Doug Baarman

Hospitality Industry leader Doug Baarman is an independent hospitality professional  operating his own business and team for ConferenceDirect. He is committed to helping individuals make the transition from positions within an organization to being successful entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry. He has a proven system that will help you evaluate, prepare and succeed in an independent work model. His goal is to help YOU realize your dream of being in control of your life, career and income within the hospitality industry.

My Story:

I joined ConferenceDirect in July of 2007 to utilize my 25+ years of sales, marketing and meeting planning experience within the hospitality industry. I have worked on both sides of the industry giving me an insider’s perspective with experience from some of the largest hotel companies – Marriott International and Gaylord Hotels and from the buyer’s side – Liberty Mutual and National Trade Productions. During my career with Marriott International, I led a Field Sales team focused on new business development with an independent structure and an alternative compensation model. This was an industry first within a chain’s national sales system. Prior to Field Sales, I was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Marriott ExecuStay which was an acquisition that needed to be integrated with their other brands. At Gaylord Hotels, I helped establish the pre-opening team for the largest hotel ever built in the Washington, DC area. At National Trade Productions, I did exhibit sales for shows targeting the government and government contractor markets. I am a graduate of Ferris State University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. As an independent contractor with ConferenceDirect, I have built a team of over 35 active individuals that have produced over $300 million in revenue.

  • In 2010, our team of 30 associates achieved over $53 million in bookings making it the top producing CD team.
  • In 2011, our team of 35 associates achieved over $56 million in bookings making it the top producing CD team for the second consecutive year.
  • In 2012, our team of 35 associates achieved over $60 million in bookings making it the top producing CD team for the third consecutive year.
  • In 2013, our team placed over $72 million in bookings for our clients, making us the top producing ConferenceDirect team for the fourth consecutive year.
  • In 2010 a member of my team was selected ‘Top Producer / Associate of the Year’.
  • Our team has received multiple ‘Rookie of the Year’ awards.
  • In 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013, I was named ‘Team Director of the Year’ by my peers.
  • In 2012, selected for the Customer Advisory Board of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Over the past ten years, I have personally coached more than 125 individuals making the transition from a salaried structure within an organization to being an independent business owner. All of my past and current team members have changed their lives personally, professionally and financially…forever!

I have developed tools and resources to assist team members in making the transition, getting through the ramp up period, and achieving their individual goals:

  • Resource Guide
  • On-boarding Checklist
  • First 30
  • Mentor Program
  • Mastermind Groups

If you want to be a part of the top producing team for the best meeting management brand in the industry, let’s schedule a time to speak.  Our joint goal will be to help YOU reach your full potential. My work in both the corporate environment and as an independent contractor in addition to starting two different businesses will give you the guidance, coaching and tools needed to be successful.


“When I began exploring full service meeting planning companies, ConferenceDirect emerged as the clear leader for various reasons. The level of professionalism of the ConferenceDirect associates and the organization surpassed that of the other meeting planning organizations. The fact that ConferenceDirect has an experience requirement to join was appealing because I had over 16 years in the industry and wanted to be surrounded with comparable experience. The level of commitment to training was evident and showed an investment in my success.

It was also important to be a part of a team led by a leader that would be available to ensure my success.  Doug Baarman leads a top producing team in ConferenceDirect and our success is always a priority to Doug. He puts the individual team member’s needs first and realizes our success is the key to his success. Whether it is the bi-weekly conference calls, weekly training emails or the phone calls where he mentors you with a new prospective client or to help you troubleshoot a situation with an existing customer. Doug is always ready and willing to assist you and promotes a team environment that is welcoming and supportive”.

Melissa Ronacher
Vice President of Global Accounts

“Over the past 12 years I have been fortunate enough to be a part of three different teams with Doug Baarman. I first worked with Doug at Marriott International and when he moved to ConferenceDirect, I readily accepted the chance to follow him.
He is a forward-thinker who is always coming up with new ideas on how to improve our skill-sets. Not only does he have the creative ability to think outside the box, but he also has the initiative and skill to implement positive change.

No matter what level of success you are striving to meet, Doug will be with you every step of the way to ensure that you have the tools, the motivation, and the encouragement to succeed. He is accessible and never hesitates to jump on a plane and join you on sales calls.

Doug has been an incredible inspiration to me. His knowledge and guidance has enabled me to achieve goals beyond my expectations. I can easily say that Doug Baarman has been my number one advocate!  Doug’s outstanding commitment to his teams and to ConferenceDirect has been recognized and appreciated throughout the company. And it came as no surprise to anyone on Doug’s team that he was awarded the first Team Director Award for ConferenceDirect in 2010.

I am proud to be a part of Doug Baarman’s team and I look forward to reaching many more successful milestones as a team member on his team”.

Carla Aho
Vice President of Global Accounts


It is with sincere appreciation that I write this recommendation Doug Baarman, Senior Vice President/Team Director for ConferenceDirect.

I have had the distinct pleasure of working with Doug over the past few years and I can’t imagine running my business without Doug. Doug is supportive, professional, communicative and quite knowledgeable when it comes to the hospitality industry. Doug has regular conference calls, he is readily available when I need to speak with him on an issue and he is always willing to come with me on sales presentations, meetings with clients or needed conference calls. Doug keeps me apprised of all pertinent issues with regards to ConferenceDirect and our hotel partners.

I feel that having Doug Baarman as my team Director is a necessity for my growth and success. My philosophy to success is trust, passion for the job, professional work ethic and professionalism at all times…this is something that Doug exemplifies as well and for this I am proud to be a part of his team.

Sheri Monello Davies
Director of Global Accounts


I have known Doug for over a decade and have the utmost respect for him, his business acumen, and ability to keep a team focus.  For me, it important to maintain my independence and still be a part of a team. As a leader myself, I want to partner with a leader that is committed to ensuring success. Doug puts the individual team member’s needs first and realizes our success is the key to his success. He provides our team training and mentoring through his bi-weekly conference calls, weekly training emails and phone calls where he mentors you. In addition, Doug is always ready and willing to assist on sales calls. By joining Doug Baarman’s team, you will be a part of one of the top producing teams in ConferenceDirect and your success will always a priority to Doug.  There is a great chance that I will not be with ConferenceDirect today, if it were not for Doug.

Brian Chisolm
Vice President of Global Accounts


Doug Baarman is the BEST!  I truly feel it is because of him that I have been a success with ConferenceDirect.  He provides leadership and guidance to help you acquire and maintain accounts.  He is always willing to think “outside the box” in securing business.  He is always patient and knowledgeable when you are asking for assistance. Doug is the ultimate team player, whether for sales calls, administration issues, or training. Doug is one of the major reasons why ConferenceDirect is so successful.

Lisa Frulla
Global Account Executive


Never afraid to take a risk, Doug Baarman assumed the Senior Director position of Marriott’s very first commission based sales team back in the spring of 2003. In the span of only 4 years, he grew what was at the time a fledgling team of only a couple of sales reps, into a self-funding powerhouse of over 30 senior account executives. By 2006, the team was generating an average of $100M in group room revenue per year. Doug was always very supportive and involved with the success of every member of his team. He worked diligently to ensure that our efforts were never in vain and he maintained a team culture of open communication, in which new ideas were always welcome and encouraged. Doug has earned a well-deserved reputation of being a very likable and well respected leader.

Daniel Reinkopf
Global Account Executive


One thought on “Doug Baarman

  • March 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Hi, really like your blog and LinkedIn posts, would love to see you or your team come to our Smart Events sometime.


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