Hospitality Association to Honor WSPA Founder Mary Gendron

Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Member News | Comments Off

Mary GendronThe Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will honor WSPA Board member Mary Gendron with the annual Winthrop W. Grice Award for public relations excellence at HSMAI’s annual Adrian Awards Gala on Feb. 27, 2012, at the New York Marriott Marquis.


A founding member of WSPA, Mary Gendron is president of Middleton & Gendron Brand Communications, based in New York.
Gendron and her partner, Yvonne Middleton, have been in business together for three decades, spearheading successful image-making and groundbreaking public relations and branding campaigns.  With their staff, they have launched new companies, repositioned existing ones, managed crises with worldwide impact, organized celebrity and charity galas and sports tournaments, forged compelling co-marketing partnerships, and helped their clients communicate effectively through traditional and digital media.


Thanks to her expertise in travel, hospitality, real estate and spa, Gendron was a founding board member of the International Spa Association and also helped launch and has served on the boards of New York Spa Alliance and Washington Spa Alliance. She served on Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Crisis Communications Committee which was charged with bringing tourism back to New York City in the wake of 9/11. She has won numerous awards for her work including the Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service presented by the International Association of Conference Centers which she helped launch and served as board advisor for two decades.


A Milwaukee-area native, Gendron moved to New York City in 1976 after earning her B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is now a regular guest speaker at colleges, universities and industry forums in the U.S. and abroad, and has authored many articles for consumer, business and public relations outlets.


The Winthrop W. Grice Award was named in honor of Winthrop W. “Bud” Grice, CHME, a long-time senior marketing executive with Marriott, who was the award’s first designate.  Other winners include: Nancy Friedman, Laura Davidson, Yvonne Middleton, Peggy R. Bendel, René A. Mack, Lou Hammond, Bunny Grossinger, Herbert D. Kelleher, Steve Wynn, Alan Fredericks, Donald J. Trump, and Florence Quinn.


The nomination process for these awards is designed to ensure that anyone who has made a sustained and lasting commitment to excelling in the travel and hospitality industry can be eligible for consideration. Using the input of its members, HSMAI assembles a list of the nominees and the credentials that have been submitted, and these are presented to the HSMAI Lifetime Achievement Awards Selection Committee, which is comprised of 11 former recipients of the Koehl and Grice Awards.


The HSMAI Adrian Awards honor creative brilliance and best practices in hospitality, travel, and tourism-related marketing. In its 55th year, the competition has evolved into the world’s most renowned and prestigious advertising, public relations, and digital marketing competition specifically tailored for the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.


HSMAI - Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association InternationalThe Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. Based in the Washington suburbs, the association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI’s MEET, Adrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at,, and



HSMA’s Winthrop W. Grice Award was established in 1989 to recognize individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to public relations within the hospitality industry.

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