created memory in Dave Hinton
Dave Hinton was one of the first hoteliers I met when I started my association management career in the late 70s. He was fairly new to Chicago and I was as green as they came. I will never forget when he walked into my office on a cold call - it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, except I had no idea how intertwined our careers would become over the 30 years.
Dave quickly became a mentor and gave me tremendous encouragement when I started interviewing for a new job in 1979, but I could tell he wasn't so sure I was ready for an opening for an executive director ... of the Chicago Society of Association Executives in 1980. I landed that spot and for the next 20 years he became one of my best volunteers, board members, and advisors.
In the mid 80s Dave was insistent that Chicago had its own "Springtime in the Park." As CSAE Past President Tom Sharpe has written elsewhere in this space, there were a lot of doubters, myself included. But when we stole the idea of a holiday season event from the California SAE (thanks to Marta Hayden's suggestion), the pieces started falling into place, and Holiday Showcase was born. (Dave chose the name and also secured Lou Holtz as our first luncheon guest star.) I told Dave I'd jump in the Chicago River if we got over 1,000 executives to attend ... and I was saved from that fate by the absence of only 50 people. Today, over 1,500 execs attend, and booths have grown from 175 to maxing out the Hyatt's Riverside Exhibit Hall.
Due to all of this I dubbed Dave "Father Showcase." I mean, really, he LOOKED like Santa! And goodness knows his genius brought a lot of business "presents" and holiday cheer to our community. After two years Dave and Bill started their "Encore" party after the show - and I think 2010 will be the 20th anniversary of the party. I only wish my good friend would be with us to celebrate.
Even after his retirement, Dave remained a good friend ... he'd "hold court" at the Encore party, regaling us with great stories ... we chatted periodically ...and he even attended my Mom's memorial service to my surprise. Now that's a friend. I've said too much, but Dave was such a tremendous influence in my career, I felt compelled to get this "on the record."
Thanks, Dave. I will never forget you.
David, Kevin, Sean, Keri & Mark - some of my happiest days were spent planning trips for your Dad. I had so much fun trying to get all of you together in one place. The connection with h+g and Opryland Hotel (& Opryland Travel) was unique. A dinner shared with Dave and the late Mike Diamond at Opryland's Old Hickory still gives me chills knowing I was so blessed to be in the presence of greatness. Not only in our industry but in LIFE. You know they will probably be the Hospitality greeters with St. Peter. Love and prayers for all of you. Joani Beckwith
Dear Hinton Family,
I was so saddened to learn of Dave's passing. Please know that my heart goes out to all of you during this very difficult time.
I'm thinking of you all.
Very truly yours
~ Elizabeth Kretchmer
The first time I met Dave was in 1979 and he was representing us as we opened the then AMFAC Hotel and Resort at DFW airport in Texas. He was an awesome salesperson and a great friend and mentor through the years. I was delighted to have been priveledged to work, know, laugh, and story tell with Dave. There is a big unfilled hole in the Hospitality world with his passing. Salud my friend. Tom
i didn't know him as mr. chicago or father showcase until now. i simply knew him as "dave"... and not david... or mr. hinton but it didn’t matter what i called him (even though he insisted on dave) because each of these titles referred to an unforgettable man that touched the lives of many.
when i started my position at h+g two years ago as the receptionist i was told a number of things when answering the phones but one stuck with me more than the rest: don't ask who's calling...! i thought it was odd at first since my previous positions taught me otherwise. it wasn't until i received that first phone call from dave that this idea made sense me and my training was put to the test... i passed, he could even tell that i was smiling. of course he reiterated everything that i should do when answering the phones but he also explained that every call was an important one no matter who was calling... so i listened.
it was always a pleasure talking to dave because he wanted to know what was new, what was going on, with me and with h+g. he made me feel important even as the new receptionist. i will miss hearing your voice dave and providing you with the latest updates.
I didn't have the opportunity to meet Dave, but I do interface with members of his team. Based on the integrity and reputation of these folks it is clear that Dave has created an incredible legacy - and that's not easy to do. My heart goes out to the h+g family.
Dave's personality filled the room and his humor made you laugh out loud. Dave was an icon in our industry, he had a true passion for life and a deep love for his family and for his friends who were like family. He gave more than most and his unwavering ethics and values were admired by all. We will miss him very much.
David gave us the gift of himself and shared his industry family with so many of us. A man is known by his name, his reputation is his badge. David was all of that and more, he stood for honor, respect, trust, knowledge, he will continue to be a teacher to us all long after today. We will miss him, but I know his voice will continue to be heard. My heart is heavy, but his footprint on our lives is great. May I say thank you to his family for the gift of sharing him with us all.
I did not know Dave that well because by the time I began to work with H&G, he had already retired. However, at almost every event or meeting, his name invariably came up and the respect and admiration for him was evident in whoever was speaking. He was a "giant" in this industry and he was too young to leave us. I wish Kevin, his family and Bill strength going forward. May his memory be a blessing for us.
Edina Lessack, CMP
... As well as a most wonderful individual. My professional friendship with Dave spanned many years throughout numerous meetings and events.
I have to believe that I first met him at the Shoreham Hotel. But he was Mr. Chicago for so long, those memories overshadow all earlier.
With such a successful career, he was admired and respected as a true leader in the hospitality community. His warm greetings and radiant smile always lit up the room. And he was a kind and generous person, too.
He was a one of a kind and will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to his personal family and his h+g family. What a wonderful legacy to carry on.
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