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 April 10, 2013
BestCities Global Alliance Announces Ms Neeta Lachmandas-Sakellariou As Board Chair For 2013

 BestCities Global Alliance has announced Ms Neeta Lachmandas-Sakellariou as Board Chair for 2013.

As Assistant Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board in charge of Business Tourism Development, Conventions and Meetings, Exhibitions and Conferences and Enrichment divisions, Ms Lachmandas-Sakellariou brings a wealth of experience to the role.

"I am delighted to be given the opportunity to helm the Alliance this year," says Ms Lachmandas-Sakellariou. "Coming from Singapore, where knowledge exchange is a key value proposition for business event organisers and delegates, I look forward to applying some of my own learnings to pioneer new ways to deliver better results to our clients, and create new business opportunities for our partners."

"Delivering the world's best service experience remains BestCities' goal. With the commitment to excellence remaining firmly entrenched across our Alliance, we aim to strengthen our programme of knowledge sharing, best practice exchange and adherence to our code of ethics."

Last year, the BestCities Global Alliance introduced a new two-staged preliminary member programme which saw visitBerlin Convention Office and the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau simultaneously join the network as full members. This was the first time the Alliance had two partners complete the membership process at the same time. Choose Chicago is currently on the same programme as a preliminary member and the BestCities looks forward to formally welcoming them mid-way through this year as its second American partner.

Joining Ms Lachmandas-Sakellariou on the Board* are senior representatives from all other BestCities bureaux -- Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne and Vancouver.

The Chair is selected on a rotational basis and each of the board members brings a wide range of expertise to the board table cultivated through strong management roles at their respective bureaux and many years' experience in the broader international meetings industry.

Supporting the Board throughout 2013 is the Alliance Committee consisting of four Leadership Groups: Brand and Public Relations, Business Development, Knowledge and Service Standards.

One of the key business development activities is the BestCities' Client Workshops which, held twice a year, provide an exclusive opportunity for meeting planners and partners to come together in one location.

Melbourne Convention Bureau hosted the first workshop for 2013 from 9-12 April, and Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the send from 10-13 October.

BestCities is the first global alliance to put in place a certification programme -- with standards certified by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) - to ensure a consistent level of convention bureau service excellence from all partner cities. BestCities Partners are Berlin, Cape Town, Chicago*, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston Melbourne, Singapore and Vancouver.

*BestCities board members for 2013 are: Burkhard Kieker, Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin; Cheryl Mulder-Verbruggen, Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau; Steen Jacobsen, Wonderful Copenhagen; Karina Lance, Dubai Convention and Events Bureau; Sue Stuart, Marketing Edinburgh; Greg Ortale, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Karen Bolinger, Melbourne Convention Bureau; Neeta Lachmandas-Sakellariou, Singapore Tourism Board and Paul Vallee, Tourism Vancouver.