Meet Our Team
- Larry Huttinger
- Dorothea Heck
- Kristin Barse
- Angelina Palmieri
- Peggy Robins
- Betsy Fenwick
- Heather Berchtold
- Tara McGowan
Larry Huttinger, CMP
Director of Business – Owner
Top U.S. DMC Leader for 2017 by Facilities & Destinations Magazine
Larry is the co-founder of Destination Philly A.C. that began over 20 years ago as a support to inbound conventions to Atlantic City. That service expanded to Philadelphia with the established membership with the DMC Network in 2009.
As former hotel management employee, Larry opened some of the largest hotels in Atlantic City in the early days of the city’s transformation as the only east coast gaming destination. His role both with conventions and special events during that time opened the desire to establish a business that could offer services to support this industry. Now immersed in the daily aspects of the business, he directs a talented team to create events that utilize the incredible features that both cities offer to produce top- level programs.
Larry enjoys his role as a active participant with the Advisory Board of the Hospitality Degree program and Atlantic Cape Community College. He also is a speaker at both the college and industry trade events.
Dorothea Heck, CMP, DMCP, CEM
Creative Director – Owner
Dorothea is co-founder/owner and Creative Director of Destination Philly A.C. Dorothea sources vendors, tracks trends, develops ideas and curates them to create unique experiences to meet our client’s needs.
Dorothea has a diverse and extensive background, having spent many years in special events and marketing for casino hotels, in food & beverage management, the culinary arts, arts management and theater production. She has been a meeting professional for over 20 years. While living in Rome Dorothea worked with Italian DMC’s – which she credits with sparking her interest in establishing Destination Philly A.C.
Dorothea has three industry certifications; Destination Management Certified Professional (DMCP) Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Exposition Manager. She received a B.F.A. from NYU School of the Arts, where she studied Theatre Design /Tech, and Arts Administration.
She enjoys cultivating a curious mind and international travel. Her most difficult challenge was hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
Kristin has been an integral part of Destination Philly A.C. for many years. She develops, implements and executes all major events from start to finish – acting as a liaison between clients, vendors and venues. She is always finding the latest trends and bringing innovative and creative ideas to every client.
Prior to joining Destination Philly A.C., Kristin was part of the opening team at The Borgata, Hotel Casino and Spa and worked in Operations & Special Events at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT and MGM Studios. Her background in this industry offers insight and expertise for events, both large and small, and brings great success and customer satisfaction.
When she’s not planning corporate events, you may see coordinating a wedding along the Jersey Shore since she is also a certified bridal consultant.
Angelina grew up working in her family’s restaurant business, located in Ocean City, NJ. She handled all aspects of food service and experienced the day-to-day operations. She obtained her degree in Marketing from East Carolina University. After graduating, Angelina began working for the parent company of Destination Philly A.C., D. Lawrence Planners. Her responsibilities included providing meeting and exhibition Consulting services to both corporate and association clients.
Currently, at Destination Philly A.C. she supports events with her creative input along with operations. Her background as an event professional enhances many different experiences that are created by Destination Philly A.C.
Outside of the office you can find Angelina at the beach or hiking one of New Jersey’s great trails. She loves to travel and experience new places and cultures.
Peggy Robins, CMP
Peggy brings over 20 years of hospitality experience to our team. After a college internship at the Sands Casino in Atlantic City, she moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico to work with a DMC handling all operational aspects of incentive groups off-site needs. Returning to the Mainland offered her opportunities to demonstrate her managerial & customer service skills in the Food & Beverage, Catering & Hotel Sales of various size properties in Philadelphia and Atlantic City.
Outside of the office, you’ll find her running in a half marathon or most likely at an Ice Hockey Rink in the Tri-State area watching her sons passing the puck.
Betsy came to Destination Philly A.C. with over 5 years of Hospitality Management experience. As a Meeting Coordinator at Destination Philly A.C., she supports various aspects of the pre-conference, on-site, and post-conference management, including email marketing, registration, exhibitor support and logistics, and financial reconciling. With a degree in business, she has gained experience in office management, as well as supporting purchasing and accounting processes.
Before joining Destination Philly A.C., Betsy touched on each segment of the hotel industry. Her responsibilities have included hotel operations in both reservations and front desk capacities, group dining sales, casino and nightlife marketing, and spa reservations.
On her down time, Betsy practices different disciplines in fitness, loves entertaining friends over a good meal, and watercolor painting.
Sales & Operations Coordinator
Heather became a member of Destination Philly A.C. with over five years of Hospitality experience. With a passion for pleasing people and interacting with others, it was only natural to pursue a field where she brings happiness to others. Heather relishes in watching the many aspects of an event turn from paper into full production. With a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Stockton University, she has gained experience in sales, marketing, office management, event planning and production.
Prior to joining Destination Philly A.C., Heather demonstrated her organizational skills, attention to detail and customer service skills in the Food and Beverage industry throughout South Jersey businesses. Now, as the Sales & Operations Coordinator, she operates pre-event to post-event planning.
Outside of also managing a small business of ‘handmade shabby chic gifts’ with her sister, you can find Heather at the beach, studying for her Wine & Spirit Education Trust certification. She enjoys engaging in photography and musicality with her family, along with globetrotting to experience new cultures and cuisines.
Tara joined the Destination Philly A.C. team with over 5 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry. While she was always drawn to events, Tara received most of her experience within the food and beverage side of the industry. During her time at Stockton University, Tara was a student worker for Stockton’s Event Services. While she learned a lot doing the behind the scenes scheduling of these meetings and events, she rarely got to see the event come together after all of the planning.
With a degree from Stockton University in Hospitality and Tourism Management, she gained more knowledge in event planning and management, financial literacy, marketing, business policies and more.
In her free time, Tara enjoys cooking for her friends and family and trying new restaurants. She also enjoys DIY projects and likes to take on a project, such as candle making, to give as gifts each holiday season.
Images by JPG Photography and Shaun Reilly Photography