Table Top Networking Extravaganza at the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort

(R) Robert Festinger, COO of the Newport Group; (L to R) Leslie Lowenthal, Lowenthal PR; Oscar Llorente, Mount Sinai Medical Center; Sunny Isles Beach Vice Mayor Lew Thaler

When the Aventura Marketing Council (AMC) was looking for the perfect site for their annual Table Top Expo, it was the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort that won out again! And it proved to be exactly the right place for the AMC’s biggest networking event of the year in cooperation with the Greater North Miami Beach Chamber and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Eighty-three exhibitors filled the Newport’s Atlantis Ballroom and huge Mezzanine with display tables chock full of valuable information and special offers. From hospitals to banks to air conditioning contractors to computer services… there was an air of excitement and congeniality as hundreds of business guests started pouring in to enjoy the gracious hospitality of Robert Festinger , COO of The Newport Group, and his team. From the initial planning stages through to the last box being packed up at the end of the evening, the Newport’s team was there:

Food and Beverage Manager Michael O’Malley, Banquet Manager who oversaw the logistics and food service; Marketing Director Lance DeTotto who seemed to be everywhere helping exhibitors and guests alike; and Catering Sales Manager Tammy Malamud, who was handling two positions at the time…and did it with a smile! Executive Chef Chris Wong surprised everyone with his new menu of delicious hors d’oeuvres including meatballs, spinach pies and chicken pot stickers

“The AMC Expo was a huge success,” said Festinger. It was great to see so many familiar faces, and it was a perfect avenue to expose local and surrounding businesses to our hotel and its amenities. Here at the Newport, we are strong advocates of just that. We are very proud of our sponsorship and participation in this event!”

And then, of course, there was the networking… the amazing one-on-one opportunities to meet hundreds of business people. The true test was the response of the exhibitors… “We met so many valuable contacts!” Joanna Carbone, Community Relations, Soprema; “Great people, great exposure, great time!” Ben Launerts, President, Parksman Parking; “Amazing community spirit… love Aventura Marketing Council!” Maxine Lopez, Vice President, Airstron; “One of the most successful events Mardi Gras Casino has taken part in!” Marcia Slow Sandler, Dir. of Community Relations/Group Sales, Mardi Gras Casino. Each exhibitor provided a door prize, so there were 83 people who were door prize winners that evening, including a beautiful orchid plant from Miami Gardens Florist. There was enormous interest in the $750 HD laptop door prize offered by the Greater North Miami Beach Chamber, courtesy of Anthony DeFillipo of Precision Computers. The lucky winner was Ashley Thomas from Take Stock in Children.

Expo Co-Chairmen Andrew Waxman, Mercantil Commercebank, and Michael Shear, Wells Fargo Advisors, were circulating throughout the evening…welcoming exhibitors and assisting with any lastminute questions and requests, while Krop Sr. High students Dani Kozavchinsky and Handel Henri greeted exhibitors at the hotel entrance to help carry in boxes.

In the lobby, Ran Oz, CEO of CooLAM Dance Studio Productions, provided entertainment with “Fivish”… a highenergy dance show that appeared to consist of five people, yet there was only one performer. The Fivish also performed in the Atlantis Ballroom to rave reviews, and Parksman Parking president Ben Launerts accepted Ran’s invitation to play the bongo drums to accompany Fivish – and Ben was pretty darn good! Upstairs, brothers Damian and Mark Pratt of ImageSound Americas did some entertaining themselves, by providing in-house music for the night.

And to end the perfect evening, the Newport’s door prizes were given out: a two-night, three-day stay at the Newport Beachside; a $50 gift certificate to their gorgeous Seven Seas Spa & Salon; and a $50 gift certificate to their Kitchen 305, home of the famous lobsters and crab dinner specials.

For information about the Newport Beachside Hotel & Resort, call 305- 949-1300 or visit For information about the Aventura Marketing Council, call 305-932-5334 or visit

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