Felipe Garcia has been named Interim President and CEO of Visit Tucson, taking over for Brent DeRaad, who recently resigned from the post to take over as head of the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau in Texas. Garcia has worked at Visit Tucson for 17 years and was Executive Vice President for the last nine years.
Anna Tanski, president & CEO of Visit Duluth, will be leaving when her contract expires on Dec. 31. She joined the DMO in 2005 and has served in her current role since 2014. The city cut its tourism tax allocation to Visit Duluth from $1.5 million to $650,000— after originally proposing $400,000 — so, the DMO will continue to handle convention coordination and visitor center operations only.
Bellmont Partners, the new marketing firm Duluth has hired to market the city as a tourist destination, will receive $1.8 million. Visit Duluth said it would soon release the job posting, adjusting the role to fit the organization’s new direction.
Ron Kuhlman, Vice President of Tourism Marketing and Sales for the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, has announced that he will be retiring on February 1, 2022. Kuhlman joined the bureau in 1991. Previously, he held executive roles positions with the Greater New Orleans Tourist & Convention Commission and US Airways.
In Indiana, Katie Utken, Marketing and Communications Manager at Hamilton County Tourism, is joining The Basement, an Indianapolis-based full-service integrated agency as an Account Executive focusing on tourism, entertainment and higher education clients. Utken joined the DMO in 2016 and was named an Emerging Tourism Star in 2021 by the eTourism Summit.
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau recently hired Monica Coleman (left) as Manager, Convention Services who has two decades of executive hospitality experience and started her career at the DMO in 2000.
The bureau also promoted Alecia Zackery (right) to Content and Social Media Manager-Group Markets. She joined ACVB in 2017 as specialist, group markets and in 2021, was named to U.S. Travel Association’s Destinations Council of Emerging Leaders.
Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department has announced that economic development official Katherine Andrews will lead the newly created Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation, established in June. Andrews has worked for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission since 2016, most recently serving as Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development.
Visit Salt Lake has recently promoted Caryn Bradshaw to Director of Services, Promotions & Athlete Experiences for Sports Salt Lake, a division of the CVB. She has held various positions at Visit Salt Lake since 2007, most recently as Convention Services Manager.
Eric Thompson, former Vice President of Marketing at Visit Salt Lake, has departed after nearly 25 years with the DMO. We thank him for his contributions to the Advisory Board of eTourism Summit. A new VP of marketing has not been named.
Kathryne Von Helms is the new Destination Services Coordinator at Visit Denver. Her hospitality and destination background includes an internship at Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.
Alice Norsworthy, Chief Marketing Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, has been elected chair of the board of directors of Brand USA. She succeeds Kyle Edmiston, President & CEO of Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. Norsworthy has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of America’s Top 50 marketers and was three times named to 100 Most Powerful Women in Travel by Travel Agent Magazine.
Ruzwana Bashir, CEO of Peek, announced an $80 million Series C investment from WestCap and Goldman Sachs. With $2 billion in bookings, the software and marketplace platform is leading the recovery in travel experiences — museum visits, skydiving, local cooking classes and more — and has dozens of great jobs open.
Peek plans to use the funds to continue expanding its product, hiring more talent and expanding the product beyond its 35 million customers, which are mostly in North America. Congrats to Peek, a former startup that shared the stage at eTourism Summit. https://jobs.lever.co/peek
Whose face belongs here?
Emerging Tourism Stars applications from eTourism Summit are open for 2022. Know a tourism marketing rockstar? Nominate them today.
Hawaii Tourism Authority has issued a Request for Proposals for Global Meetings, Conventions and Incentives, Marketing and Management Services. The new contract will engage these services beginning Jan. 1, 2022 for four years, with an option for a fifth year.
The RFP and all of its associated attachments can be downloaded at www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/media/8302/21-48-global-mci-rfp-released.pdf, or from the HTA website at www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/rfps.
Deadline December 10, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. HST.
Inquiries for the RFP should be directed to Ronald Rodriguez, HTA procurement officer, at 1801 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815, [tel: (808) 973-2246] and email at [email protected].