Cypress Planning Group Acquires Vicki Johnson & Associates in Meaningful Expansion and Celebrates Retirement of an Industry Veteran
December 12, 2023
New Orleans, LA (December 12, 2023) – Cypress Planning Group, a leading independent meeting services and hospitality group, proudly announces its successful acquisition of Vicki Johnson & Associates, a prominent national conference and event planning firm based in Washington, D.C., known for its distinguished reputation in the meetings industry.
The incorporation of Vicki Johnson & Associates brings together industry trailblazers – Vicki Johnson of Vicki Johnson & Associates – and Kathan Dearman, Ashley McCoy, and Angele du Passage of Cypress Planning Group. Both women-owned firms are known within the corporate and association worlds for their similar client-centric philosophies and extensive industry knowledge.
With a legacy spanning over four decades, Vicki Johnson is a seasoned industry veteran synonymous with utmost professionalism, loyalty, and excellence.
Vicki Johnson’s career path has afforded her a broad knowledge of what she refers to as “the major spokes of the wheel in our industry.” Her journey includes representing some of the world’s most prominent hotel brands, elevating the profile of a major U.S. city at a Convention and Visitors Bureau, hands-on experience as a meticulous meeting planner, and culminating in the entrepreneurial endeavor of establishing her own company. Johnson notes, "Each facet of my professional journey has provided invaluable insights into the diverse needs of clients from a business perspective."
Founded in 2007, Vicki Johnson & Associates is a 16-year-old company built on the strong foundation of Johnson’s 40 years of experience in the hotel, tourism, hospitality, and meetings industries.
Johnson and her team have established a stellar reputation for meeting and event planning, making this move a natural fit within the Cypress Planning Group family. The acquisition not only broadens Cypress Planning Group’s geographical footprint, but also deepens its talent bench and strengthens its ability to deliver unparalleled experiences for its clients nationwide.
With fond enthusiasm, Vicki Johnson commented, "It is truly a gift that I met Kathan, Ashley, and Angele. I look forward to this next stage in my life, knowing that the level of care for our clients and team will be sustained.”
Cypress Planning Group remains committed to upholding the high standards set by Johnson and her team. Leveraging the best practices and strengths of both organizations, Vicki Johnson has committed to continuing her involvement with the integration of the team at Cypress Planning Group over the next year to ensure a seamless transition.
Partner and Cypress Planning Group co-founder Angele du Passage remarked, “We recognize the trust that Vicki Johnson has built with her clients throughout the years, and it is our sincere pledge to nurture and build upon these relationships with the same level of care and dedication that has been the hallmark of Vicki Johnson and Associates. Joining forces with Vicki’s company presents an exciting opportunity for our team and clients. We believe that the combined expertise and resources will allow us to take our meeting planning capabilities to new heights."
Reaffirming their promise to growing a successful company that establishes a legacy in the hospitality industry and fosters a culture of empowering women, the three owners of Cypress Planning Group believe this expanded move emphasizes exactly that.
Cypress Planning Group co-founder and partner Kathan Dearman added, “As a woman-owned business, we’re honored that Vicki chose us to continue her legacy. So much of Vicki’s story is very much our story, so the blending of our two companies is really a match made in heaven.”
As Vicki moves from one chapter of her life to another, she reflects, “I’ve been really, really fortunate to have the opportunity to be a part of this industry. It has made for an incredibly fulfilling career. It allowed me to build and develop relationships and friendships all over the country and world, and ultimately make an impact on what happens in our economy. Meetings change lives, and they certainly have changed mine.”
As Cypress Planning Group welcomes the Vicki Johnson & Associates team into their family, they do so with profound respect for the visionary leadership that Vicki Johnson has provided over the years.
About Cypress Planning Group
Cypress Planning Group is a women-owned full-service hotel sourcing and meeting services company. Its team of highly seasoned professionals specialize in site selection, contract negotiations, room block management, historic data reporting, conference logistics support, and more – offering personalized and tailored meeting and event solutions for clients seeking to create powerful connections.
About Vicki Johnson & Associates
Vicki Johnson & Associates, founded by Vicki Johnson, has been a cornerstone in the meetings industry, delivering unparalleled service for nearly two decades. Offering a full range of meeting support to associations and corporations, its services include site selection and contract negotiation, budget analysis, registration processing, exhibit sales and trade-show management, event and meeting planning logistical services and creative production management services.
Cypress Planning Group
Manager, Marketing & Meeting Services