Rolling out the red carpet
About 70 delegates, including 15 chief executives and port directors and trade specialists from cities around the country, participated Friday and Saturday in the U.S. Conference of Mayors national meeting on exports and ports at the Hyatt Downtown.
More high-tech than the traditional “red carpet,” the Hyatt projected the National Conference of Mayors logo on the floor in the lobby to welcome the group to the hotel.
Three weeks before the first delegates arrived Thursday for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ meeting on exports and ports at the Hyatt Downtown, Mayor Alvin Brown explained the purpose of the three-day event.

“This meeting is about job creation and keeping our metro economies globally competitive,” Brown said.

That was the agenda in the meeting room, but the event presented an opportunity that began and ended at Jacksonville International Airport. It was a chance to give the visiting dignitaries a taste of Southern hospitality.

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority greeted the guests at the airport as they entered the terminal, then provided transportation to the hotel. When they are escorted back to JIA, the travelers will receive expedited security prior to their return flights.

At the Hyatt, each visiting mayor was welcomed at the door by senior management staff and escorted to the room.

At a private reception Thursday evening, the Hyatt’s culinary staff introduced to the visitors some new creations using fresh local seafood: Florida seafood cocktail with blue crab and mango gazpacho, a Mayport shrimp bloody mary and redfish ceviche, said Hyatt Senior Director of Catering and Convention Services Melissa Milione.

“Other than that, it was the same way we treat all of our guests at the Hyatt,” she said.

In addition to breakfast and lunch Friday and Saturday at the Hyatt, the delegates had dinner high above Downtown Friday evening at The River Club.

The schedule and itinerary was designed with the first-time visitors in mind, said Milione.

“This was our opportunity to show off and show them that Jacksonville is a major city,” she said.

Read more about the conference on http://jaxdailyrecord.com/showst...



Monday, Feb. 27
Florida Forum: Steve Forbes
7 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: jaxevents.com

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Downtown Walking Tour
10 a.m.
The Landing
Info: adlibtours.com

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
7:30 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: jaxevents.com

Wednesday, Feb. 29
“Marsupial Madness”
2:30 p.m.
Museum of Science & History
Info: themosh.org

Real$ense Prosperity Campaign
Tax Preparation Assistance
4-7 p.m.
Main Library Room 124
Info: 630-2665

Thursday, March 1
Panel Discussion: “In Sequence: Pop Art, Comic Books and the High Art of Roy Lichtenstein”
7 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Info: mocajacksonville.org

Friday, March 2
Farmers and Art Market
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Landing
Info: 353-1188

The Harlem Globetrotters
7 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena
Info: jaxevents.com

5 x 7
9 p.m.
Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub
Info: 353-1188

Saturday, March 3
Mayor’s Walk for Senior Wellness
9 a.m.
Metropolitan Park
Info: 630-CITY

Riverside Arts Market: Opening Day 2012
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Northbank Riverwalk Artists Square
Info: riversideartsmarket.com

4th Annual “Trail of Tails”
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The Landing
Info: jaxhumane.org

Jacksonville Sharks vs. New Orleans Voo Doo
12:30 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Arena
Info: jaxevents.com

Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam
7:00 p.m.
EverBank Field
Info: jaxevents.com

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: “Ballroom with a Twist”
8 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: jaxsymphony.org

Lisa and the Mad Hatters
8 p.m.
The Landing
Info: jacksonvillelanding.com

Sunday, March 4
Bank of America Family Free Day
Noon-4 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Info: mocajacksonville.org
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