David Whitaker has been named as the incoming President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau following a six-month nationwide search process. Whitaker will formally assume the role effective Aug. 16, 2021 when Bill Talbert, who has led the DMO since 1990, moves into a supporting role prior to a one-year consultancy beginning in October. Whitaker had been with the GMCVB for 17 years, most recently as EVP and CMO, departing in 2007 to take on chief executive roles at two DMOs, first in Toronto and then in Chicago.
eXplore Lawrence, Kansas, has named Kim Anspach as its new Executive Director. A nationwide search followed the retirement of Michael Davidson. A local resident, Anspach has served as Interim Director of eXplore Lawrence since May 2021.
Jean Paul Zapata has been appointed by Sonoma County Tourism as Director of Business Development. He joins from Visit Oakland where he was director of public relations, and has also served as media relations manager for Visit Greater Palm Springs.
Frank Filice joins Sonoma County Tourism as Director of Brand Marketing. A longtime resident, his background includes global marketing and communications roles outside the travel business.
Brought to you by Cedar Rapids Tourism. We’re pleased to present Carson Kressley as keynote speaker at Connect THRIVE Summit in Las Vegas on opening day Sept. 18, 2021. He’s an Emmy Award-winning TV personality, style expert, fashion designer, interior designer and New York Times best-selling author who will be interviewed by David Downing.
THRIVE Summit is focused on creating business opportunities, developing community and producing partnerships through LGBTQ travel, sports, and entertainment. The two-day event is co-located with IPW, immediately prior to eTourism Summit.
Luisa Mendoza, Founder & CEO of GTSE (Global Tourism Sports & Entertainment) shares the announcement that IPW has selected GTSE to be the first official sports & tourism representation ambassador. GTSE will encourage sports teams and leagues to attend IPW on Sept. 18-22, 2021 in Las Vegas. The 22nd Annual eTourism Summit will co-locate with IPW for its in-person event ((virtual option) on Sept. 20-22, 2021.
Iowa Travel Industry Partners, a newly formed statewide organization to represent the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, has hired Chelsea Lerud as Interim Director. She has served as executive director of the Greater Burlington Iowa Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2014.
James Hebert has joined San Diego Tourism Authority as Content Manager. He comes to the DMO following a career as senior writer and correspondent for The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In Illinois, Dan Obert has joined Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau as Marketing Communications Manager. An intern at the DMO in the summer of 2018, Obert joins from a marcomms role at IL Corn.
Amanda Scherlin, Marketing Manager at Visit Casper has turned off her OOO status after returning to work following the early arrival of twins in March and completing her MBA at the University of Wyoming. Triple congrats!
Jeffrey Hentz departs his role as CEO at the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association where he was appointed in January 2020. The board will begin recruitment for a new CEO immediately. In the interim, Bonnie Bavetta will return as CEO.
Anthea Thomas is the new Strategic Communications Specialist for the City of Fort Lauderdale. She joins from Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization where she was Public Outreach Manager.
In Miami, Christine Kindt is Partnership Marketing Senior Manager at Brightline Trains. She rejoins the company where she had previously worked in corporate partnerships.
Brian Bouchelle departs as Director of Business Development at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas to join Noble House Hotels and Resorts as the Area Director of Sales for Napa Valley Wine Train and the River Terrace Inn in Downtown Napa, California.
Ashley Maddix is the newest team member at TwoSix Digital in her role as Digital Advertising Strategist. Her digital marketing background includes Tours Around Michigan and her travel background includes 42 visits to Disney World.
Badges Olympian. “Some people collect stamps, baseball cards or vintage cars. I collect lanyards from the events and conferences I’ve attended over 14 years in the tourism industry. To me they represent memories and friendships.” — Adam Johnson, Sales Manager at Zartico.
Laurel has joined the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles as Director of Pet Relations. She flunked in her previous role as a trainee at New York’s Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind but now excels at surfing lessons, red carpet walking, and attending full moon crystal recharging parties, says Regional VP & General Manager Philip M. Barnes.
What makes a great travel story? From Uber Eats to Twitter Fleets, Spotify to TikTok, and of course, Instagram Stories and Reels, the story format has captivated consumers and marketers alike.
What makes a travel story memorable, engaging, and actionable? Should you use photos, videos, or both? And, most importantly, how can you make the most of the story format to attract interested travelers to your destination?