P E O P L E
Stan Smith has been promoted to Senior Director Marketing at Visit Detroit, stepping into the role following the recent retirement of Renee Monforton, who was with the organization for 26 years. Smith has been “Telling Detroit’s Story” since joining the DMO in 2017.
Susan Klein has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer at Visit Pittsburgh. She joins from Doublespace Inc., a NYC-based marketing and branding agency. Klein also previously served in leadership positions at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Citibank, Morgan Stanley and MasterCard.
Joshua Albrecht has joined Visit Milwaukee as Vice President of Marketing & Communications. His DMO experience includes roles as CMO at Discover Peoria, Executive Director at Saugatuck Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Director of Marketing & Public Affairs at Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Robert Lopez as Vice President following a nationwide search. He is a Texas native with a background in journalism, hospitality, management and sales, plus a previous role as Vice President at Visit McAllen where Alexandra Arevalo will assume that role for the interim.
North of Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced Nancy Gardella as its new Executive Director. For the past 15 years, Gardella has served as Executive Director for the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, which also functions as the island’s destination marketing organization.
In New York, Discover Long Island has added two executives to the team: Justine DiGiglio, Vice President of Communications and Partner Relations and Susan Lienau, Vice President of Community Engagement.
Most recently, Justine served as Senior Communications Advisor to a Nassau County Executive and Susan previously worked on behalf of the 2nd Assembly District, the Suffolk County Department of Environment and Energy.
In Southern California, Visit Oceanside & Oceanside Sports Commission, Dana Higgins has been promoted to Vice President of Business Development. She joined the DMO in 2011.
Karl Schmitt announced his retirement in in February 2023 as President & CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission, a nonprofit founded in 1999. (“After 147 Kentucky Derbys, Louisville Knows Sports.”) Cleo Battle, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism serves on the Board of Directors’ Executive Committee.
In South Carolina, Billy Dunlap departs as President / CEO of Visit York County to start a new position as Director of Sports Tourism at Visit Greenville. The Visit York County board will soon announce and interim director and process for bringing on a new leader.
In Louisiana, Shalisa Roland joins Visit Lake Charles as Director of Public Relations. Most recently, she served as Public Relations/Digital Content Manager at Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau.
Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau announced the hiring of Brian Staggers as its new Senior Director of Information Technology. He brings 20 years’ experience, previously as IT manager for the North Little Rock School District and IT manager for the Arkansas School for the Deaf.
Rachel Semik joined Visit Phoenix on February 14 (Valentine’s Day is also Arizona’s Statehood Day) as Media Relations Manager. She departs her role as Media Relations Manager at Tempe Tourism Office, which she joined in 2019. (She’s keeping the cactus emoji.)
In Alabama, Robyn Bridges is the new President & CEO of Auburn-Opelika Tourism, effective May 1, following the retirement of the current president, John Wild.
In the Kansas City metro, Brooke Chonko has joined Visit Overland Park as Vice President Marketing. She comes to destination marketing as an experienced professional in integrated marketing, digital/social channel and content strategy and data storytelling.
Danielle Appley-Epstein has joined Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau as National Sales Manager. She has a hotel sales background with Hyatt and Omni Hotels.
North of Atlanta, Explore Gwinnett makes three people announcements: Bruce Johnson moves from Director of Sales to the newly created role of Director of Community Relations, Victoria Hawkins has been promoted to Senior Director of Marketing + Destination Development, and Race Roberts joins the team as Sales Manager.
A.J. Ruiz is the new Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator at Sonoma County Tourism in California. He’s a videographer and photographer with a degree in Business Marketing and Cinema from San Francisco State University.
Sophia Hyder Hock is joining Destinations International as Chief Diversity Officer. She is the founder and CEO of Papilia, an organization dedicated to developing tailored equity, diversity, and inclusion strategies for the travel industry.
Kathryn Millard has been hired by Searchwide Global as Executive Recruiter. With a background in hotels and resorts, she will focus on that sector of the travel industry as well as business development. Kathryn is based in Amelia Island, Florida.
Southeast Tourism Society welcomes Sami Baudry as the new Marketing & Membership Specialist.
