Ontario Convention Center

03.17.2010 Ontario Convention Center Comments Off on Marco Ofelio Garcia Convention Center’s New Chef

Marco Ofelio Garcia Convention Center’s New Chef

Marco Ofelio Garcia, executive chef of Ontario Convention Center – 
photo by Dave Earhart

(ONTARIO, Calif.) Chef Marco Ofelio Garcia has been named the executive chef of the Ontario Convention Center.

His job is to change the way people think about convention center food. Under his leadership, the Ontario Convention Center’s restaurants and banquets will soon expand their fare, providing guests with a fine restaurant style dining experience.

“I create new food ideas,” Chef Garcia said. “I want people to know that if they come here, they will have a unique culinary experience in the style of the finest restaurants.”

Garcia received his certification as a certified executive chef (CEC), at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. He also spent part of 2006 working while gaining tremendous experience as a chef in Barcelona and other regions in Spain.

His most recent prior experience is working as the senior executive chef at Angels Stadium of Anaheim. He was there from 1998-2009, dating back to when it was known as Edison Field.

At Angels’ Stadium he oversaw food preparation for three in-stadium restaurants and 83 skybox suites, as well as for special events at the stadium besides the Angels’ games.

During his time there, even the take-out menus broadly expanded from traditional stadium fare, and the sit-down restaurants now offer some of the finest dining in Anaheim.

Chef Garcia worked as, the concessionaire for Angels Stadium, starting in 1993. Before moving over to Angels’ Stadium, he was the sous chef at Arrowhead Pond, and the executive chef at Los Angeles Convention Center.

Prior to working in sports venues and convention centers, Chef Garcia worked as the executive chef at restaurants in San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, and for Pinnacle Industries. He also worked at restaurants such as the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, and the officers’ dining lounges at two military bases in southern California.

Chef Garcia grew up in San Francisco, where he first gained exposure to the Mexican, Asian, Southwest and Mediterranean cuisines that continue to influence his repertoire. He also broadens his influence by traveling to different cities, tasting the cuisine of each.

The Ontario Convention Center is a contemporary design building, encompassing 225,000 square feet of space that can be configured to meet a variety of convention and other meeting needs. All areas of the Ontario Convention Center contain advanced communications technology, including wireless Internet access and video conferencing.

For a tour or more information, call Amita Patel at (909) 937-3000 or toll-free at (800) 455-5755, email info@ontariocvb.com or go to www.ontariocc.com

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03.12.2010 Ontario Convention Center Comments Off on Amita Patel New Ontario Convention Center Director of Sales and Marketing

Amita Patel New Ontario Convention Center Director of Sales and Marketing

 

Amita Patel has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing for the Ontario Convention Center. Photo by Dave Earhart

(ONTARIO, Calif.) Amita Patel has been promoted to Director of Sales and Marketing for the Ontario Convention Center and the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Every day is different in my job,” she said. “And I am a very driven person who enjoys seeing things come together, especially on the regular basis when we help our clients plan conventions that exceed the expectations of their delegates and board members.”

Patel has been on the sales and marketing staff for both the convention center and the visitor’s bureau since 2002, but for some of those years, sales and marketing were regarded as separate functions.

Last year, the staff began a new approach in working to bring more events to Ontario, and this new approach ties sales and marketing more closely together, explained General Manger Bob Brown.  It also closely aligns the mission of the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau with that of the Convention Center.

“The Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau promotes all of the opportunities in Ontario, including the Convention Center, the Citizens’ Business Bank Arena, local hotels, restaurants and stores,” Brown explained. “We now consider ourselves a one-stop shop for Convention Center clients.”

That is where the marketing skills of Amita Patel come into play. 

“I determine what the clients’ needs are,” Patel said. “Then I work with the sales staff, which I continue to oversee, so we can customize a proposal that addresses the needs of the client, increasing our opportunity to confirm the business for the city .”

Patel also develops marketing materials to inform potential clients how Bureau services can assist them in planning an exceptional event at the Ontario Convention Center, and oversees creation of press releases and other promotional materials.

Patel was born in England, but moved with her family to California in 1976. She now lives in Ontario.

She obtained a bachelor’s degree in microbiology at the University of Oklahoma and began her career in hotel sales and marketing shortly thereafter.

Patel says she loves challenges. Her competitive spirit drives her along with her sales team to develop value enhanced bid proposals to secure business for the city of Ontario’s hotel community and the Ontario Convention Center.

Her love of challenges led her to pursue science in college. However, due to a desire to pursue something very different, she was able to obtain a rewarding entry-level position as the sales manager of the historic Galvez Hotel in Galveston, Texas.

As director of Sales and Marketing at the Red Lion Hotel – Ontario Airport, she transitioned the brand to the Doubletree Hotel in 1996. With this experience, she was hired at the Holiday Inn Pasadena in Pasadena, CA in 1997, where she was the director of sales and marketing.

