Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Meeting Planner Murdered at Meeting

Here's the headline in today's BizBash:

Fort Lauderdale Planner Ben Novack Jr. Murdered During New York Amway Conference
NEWS 07.14.09 11:27 AM

This is not a Murder on the Menu event. This is a true story, and it's very sad, indeed. Ironically, Murder on the Menu is planning a mystery event about the death of a meeting planner for a Monterey, CA, hotel for this Friday night. Meeting planners from all over the U.S. across industries will be hosted by a Monterey hotel (this is a surprise, and the hotel will be revealed after the weekend). This FAM (familiarization) tour will include a mystery event that showcases several different types of rooms (sleeping room, suite, ballroom, meeting room, board room) as well as two restaurants, spa, swimming pool and outdoor space. Oscar Otter, Murder on the Menu's victim, like Ben Novack, was bludgeoned to death. How eerie is this? I really want to find out more about the 'real' murder as the facts come out.

The true story in today's BizBash reports that Ben Novack Jr., president and C.E.O. of Fort Lauderdale-based Convention Concepts Unlimited, was found dead in his hotel room in Rye Brook, New York, on Sunday morning. The Sun-Sentinel reports that Novack had been attending the convention he planned for 1,200 Spanish-speaking people for Amway Global International. According to Rye Brook police chief Gregory Austin, Novack’s wife found him beaten to death on the side of the bed when she returned from breakfast in the hotel lobby yesterday morning.

Nikki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Sentinel that Novack had been finalizing arrangements to bring a 5,000-person Amway-related conference to the Greater Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Convention Center in September. “This is shocking that someone’s life could end the way this has happened,” she said.

Novack grew up in Miami at the Fontainebleau Hotel—his parents founded the property in 1954 before selling it in 1977—in the company of celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

Police believe the attack was deliberate, though they have yet to announce a motive or suspect. More details will be released after the autopsy report has been completed.

Novack's murder was real. Truth is stranger than fiction. Or is this real life mirroring a Murder on the Menu event?

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