Brent Curry has joined Development Counsellors International as Paid Media Performance Manager. Previously, he had been Deputy Chief of Advertising and Public Affairs for the U.S. Army in Chicago.
Tia Daniels joins the BestCities Global Alliance executive team as Director, Business Development & Community. Copenhagen-based, she is a veteran of the events and meetings industry with over 25 years of experience.
Sydney Farthing is the new Social Media Manager at Herrmann Global. Based in Greenville, South Carolina, she had been with Visit Clemson as Tourism Coordinator.
In Memoriam: Tributes are pouring in for W. “Bill” Williams, 82, retired from Choose Chicago in 2012 following 37 years of service to McCormack Place and the City of Chicago. He served as Vice President Diversity Sales and was recognized nationally as a leader in developing racial equality and opportunity in the convention and tourism business. Bill is also fondly remembered as a mentor to many seeking careers in the industry.
Adam Burke and Julie Calvert had a Super Bowl bet. A friendly wager, actually. Tourism Diversity Matters explains, “Thank you to Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Julie Calvert and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board CEO Adam Burke for your friendly wager in support of TDM. The winner makes a $1,000 donation and the loser donates $2,500 to Tourism Diversity Matters.”
Following the game on Sunday evening, Adam incorporated this surprise into his hometown message of congrats, “To Julie Calvert and our friends at Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, we’ll match your $2,500 donation to Tourism Diversity Matters! These two clubs were so evenly matched today that it’s only right!!” As Julie writes, “Tourism Diversity Matters is the big winner here, the win for all of our destinations.”
The Travel Vertical Podcast :: Latest episode is out :: Listen to our guest Kristen Jarnagin Reynolds, President & CEO of Discover Long Island, talk about the destination’s first long haul campaign, targeting Arizonans.
R F P s
Destination Augusta seeks a consultant with a proven track record of leading organizations through the strategic planning process.
Objective: directional documents for the effective leadership and marketing communications efforts, providing clear focus and a consistent direction for the next three years. The selected company will lead Destination Augusta through a strategic planning process and must be capable of delivering the following:
- Review and evaluation of existing plans, including the city’s new strategic plan
- A situational analysis
- A comprehensive strategic plan
- An annual business plan
- Strategic priorities and related objectives must include performance metrics
- Deadline for draft deliverables: July and
- Final deliverables: August
- Responses are due by 5 p.m. ET on Friday, March 4, 2022. More details: https://bit.ly/36npzXJ
- Contact: Trent Snyder, VP Finance & Administration – [email protected]Augusta.com
“Visit Indian River has just rebranded and is looking for a new website to match our new image. Our current website, VisitIndianRiverCounty.com is out of date and is time for a facelift.” — Lisa Konupka, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, Visit Indian River County, FL (details are found on Lisa’s LinkedIn page).
McCurtain County Tourism Authority in Oklahoma is searching for a full service advertising agency. The DMO is currently accepting proposals; the deadline to submit is March 7, 2022. Contact Executive Director Charity O’Donnell ([email protected]) to request a bid packet.
Visit SLO CAL, the destination marketing & management organization for San Luis Obispo, California, has issued a request for proposals for a qualified full-service public relations agency with tourism experience. The scope of work will be for a three year period beginning on or about July 1, 2022. Proposals are due by March 4, 2022. Visit-SLO-CAL-Request-for-Proposal-PR-final-1.22Download
Wyoming Office of Tourism (closing March 1, 2022) — Seeking proposals for advertising agency of record for the Wyoming state marketing program. RFP is available on Public Purchase where the WY Advertising account is RFP #0148-G – Advertising (Public Purchase requires a free log-in/registration to access the RFP.)
Alaska Travel Industry Association (closing 2/25/22)— Seeking proposals for three elements (two remain open) — Advertising, PR & Media Relations, Visitor Research — supporting the Alaska Tourism Marketing Program.
