ACCESS CEO honored as "Most Admired CEO" Finalist!
ACCESS Destination Services congratulates CEO Chris Lee, DMCP, on being honored as a 2009 "Most Admired CEO" finalist by the San Diego Business Journal recognizing local CEOs who have taken the lead in driving their businesses and the regional economy.
Throughout the hospitality industry, the names Chris Lee and ACCESS Destination Services epitomize excellence in destination management. Chris has grown the company considerably since taking on the role of CEO in 2002. Under his leadership, ACCESS Destination Services has qualified for the San Diego Business Journal's Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies list 3 of the past 4 years; has been named one of the Top 25 Destination Management Companies in the world by Special Events Magazine each year since the award's inception; was ranked among the Top 100 for both Woman-Owned Businesses and Small Businesses in California by DiversityBusiness.com; and was recently voted Best Destination Management Company by readers of Southern California Meetings + Events magazine in the publication's "2009 Readers' Choice Awards" - a testament to Chris's strategic planning abilities in a challenging economic environment.
Chris contributes generously to many community organizations both personally and by supporting ACCESS-driven CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives to benefit local organizations such as Head Start and Ronald McDonald House charities. With Chris at the helm,ACCESS Destination Services has emerged as a pioneer in designing and producing CSRprograms. When the meetings industry became the focus of negative publicity, Chris recognized that product innovation and diversification were vital for the future of meetings and events. With this vision, the ACCESS team developed a full repertoire of community-service CSR events that put meaning into meetings. Local charity organizations benefit from contributions and volunteerism and ACCESS clients benefit from more meaningful events that reflect their corporate values and service commitments.
Chris has been active in destination management since 1983. He is a co-founder and Past President of the Association of Destination Management Executives (ADME), a contributing author to "The Guide to Successful Destination Management," a featured speaker on American Airlines in-flight radio and the 2006 Destination Management Professional of the Yearhonoree, the highest honor for an individual within our industry. Chris is frequently sought out as an industry speaker, has contributed to many industry publications and is continually engaged in consulting and advisory board positions throughout the meetings and incentive travel industry.
Chris is a committed leader who is passionate about his vocation. He works tirelessly to ensure the professionalism of the destination management industry within our local community and to the public at large. Anyone who knows Chris knows that this is much more than a job to him. It is a calling! Look to Chris and to the team at ACCESS Destination Services to continue to produce and deliver top-notch destination management programs throughout the Western United States.
The Ultimate Penthouse: When Only a View Will Do! High atop a 15-story office building in downtown's East Village, your guests can take in spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the city's sparkling skyline and San Diego Bay as well as enjoy a direct sightline into PETCO Park, San Diego's architecturally inspiring ballpark.
This versatile venue accommodates from 20 to 100+ depending upon your logistical needs for the perfect meeting or dinner event, reception or pre-ballgame bash. We can even arrange abehind-the-scenes tour of PETCO Park as an event option. With 2,500 square feet, the nearly double-height room spans the parkside portion of the floor with a bar and lounge. The overall baseball theme of the office building is continued here with wood flooring symbolic of wooden bats, leather-wrapped wall panels reminiscent of lovingly-worn baseball gloves, and a circular dropped ceiling with inset Plexineon strips that brings to mind an abstract baseball. But thefocal point is an exterior space with lounge furniture, a fire pit, and a view of home plate that won't quit. Additional amenities including designer furniture, flat screen televisions, wireless internet, drop down projector with screen, black out and mesh drop down drapes and state-of-the-art lighting and sound help to create the perfect environment for an unforgettable special event.
The ACCESS San Diego team looks forward to designing the perfect event for your guests high above it all during your next meeting, conference or incentive travel program in San Diego. There is no better way to enjoy San Diego than experiencing it all from on high - with a true birds-eye view. The sky is the limit with ACCESS Destination Services! Contact us today!
Year-round Whale Watching in The O.C.! If you're not able to be out our way to experience a Whale Watching adventure during the annual Gray Whale migration season from December through April, we've got a whale-size option to share with you!
Once a rare sight south of Santa Barbara, Blue Whales - the largest creatures ever to exist on Earth - have in recent years come to favor Southern California waters. Blues can grow to a length of 110 feet and weigh an incredible 200 tons. While scientists explore the possible reasons for this shift southward, including water temperature and food supplies, the fact remains that they are spending more time feeding off Southern California and numerous sightings have been made off the Orange County coast in recent years, making whale sightings an almost year-round possibility.
As the last of the bumpy and barnacled Gray Whales pass our way northbound for the Arctic with calves in tow, the breathtaking, smooth-skinned Blue Whales can be spotted from May through October along the Orange County Coast heading back from their winter grounds off Central America - and that is a sight to behold! When Blue Whales surface and exhale, their breath is released at approximately 200 miles per hour and forced through blow holes, vaporizing and shooting into the air up to 30 feet. The ACCESS Orange County team is very excited to expand our repertoire of nature-oriented excursions to include these majestic denizens of the deep who share our waters with frolicking dolphins and playful California Sea Lions.
Talk to the ACCESS Orange County team about incorporating Whale Watching into your destination management programs targeted for The O.C. throughout the year. Options abound including naturalist-accompanied excursions aboard a hi-tech sailing catamaran decked out with GPS equipment, digital video camera, underwater speakers and more. Call us today for a custom-designed itinerary of events for your next meeting, conference or incentive travel program targeted for Orange County!
Andrew's Duck Tacos with Plantain Jam
For something completely different, try Andrew D'Ambrosi's (Top Chef Season 4 contestant) Duck Tacos as published in "TOP CHEF The Quickfire Cookbook!"
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/4 cup diced white onion
- 1 cup diced ripe plantain
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon diced dried chipotle chile
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt and pepper
- 2 duck breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Small flour tortillas
Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the plantain and saute for 2 minutes. Add the honey, vinegar, and chipotle. When the honey starts to bubble, add the water and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, then mash the mixture with a spoon.
Season the duck with salt and pepper and the chili powder. Set a large saute pan over high heat. Add the grapeseed oil, and when it shimmers, place the duck, skin side down, in the pan. When the skin begins browning, reduce heat to medium. Cook slowly, allowing the fat to melt and occasionally basting the meat with the fat, about 15 minutes.
While the duck skin is crisping, grill the tortillas. Keep warm and set aside.
Once the duck breasts are ultra crispy, flip them over. Cook for 2 minutes, until medium-rare. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 4 to 5 minutes.
Slice the duck thinly and pile slices onto a tortilla. Top with plantain jam.