon Conference Center

Mandy Volpe - Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Today we close out the year by highlighting our Sales Coordinator from Black Canyon Conference Center. Without further adieu, meet Stacy Murillo.

How did you get started in the industry? I loved cooking class in high school so I went to culinary school right out of high school.

You speak about your love for the culinary. How did you shift into meeting planning?  I left the kitchen in 1997 and have been in catering/conference services ever since. That would be a total of 16 years.

What a unique journey to get you to today. What is your favorite part about working at Black Canyon? I  love building relationships and I love when groups trust us enough to book again. 

What has been your favorite event you have planned, and why? Newly working with non-profit groups. I love working with these organizations that are making a difference.

Thank you Stacy! To learn more about black canyon Conference Center, a Sodexo Conferencing property, visit

Venue Spotlight: Discover Waltham Woods

Mandy Volpe - Thursday, December 19, 2013
Sodexo Conferencing has a wide portfolio of venues that can meet your event needs. We are starting a series to highlight our properties so that you can see just how great the venues are. First up, The Conference Center at Waltham Woods.

The Conference Center at Waltham Woods is located in Massachusetts and is housed within the award winning Massachusetts Medical Society. The Conference Center overlooks the Cambridge Reservoir which provides beautiful park-like views.

Meeting spaces range from 180 seats amphitheater to 5 individual break out meeting rooms. Seating is flexible, but most importantly feature ergonomic chairs.

Of course being a Sodexo Conferencing property, the catering menu is top notch. There is a Dining Room Luncheon Buffet which changes daily to include fresh ingredients, vegetarian options, and a carved item! Your meeting attendees will not leave hungry!

Meet the Planner: San Ramon Valley Conference Center

Mandy Volpe - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rachel Schaffner has been with San Ramon Valley Conference Center for almost two and a half years. Today we highlight her experience and what is her most memorable event.

How did you get started in the industry?

I started in the hospitality industry in college.  I was in the process of receiving my degree in hotel and restaurant management when I received my first job at a front desk of a conference center.  After working closely with the Event Coordinator, I knew that I was drawn to event planning.  I moved to New York City after college and received my first job at a Law Firm working as a Conference Coordinator for the attorneys.  After four years in the city that never sleeps, I moved back to California to find myself at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center.    


How long have you been coordinating Conferences?

6 years


What is your favorite part about working at San Ramon Valley?

My favorite part of working at SRVCC would be my amazing coworkers and collaborating with clients to coordinate creative events that put a smile on the attendees’ faces. 

What has been your favorite event you have planned, and why? I think one of my favorites events here at SRVCC would have been a 50th birthday party I had the honor of planning.  It was a unique event for us here at the Conference Center as we are normally planning corporate events as opposed to social. The theme of the party was to roast the birthday boy.  We had a sit down dinner for 100 guests, DJ, dance floor, and stage.  This was a fun event to plan because it was something out of the ordinary than what we do here at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center.

Certified Meeting Professionals at Sodexo Conferencing Properties

Mandy Volpe - Friday, December 06, 2013
Sodexo Conferencing venues are represented by employees with fantastic expertise in the meetings industry. Meeting planners can feel confident that their conferences will be handled with the utmost care due to the prestigious Certified Meeting Professionals qualifications of the staff. The CMP program recognizes individuals who have achieved the industry's highest standard of professionalism in meeting management.

Recently Ken Misterly and Lori Keene (Pictured to the right) from The Millennium Centre passed their CMP exams. Ken and Lori join the following Sodexo Conferencing Family in passing the CMP:
Susan Armentrout, CMP from Desert Willow Conference Center Rick Tkachuk, CMP from Black Canyon Conference Center. 

Congratulations and a job well done!

Meeting Planner Summits

Mandy Volpe - Tuesday, November 26, 2013
"The industry is changing every day and that puts more demand on planners," says Sean Anderson, VP of Operations for Sodexo Conferencing. As such, the company has heeded the call for more resources and learning opportunities by piloting a program of annual Meeting Planner Summits. Held at various Sodexo conference centers across the country, the popular series features actionable and relevant content targeted to professional conference and meeting planners.

Just this year, the Meeting Planner Summits were certified by the Convention Industry Council, allowing 12 continuing education credits for planners who attend a session.

Topics during the two days of education cover such issues as developing industry guidelines for determining capacity in non-traditional venues; finding methods for calculating meeting ROI; looking into the effect healthy eating has on an individual's ability to retain information in conference settings; and tips for managing contract attrition and negotiation.

The Millennium Center was the host of the Meeting Planner Summit held in May. Approximately 40 meeting planners attend for 2-days of education. Thank you to all of the planners who attended and we hope that you will join us for the next installment of the Meeting Planner Summit. If you attended the Summit, what educational takeaways did you benefit from the most?

Stay at San Ramon Valley Conference Center

Mandy Volpe - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
San Ramon Valley Conference Center is excited to announce the opening of onsite lodging. There are 119 onsite lodging rooms just steps away from meeting facilities to ensure your stay is as comfortable as it is convenient.  Each guest room includes features such as cable television, telephone, free internet access and well-lit desk space. Our comfortable accommodations amenities include private bath, well-lit desk space, modem lines, telephones, cable television, coffee maker, irons, ironing boards and hairdryers.

In support of our Green Initiatives, Green Sealed and environmentally preferred cleaning and laundry detergents are used throughout the lodging department.

At San Ramon Valley Conference Center, we want to ensure that your meeting is a success and your stay is a pleasure.  We're always striving to provide the next level of comfort and an experience that welcomes you back.  As part of these efforts, we recently upgraded our lodging amenities, which also included converting all of our lodging rooms into smoke free environments. While the lodging rooms are smoke free environments, there are designated smoking areas throughout the property.  It's one of many ways we're making each of our guests the center of our attention.

Cooking Up A Storm

Mandy Volpe - Wednesday, November 13, 2013


This past weekend, The Millennium Centre participated in the March of Dimes 75th Anniversary Signature Chef's Auction. The event took place in Knoxville, TN at the Convention Center with over 500 attendees. 

Chef Jean-Claude and Sous Chef Justin prepared a "Japalachain" menu combining the best of Oriental & Appalachian cuisine.  They competed against twenty other chefs and were a big hit. 

Trending Topic: Sodexo Conferencing

Mandy Volpe - Friday, November 08, 2013
Have you heard the news? We are taking over the internet! Okay, not really, but we are making a dent in the social media world. Follow along as we update regularly on Facebook and Twitter about upcoming events and deals. You may even catch a glimpse of some behind the scenes footage from our event set-ups. Join the conversation by using #sodexoconferencing and follow your favorite properties below:

San Ramon Valley and Conference Center

High Country Conference Center

Black Canyon Conference Center

Desert Willow Conference Center

The Millennium Center

The Conference Center at Waltham Woods

Pickwick Gardens and Conference Center

Sodexo Conferencing LinkedIn

Sodexo Conferencing Pinterest

Sodexo Conferencing Blog

We will see you online!