Hawaii Tourism Authority — Hawaii Tourism Brand Marketing & Management Services in the US Major Market Area (hawaiitourismauthority.org/rfps)
State of Hawaii — Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism — A Research Project Related to Visitor and Resident Geolocation Tracking for July 2022 – June 2024. Deadline to apply: Feb. 25, 2022 at 4 p.m. HST
RFP DETAILS: The objective of this RFP is to seek a contractor for collecting and reporting monthly data on the use of identified points of interest by Hawai‘i residents and visitors. The points of interest include: 1) selected sites such as visitor attractions, beaches, parks, trails; 2) locations identified as “hotspots” by the Hawaii Tourism Authority in its Destination Management Action Plans and other sources; and 3) areas
defined by Hawai‘i zip code boundaries. More info: https://bit.ly/3gESRD0.
J O B S
President & CEO — U.S. Travel Association
The committee tasked with identifying the organization’s next leader is working with Heidrick & Struggles on the process as of 2/11/2022. Roger Dow will conclude his 17-year tenure at the helm in July.
Senior Director Government Relations AND Director Member Engagement AND Manager Member Engagement AND Manager Digital Communications AND Manager Grassroots & PAC AND Senior Designer — U.S. Travel Association
President & CEO — Visit Seattle, WA
Executive Director — Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, CA
Executive Director — Corpus Christi Sports Commission, TX
Executive Director — Visit Chelan County, WA (new position, new DMO)
President — Visit Overland Park, KS
President & CEO — South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, Hammond, IN
Executive Director — Visit Dana Point, CA
Director — South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, TX
Chief Financial Officer — Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, OH
Senior Vice President of People and Culture AND Senior Director of Marketing Analytics AND Social Media Content Creator (new) — Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, NV
Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion AND National Account Executive (Chicago) AND Sales Account Executive — Meet Minneapolis, MN (new)
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion — Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB, SC
Vice President of Meeting Sales & Services — Visit Fort Worth, TX
Vice President of Sales and Experiences — Visit Tulsa, OK (new)
Vice President of Sales — Visit Greater Palm Springs, CA
Vice President Global Marketing — Destination Vancouver, BC, Canada
Director of Conventions & Entertainment Facilities — City of Kansas City, MO (new)
Director of Sales & Marketing — Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, TX (new)
General Manager — Mayo Civic Center, Rochester, MN
Director AND Manager Sports Tourism AND Manager Tourism Marketing — Lake County Board of Commissioners, FL
Deputy Director — Space Coast Office of Tourism, FL
Senior Director of Convention Services — Destination Cleveland, OH
Director of National Accounts (mid-Atlantic) AND Visitor Services Specialist — Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, TN
Convention Sales Manager AND Senior Manager Research AND International Media Relations Manager — Destination DC, Wash., DC
Director of National Accounts — Visit Spokane, WA
Global Marketing & Trade Account Executive AND Senior Manager Social Media — Visit Florida
Director of Public Relations — Visit Tampa Bay, FL
Director, Tourism Market Development-Canada & US AND Integrated Marketing Project Manager AND Technical Project Manager AND Coordinator Member Programs & Services AND Senior Copy Director AND UX Design Lead — NYC & Company
Director of Digital Marketing & Media Relations AND Visitor Information Specialist — Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau, OH
Director of Marketing — Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, AK
Director of Marketing AND Director of Sales — Visit SLO CAL, San Luis Obispo, CA
Director of Marketing & Communications — Visit El Paso, TX
Director of Marketing AND Human Resources Manager AND Manager Visitor Center at Boston Common — Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, MA
Director Event Management AND Site Experience Manager AND National Sales Director (DC area) AND Brand Marketing Coordinator AND Network & Systems Engineer — San Diego Tourism Authority, CA
Manager Global Tourism Development AND Manager Social Media AND Manager Global Communications AND Manager European Communications AND Coordinator Marketing AND Full-Stack Drupal Developer AND Payroll Manager — Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, CA
Brand Marketing Manager AND Content & Social Media Manager AND Marketing Coordinator — Visit Napa Valley, CA
