Robert “Bob” Hope, who joined the American College of Surgeons (ACS) staff in August, will succeed Felix Niespodziewanski as Director of Convention and Meetings when Mr. Niespodziewanski retires at the end of the year after 26 years at the College.
Before joining the College staff, Mr. Hope worked in a similar capacity for 17 years as the director of housing, registration, and travel services at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Oak Brook, IL. RSNA hosts the world’s largest medical meeting, attended by more than 55,000 health care professionals. At RSNA, Mr. Hope was responsible for negotiating all travel and convention-related contracts and managing business relationships with vendors including hotels, airlines, registration and housing companies, travel agencies, event venues, tour operators, and convention bureaus.
Mr. Hope began working in the hospitality industry in the sales and convention service departments at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort, Miami Beach, FL, following graduation from Florida International University, Miami, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management. Early in his career, Mr. Hope held convention management positions at several Hilton and Hyatt properties in Georgia, Florida, Arizona, California, New York, and Illinois. Mr. Hope made Chicago, IL, his home when he became assistant director of convention services at Hilton Chicago, and then became director of convention services at Hyatt Regency Chicago.
Experience at work
Mr. Hope brings 35 years of executive management experience to ACS Convention and Meetings, having worked across all areas of meeting planning including strategic planning, contract negotiation, team leadership, operations, special events, and budget forecasting. Mr. Hope currently serves on the advisory boards for Marriott International and Fairmont Hotels.
“I look forward to working with all members of the College’s widely respected professional staff and making a significant contribution as we build upon the already successful meetings program at the ACS,” Mr. Hope said.
As part of the changes in the leadership of Convention and Meetings, Jackie Mitchell has been appointed to the Associate Director position. Ms. Mitchell has assisted in planning the Clinical Congress and other ACS events for 31 years.
Away from the office, Mr. Hope pursues his passion for golf, adventure, and travel with his family. He has traveled to four continents and more than 35 countries. Several years ago, he and his wife Kit backpacked on a six-month journey around the world.
Often asked about his favorite travel destination, Mr. Hope responds, “The next new place I’m going.” He says, “While the more exotic and different a destination’s culture is from what I am most familiar interests me most, I learn something from every place I experience and enjoy the new people I meet.”