The Advantage Team
Annie Kelly - Vice President/Finance and Partner
Annie Kelly, Vice President/Finance and Partner at Advantage Destination and Meeting Services, Inc. has been leading the financial aspects for the company since the day of inception in 1998. Annie is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Accounting & Business. Annie was brought to Advantage from one of South Florida’s larger Hilton Properties where she was Comptroller. Annie is best known for her focus on formalized Accounting Policies and Procedures, which, in turn, has played a major role in increasing revenues and bottom line profits through efficiency and cost control. Annie’s belief is that Advantage DMS is a successful TEAM that delivers a superior product and service that exceeds our customers’ expectations. When not “crunching numbers” Annie, enjoys family time together, living in Florida, and shopping for those special high heel shoes!!
Jim Post, Vice President of Operations and Partner, started his career in the newly-developed "Destination Market" of Miami in the early 1980s. Jim's expertise ranges from creating memorable Welcome Receptions and Gala Awards to group tours and interactive activities, siting unique off-property venues and liaisoning with top local restaurants for group dine-arounds and buyouts, as well as overseeing airport meet & greets and ground transportation needs. His worldwide contacts, resources and specialization have earned him an outstanding reputation in the industry’s Corporate as well as Incentive Market.
Jim has developed and trained hundreds of travel staff personnel, many of whom have been loyally following his endeavors for over 20 years. He maintains an excellent rapport with hotels, restaurants, local vendors and his client contacts. Jim serves as our Vice President of Operations, and oversees all program operations.
Mark graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1992 with a BA in Communications and Marketing. During his college years, he was selected to work with the Walt Disney Company and General Motors Corporation, respectively on professional internships in Orlando, Florida. Upon graduation, Mark started his career at the Walt Disney Company in special events.
In 1995, Mark relocated to Minneapolis, MN to be a Travel Director with one of the nation’s largest Incentive Companies traveling the world with Fortune 500 clients, ensuring their programs were operated smoothly and successfully.
In 1998, Mark returned to the Sunshine State, more specifically, Ft. Lauderdale which he now calls home. Mark was General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing for two Destination Management Companies in South Florida prior to landing at what he considers “the best career move I have ever made”, to Advantage. Mark has been on our team since the summer of 2005 and is thrilled to be part of such a “…professional, dedicated team of individuals who value one another and their contributions to our clients.”
Mark brings with him over twenty years of service in the meetings and incentive industry and looks forward to assisting you on your next event in Florida.
Michael Avitable, DMCP - Senior Sales Manager
Michael graduated from the University of Florida in 1988 with a B.S. in Advertising and a Minor in Marketing. Upon graduation he secured a position at Mohawk Distilled Products as Assistant Marketing Manager. After the company was purchased by the French liqueur maker, Marie Brizard et Roger Int’l, he worked his way up through the ranks to become the VP/Director of Marketing where he was responsible for all marketing programs related to supplier trips, trade shows, corporate events, incentive trips, national and international sales meetings.
In 2004, Michael worked as a Sales Manager for Diversified Display Products where he was responsible for account management, customer service and new business development. His successes with the company lead to the role of National Sales & Marketing Manager.
In 2010, Michael joined the Advantage DMS team and has brought his excellent skills in both sales/marketing and account management to help develop and secure new business. Regarding joining the Advantage DMS team Michael said “I’m thrilled to be associated with Advantage because we share the same objectives…genuine dedication to our responsibilities and personal attention to each and every client."
In 2014, Michael was promoted to Senior Sales Manager due to his hard work, diligence and strong business development and customer relation skills.
Michael enjoys outdoor sports such as boating, bicycling, snow skiing and his new favorite….
the Water Jet Pack! And he’s particularly fond of his dog, Niko, who sometimes joins him at the office!
Marc Kaplan - Sales Manager
Marc Kaplan comes to Advantage with 8 years of experience in the event and hospitality world. Marc was born in Ft Lauderdale, FL where he lived for twelve years until moving to the heart of South Georgia to a town called Albany with his family. Marc always had the pleasure of spending his summers in Ft Lauderdale but never knew that eventually his life path would bring him back permanently. Marc went to college at Georgia Southwestern State University to peruse a degree in Marketing not truly knowing that his passion would lie in the event industry. After stepping foot in the Historic Windsor Hotel in Americus, Ga where he went to school, Marc knew this was the start of something great. While going to school, he began his path as the Catering/Restaurant Manager for The Windsor Hotel. After college, Marc was offered a job in sales for Connie Duglin Specialty Linen to open their South Florida office. This is where it all began for Marc, the fast-paced South Florida event industry took hold of him and he was hooked. He quickly realized that selling and creating memorable events was something that he truly excelled at and when the DMC world came calling, he jumped in head first. He started his DMC career with CSI Florida as Business Development Manager and is currently an integral part of the Advantage Sales Team. Marc is also heavily involved in networking and is currently the youngest Board of Director for the prestigious organization Meeting Planners International (MPI).
Sergio Landa, DMCP - Program Manager
Sergio Landa holds degrees in Psychology and Fashion Design and has over two decades of experience in the Travel and Destination Management industries. Sergio's previous seven years’ experience with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Sales department and his years of experience as part of the Operations Team at ADMS, along with his creative eye, give him an “Advant-edge” when it comes to our clients’ needs and expectations.
A dedicated perfectionist, Sergio pays strict attention to detail and is committed to ensuring the success of any endeavor he undertakes. This type of hard work and commitment to excellence is recognized often by our past clients who regularly request Sergio to work exclusively on their events! His knowledge with marketing, design and presentation fuels his innate skills in creating fabulous theme parties, special events, exotic décor and table centerpieces.