Manager of International Marketing — Visit California
Content Producer (new) AND Marketing Project Planner (new) AND Sales Coordinator AND Services Assistant — Visit Detroit, MI
Marketing Manager AND Marketing Project Manager AND Sales Coordinator — Visit Dallas, TX
Marketing Manager — Experience Columbus, OH
Communications Senior Manager — Colorado Tourism Office
Communications Manager Meetings & Conventions — Visit Orlando, FL
Public Relations Manager — Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, CA
Public Relations Manager — Sonoma County Tourism, CA
Communications Coordinator — Experience Scottsdale, AZ
Communications & Travel Trade Manager — Yakima Valley Tourism, WA
Marketing & Social Media Specialist — Visit Buffalo Niagara, NY
Communications & Marketing Manager — Town of Culpeper, VA
Tourism Data Specialist — Visit North Carolina
Tourism Director — Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, VA (new)
Tourism Manager — City of College Station, TX
Tourism Manager — Snowmass Tourism, CO
Public Relations/Digital Content Manager AND Website Manager — Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau, LA (new)
Business Insights Specialist — Destination Vancouver, BC, Canada
Business Development Manager — Visit Carlsbad, CA
Manager Travel Trade — Ottawa Tourism, Canada
Market Intelligence Analyst — Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, FL
Tourism Data Specialist — Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, Raleigh
Social Media & Content Manager — Explore Asheville, NC
Destination Content Coordinator — Rowan County Tourism Development Authority, NC
Sports/Group Sales Manager AND Senior Sales Manager — Visit Williamsburg, VA (new)
Sports Tourism Sales — Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, State College, PA (new)
Sales Manager AND Sales Specialist — Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center, FL
CRM & Research Analyst — Visit Loudoun, VA (new)
Data Analyst — Visit Grand Junction, CO
Sales & CRM Support Coordinator — Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, RI (new)
Sports Sales Manager AND Event Services Specialist — Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, MO
Sports Marketing Coordinator — Savannah Sports Council, GA
Social Media & Content Associate — Visit Pensacola, FL
Digital Marketing Coordinator — Mammoth Lakes Tourism, CA
Marketing Coordinator — Visit Oceanside, CA
Digital Media Manager — Dutchess Tourism, Inc., NY (new)
Destinations Service Specialist — Discover Kalamazoo, MI
Integrated Marketing Manager — Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nashville, IN
Marketing Assistant — Experience Scottsdale, AZ (new)
Vice President of Global Sales — ConferenceDirect
Director of Research — Longwoods International
Product Manager AND Senior Data Advisor AND Data Scientist AND Product Support Specialist AND Data Scientist…and more — Zartico
Account Manager — Madden Media, Tucson, AZ
Account Coordinator (German-speaking) — MMGY Global, Los Angeles
Account Coordinator, Account Executive (LA), AND Account Coordinator (Austin), AND Account Coordinator, Account Executive, Senior Account Executive, Account Supervisor (NYC) — MMGY NJF
Marketing Manager AND Media Coordinator AND Senior UI Web Designer AND Account Manager AND Coordinator AND PR/Content Coordinator AND PR/Content Specialist AND Social Media Coordinator — Relic Advertising + EKR, Provo UT
Interactive Producer AND Account Coordinator AND Account Manager AND Advertising & Data Manager AND Business Analyst (Lakewood, CO) AND Human Resources Generalist (new) AND Project Manager Studio Operations (Sarasota, new) AND Content Coordinator (new) AND Web Developer (new) — Miles Partnership
Advertising Project Coordinator — Datafy, remote
Tourism Public Relations Account Director AND Marketing Specialist Creative Services — Development Counsellors International
VP Experiences — Modern Adventure, Portland OR, or remote
Digital Marketing Manager — Rezdy, remote
Content Marketing Manager AND Client Success Manager — Sojern, remote
Director of Organizational Development & Communications — Dollywood Parks & Resorts, TN
Marketing & Brand Manager AND Social Media Manager — Navy Pier, Chicago
Director of Marketing & Partnerships AND Creative Project Manager/Senior Production Manager AND Graphic Designer AND Executive Assistant & Customer Service AND General Manager AND Creative Content & Social Media Manager — Museum of Women, NYC (new, opening summer 20022)
Membership Marketing Manager — The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI
Event Coordinator — Northstar Travel Group, Secaucus, NJ
Senior Manager Destination Marketing — Delta Air Lines, Atlanta
Account Executive (x2) Restaurant Vertical — Google, Chicago