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Reviving Meetings Industry, Economy & Local Communities

PGA National Resort & Spa launches “Meeting the Need” program

eTN Staff Writer  Aug 08, 2009

As the meetings industry suffers the wrath of stories about excessive corporate getaways, the pressure has resulted in many meetings postponed, canceled, or limited in scope, thereby adding to the economic downturn and putting further stress on retailers, restaurants, and the service industry. Industry leaders understand that meetings and incentives are a necessity of business, generating increased transfer of knowledge, motivation, collaboration, and development. To support organizations that continue to meet, and to support those most impacted by reduced spending, PGA National Resort & Spa recently launched the "Meeting the Need" program, designed to restore a more positive image about corporate meetings and incentives, while elevating social responsibility and improving the community.

Organizations meeting at PGA National can take a step beyond justifying legitimate business reasons for having a meeting by adding a touch of
"humanity" and corporate citizenship to the overall meeting ROI. As of
April 21, PGA National in-house conference planners are coordinating local community service for meeting planners that choose to include half day, full day, or multiple days of community service in their itinerary. Programming is currently available through PGA National's community partner, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County. However, if an interested organization has a relationship with another charity, PGA National will manage the partnership and volunteer experience during their stay at the resort.

"Initial response from planners has been astounding," said Ben Baez, director of sales at PGA National, "Not only is this good for the community, it is fun and rewarding for participants and is a great opportunity for companies to gain positive recognition." In cooperation with Kirkland Events and GEP South Florida destination management services, PGA National will be engaging in Habitat for Humanity home-build projects through the resort's recently-established program and will continue to provide "build" projects and a variety of other programming options available to planners.

Costs associated with the Habitat for Humanity program are approximately US$75 to US$120 per participant and include roundtrip transportation from PGA National; boxed lunch; bottled water; and a PGA National hat, t-shirt and work gloves.

"Joining efforts with Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County was the first step," said Joel Paige, PGA National VP and managing director. Recently, PGA National Resort & Spa team members and the Diaz family, recipients of a Habitat for Humanity home in Palm Beach County, broke ground on a new residence not far from the Palm Beach Gardens resort. "It was a great experience for everyone, and we look forward to working side-by-side with the family and professional builders to complete what we intend to be the first of many homes the meetings industry supports in our region," added Paige.

The resort has committed to donate more than US$64,000 through a state-funded program called the Community Contribution Tax Credit Program, designed to assist with affordable housing for those in need. PGA National staff will also contribute 200 volunteer hours to complete home construction. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County, call
561-433-3351 or visit To learn about PGA National Resort & Spa, visit

PGA National Resort & Spa launches “Meeting the Need” program
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