Meetings and Events Team
Christi Ruddy, CMP, Department Manager
As Manager of Covington Meetings & Events, Christi oversees the daily operations of the department. She works with each team member to match event requests from companies and non-profit organizations with available resources.
Christi enjoys keeping abreast of trends and new technologies in the industry and finding new ways to enhance their services.Â With over 25 years of experience, she has worked with groups of all sizes, ranging from small meetings to large conferences. No matter the group size, planning meetings requires the flexibility and creativity of a team for a successful event.
â€śWe create experiences for groups that they canâ€™t arrange on their own. That might be anything from blending your own wine or sipping cocktails at a James Bond 007 theme party, to riding ATVs in the desert in full bloom. Incentive travel is very popularÂ to me, and fulfilling dreams is what reward travel is all about.â€ť
Christi earned her Certified Meeting Professional designation in 1994 which requires a rigorous recertification process every five years. She is also an active member and past president of Meeting Professionals International â€“ Virginia Chapter.
The perpetual learner, Christi is currently taking a photography class. She loves to cook, well really to eat. She says the highlight of her upcoming trip to Italy will be a cooking lesson in the villa she rented in Tuscany.
Dee Dee White, Meeting & Event Planner
Dee Dee earned the Professional Meeting and Event Planner specialty and brings over thirty-five years of travel industry experience. Planning incentive trips and corporate events have taken her to destinations such as Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Central America and North America.
During a trip to Ireland, Dee Dee was left stranded with 24 travelers, due to the volcanic ash cloud. As a planner to the core, she successfully scheduled another week of activities for her travelers and brought them home – safe and sound.
Since 2015, Dee Dee has been a member of Associated Luxury Hotels Internationalâ€™s Industry Executive Council where she fosters important relationships with worldwide hospitality industry leaders and looks for solutions to the challenges our industry faces in an ever-changing business environment.
Dee Deeâ€™s motto is â€śhave passport, will travelâ€ť! As a true people-person, she enjoys learning about new destinations, different cultures, and their history. She can usually find common ground with strangers in different parts of the world and build lasting relationships.
Jennie Hynson, Administrative Assistant & Web Designer
Jennie works closely with the CME team and develops registration websites, graphic design flyers and client documents. She also contributes to on-site registration at various events. Ready for any creative challenge, Jennie is very talented and thrives for perfection with every assignment and project. With 30 years of travel experience, Jennie has spent 25 at Covington Travel.
In her free time, Jennie likes to dance, bike ride, read, and do any kind of puzzle. Her best stress relief is one-on-one time with a dog. The bigger the better!
Lauren Moore, Meeting & Event Planner
With over ten years of meeting planning experience, Lauren had previously worked at the Virginia Society of CPAs. She particularly enjoys developing new relationships with her clients. Lauren graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts with an Advertising degree and has earned the Certified Meeting Professional certification.
Outside of work, Lauren loves spending time with her three children, teaching and practicing yoga, and water and snow skiing.
Melanie Bianco, Meeting & Event Planner
As Meetings and Event Planner, Melanie started her career at Covington and has seven years of travel agency experience. She contributed to the planning and management for a variety of corporate events including several high-end incentive trips and an annual vintage car race.
In addition, Melanie has earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Virginia and most recently earned her MA at the University of Maryland. She is currently working toward earning the Certified Meeting Professional status (CMP).
In her spare time, Melanie loves exploring Richmond and trying new restaurants, wine tasting, spending time with her boyfriend and two dogs, and planning her next trip!
Meghan Lucas, Small Meeting & Event PlannerÂ
As a graduate of Radford University, Meghan earned a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Design Management.Â Over the last two years, she has applied her creativity to wedding and event planning as well as visual merchandising. Megan is excited about applying her planning skills as a Small Meeting and Event Planner at Covington.
Off the clock, you will find her exploring all that RVA has to offer with her fiancĂ© and puppy.
For more details regarding our Meeting and Event Services, call 804-747-4197 or click below to reach our Meeting Planners.