In addition to his job responsibilities with Advantage, Sergio served as co-chair of the Education Committee on the CAB (Certification and Accreditation Board) for the Association of Destination Management Executives (ADME), which oversees DMC Accreditation and administering DMCP Exams. Sergio has held his DMCP certification for over 12 years and is an active participant within the corporate meeting and incentive industry's trade groups.
Lena Valdes, DMCP - Creative Design Director
Lena Valdes is the Production and Design Lab Manager. Her passion for a challenge, drive her and her team to find new and innovative design concepts for our sales force. She has over 15 years of experience in the Destination Management field in various capacities; including Sales, Operations and Production. Her formal education is in music, stage production, and psychology which contribute to her creativity, collaborative management style and most of all stamina! Her goal for the Production and Design Lab is to make both the creative and production process a synergistic partnership that will bring clients back for more.
Roxana Vogler, DMCP - Creative Services Manager & Media Manager
Roxana came on board in 2014, joining in Advantage's growing Production & Design department. Having spent nearly 20 years in consumer marketing with a strong focus on developing and implementing experiential events and planning corporate Sales Meetings, Trade Conferences and New Product Kickoffs in the beverage industry, Roxana transitioned to design/visual merchandising then to the creative side of the DMC industry.
Her project management background and experience working with hotels, F&B directors and production vendors has brought a client-minded focus when working on the many aspects of developing corporate meeting experiences. In 2015, Roxana earned a DMCP certification and continues to love seeing client programs go from original concept to execution.
Sara Mook Sang, DMCP - Senior Program Manager
Sara graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Event Management. Sara brings with her experience in convention services, special events and trade shows. She joined our team in 2014 after relocating from Atlanta, GA, where she managed three bi-annual textile trade shows in NYC. Her attention to details, organization skills, and charming personality makes her a great addition to the Advantage Team.
Carlos Angel – Program Manager
Carlos graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a Major in Hospitality Management. Carlos began his career in the Retail Industry where he has over 6 years of experience in Sales, Operations, and Customer Relations. He comes to us with 2 years’ experience from the Loews Miami Beach Hotel where he was an integral part of the Management Team. His passion for superior customer service, attention to detail coupled with creativity and technical skills are what make him a great asset to the Advantage team.
Giovanna P. Lobo, DMCP - Independent Senior Program Manager
Giovanna Lobo officially joined the Advantage DMS team back in 2004 as Program Manager after playing a key role on the field as one of the senior lead staff. She welcomed 2014 as Advantage's Senior Program Manager and she is responsible for overseeing the Operations Department. Her attention to detail and logistics, as well as her commitment to her quality work, allowed her to make the transition to Senior Program Manager easily.
Giovanna’s outgoing personality and dependability create the comfort level that clients are looking for when it comes time to operate their programs. Her experiences from the field enable her to handle unexpected circumstances with confidence and determination to getting the job done right.
Giovanna really enjoys spending time with her family and watching UFC fights.
Tanya Ho-Sang - Lead Field Staff
Tanya has led most of Advantage’s programs since our business doors opened in 1998 and has been a part of the special event industry for over fifteen years. Tanya has a keen sense of creating that comfort level with our client’s guests making their experience in South Florida an enjoyable one. You may see Tanya at the airport organizing greet staff to escorting a group to an off-property event. In which ever role you see Tanya, she is always standing with a bright, friendly smile and positive attitude. Tanya’s excellent customer service and communication skills put her at the top and is often requested by our repeat customers. Tanya leads our field staff of over 100 with true excellence of leadership.
Lani Rodriguez - Accounting Assitant
Lani assists our Vice President of Finance to ensure all our vendors and independent contractors are paid on a timely manner, as well as assisting with all the administrative record keeping for our Finance Department.
Lani is the Miami Marlins #1 Fan.
America Diaz - Program Manager
America comes to us with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Event Management. During her time as a student she interned at the American Diabetes Association gaining experience in fundraising and assisting with the on-site logistics of their annual programs. She then continued her career in hotel operations within the VIP department. America gained extensive VIP experience while working at Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Her ability to understand and manage client needs led her to be recognized and awarded as one of the top team members of the year out of 800+ employees. America’s knowledge in operations and passion for events made her transition to Advantage a perfect fit. On her free time America enjoys traveling, hiking and she recently completed her first half-marathon. Congrats, America!
Damian Edwards - Production Crew Lead
Damian ("Big Cuz") has been with Advantage for over four years and is quite adept at woodworking and handy with power tools, having first started his career building furniture. Onsite, Damian is all business executing our sets and building props for events. "Big Cuz" is known around the office for his big smile and deep laugh, as well as his amazing cooking and part-time catering service. When he does have downtime, Damian enjoys relaxing at home with his beautiful wife and children.
Elrian Singletary, Sr. - Production Crew Lead
Elrian has been working in the South Florida events industry seven years and at Advantage going on five years. He has always loved making beautiful events happen, especially working with flowers. And now he gets to do just that for Advantage! With a good eye for detail, Elrian preps and paints all our sets and decor elements to help make the client's event beautiful. In his time away from Advantage, Elrian is very active in his ministry as well as performing and producing music and streaming his gospel radio station.
Guisselle Chang - Production Floral Design
Guisselle comes to Advantage after managing a south Florida Painting With A Twist store, where she was able to express her creativity as well and develop skills for great customer service and multi-tasking. She also has extensive experience in mechanical engineering that makes her a great addition to and working with our entire Production team. Guisselle is a wonderful mother to seven children who keep her quite busy!