In 2000, the hotel was transitioned to the Sheraton brand. While there, she oversaw a campaign to transform the hotel from a mid-level brand focusing on the needs of tourists and other travelers, to an upscale hotel that hosted conventions and meetings.

The hotel grew in revenue after the transformation, Patel said, because even though room rates increased from $63 to $115, “we repositioned the hotel to generate more profitable business as a convention-based property than it did as a tour/travel based hotel.”

The Ontario Convention Center is a contemporary design building, encompassing 225,000 square feet of space that can be configured to meet a variety of convention and other meeting needs for groups of less than 100 and up to 10,000. All areas of the Ontario Convention Center contain advanced communications technology, including wireless Internet access and video conferencing.

The Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau assists event planners to create conventions of any size in Ontario, whether at the Ontario Convention Center, at other venues in the city, or a combination of both.

For a tour or more information, call Amita Patel at (909) 937-3000 or toll-free at (800) 455-5755, email info@ontariocvb.com or go to www.ontariocc.com

03.08.2010 Ontario Convention Center Comments Off on Convention and Visitors Bureau Offers Discounts From Southern California Merchants

Convention and Visitors Bureau Offers Discounts From Southern California Merchants

Left to Right: Bruce McCall, Elite Reward Team, Amita Patel, director of sales and marketing for the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau; Bill Martinez, Robert Saiz and Christina Cardenas present Elite Reward Cards,  a discount card offered by the Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau, offering discounts to businesses in Ontario and throughout southern California. Photo by David Earhart

(ONTARIO, Calif.) Inland Empire residents and visitors to the city and the Ontario Convention Center can now receive discounts of up to 25 percent at local businesses, including Ontario Reign games, retail stores and local restaurants.

“The Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Reward Card is fun, fresh and new,” said Amita Patel, director of sales and marketing for the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Ontario Convention Center, which oversees the program. “Our partnership with Elite Reward Cards LLC allows us to target not only Ontario residents, but also the meetings/ conventions and consumer shows markets. Businesses from Twin Peaks to Laguna Nigel are on board already, and we know the interest in this will grow.”

Besides giving the card holders great deals, the Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Reward Card program benefits area businesses too, because anyone who buys a card will become aware of what the participating merchants have to offer. Each merchant decides what benefit the card holders will receive, but it can be up to 25 percent off a purchase.

“The card is designed to bring business to merchants,” Patel said. “Many are struggling, so this serves as a stimulus program for them. We want to keep and drive business into Ontario, while also addressing the needs of the visitors who come from out of town when attending an event at the Ontario Convention Center or one of the local hotels.”

The Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau has primarily recruited businesses in the West Valley and Pomona Valley areas, but over the next two years will broaden the outreach to include more of San Bernardino County, as well as Orange County and Riverside County. After 2011the Bureau plans to expand into other parts of California, then to other states.

Those nearby areas will also reap some economic benefit in the first phase, because the cards will also recommend places to visit, such as Temecula’s wine country and Big Bear Lake. Convention visitors from outside the Inland Empire often plan side trips, and even if they stay near Ontario, want recommendations on where to eat or shop.

“With this card, they will have more reasons to enjoy their stay in Ontario,” Patel said. “It will give them ideas they had not previously considered.”

Starting with the IE Super Show April 10-11, all delegates and guests of the event at the Convention Center will receive a free limited-time Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Rewards Card and an offer to purchase the annual card for $35, said Patel.

Soon after, the Ontario Convention & Visitors Bureau plans to market this card in selected Inland Empire neighborhoods. The cards can be purchased by calling the Sales Office at the Ontario Convention center: 909-937-3000 or online at www.eliterewardcards.com

The IE Super Show is an open to the public convention that combines four unique shopping experiences – the Home and Pet Expo, the Pool and Spa Expo, the Successful Aging Expo and the IE Food and Wine Festival. The Ontario Convention Center expects 10,000 to 15,000 visitors during this show.

The Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Reward Card will offer discounts on many of the products for sale at the IE Super Show, as the show’s merchants also received an opportunity to participate in the card program.

About the Ontario Convention Center

The Ontario Convention Center is a contemporary design building, encompassing 225,000 square feet of space that can be configured to meet a variety of convention and other meeting needs. All areas of the Ontario Convention Center contain advanced communications technology, including wireless Internet access and video conferencing.

For a tour or more information, call Amita Patel at (909) 937-3002 or toll-free at (800) 455-5755, email info@ontariocvb.com or go to www.ontariocc.com

About Elite Reward Cards

The Elite Reward Cards program is designed to promote economic development within our local communities by providing instant discounts to consumers on a wide variety of goods and services they use every day. At the same time, the program encourages consumers to shop locally and build loyalty with businesses in our community.

Launched at the 2009 RECon – The Global Retail Real Estate Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Elite Reward Cards program now has over 25,000 cards in distribution and over 100 local merchants in Ontario, La Verne, Covina, Fontana and other surrounding communities. The Elite Reward Card can also be used for fundraising in schools and non-profit organizations. Contact us at 909.944.5750 for more information or e-mail us at info@eliterewardcards.com.

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