|Soprano Malaika Sims Alvaro at last night’s Destination
& Travel Foundation Dinner and Dream Auction.
At its annual Dinner and Dream Auction last night, the Destination & Travel Foundation honored Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, with its Spirit of Hospitality Award. Roger gave a fast, funny, and warm acceptance speech about his career and the industry he serves, explaining that he tries to stick to a simple guiding principle: “No matter who you’re speaking to, it’s the most important person in the world.”
Chubby Checker was also there, twisting again like he did last summer, in a dynamic performance sponsored by Branson Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. But the true highlight of the dinner — which was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. — came courtesy of Destination DC, which as a tie-in to its new La Dolce DC promotion presented soprano Malaika Sims Alvaro. A native of DC who lives in New York City, Ms. Alvaro offered a version of “Quando M’en Vo” from Puccini’s La boheme that, to my completely untrained ears, sounded beautiful. During his speech, Roger talked about the power of travel — for business or pleasure or whatever other reason — to expose us to new and wonderful things, and that performance last night certainly fit the bill.