The end of 2011 saw a flurry of job-hopping on the supplier side of the meetings marketplace, particularly in destination marketing organizations. The hotel industry saw some big changes, too. Could it be a sign of the times, that there are better things to come for the meetings industry? Here’s a roundup of industry notables.
The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority board of directors appointed Chris Baum as the new president and chief executive officer. He has been the senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2006. In his capacity as senior vice president, Baum was responsible not only for sales and marketing, but for the bureau’s Film Detroit division, which promotes the area for use in feature films and television production.
Tampa Bay & Company has named Kelly Miller as its new president and CEO, following longtime director Paul Catoe’s retirement. In more than 12 years as executive director of the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Miller led efforts to establish Asheville as one of the top vacation destinations in the country. He also worked for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau for six years, first as its 1996 Summer Olympic Games marketing manager, and then as the organization’s first director of international marketing.
After serving as Interim CEO for just over three months, the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau, Covington, Ky., has named Eric Summe to lead the bureau in a permanent capacity. He is a Northern Kentucky native and former Delta Airlines executive.
The Puerto Rico Convention Bureau has welcomed Neil J. Mullanaphy, CHME, as its senior vice president of sales, based out of the Washington, D.C., office. He was most recently executive director of sales and marketing for the Hawaii Convention Center/SMG, where he directed the convention sales, services, and tourism development division. Prior positions include group and convention sales with GES Exposition Services, Mandalay Bay Resort, Casino and Convention Center in Las Vegas, and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority.
Dallas, too has welcomed back a familiar face in D.C.: Jay Marsh is the new regional director of sales for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. He previously served as the DCVB's director of national accounts in the Washington, D.C., regional office from March 2005 to May 2010. Marsh returns to the DCVB after departing the organization to assume the position of director of sales for the Indianapolis Convention Visitors Association in the Washington, D.C., regional office.
The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau, based in King of Prussia, Pa., has named Mark Zimmerman to the new position of senior vice president of sales and marketing. He brings with him more than 30 years of hotel experience as general manager, director of sales, and regional director of sales and marketing, much of it with Marriott Hotels. Most recently, he was a transportation consultant to the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In Seattle, Anne Santistevan has been named national account director for Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she manages SCVB’s legal, government, cultural, social welfare, public affairs, religious, and labor unions markets. Santistevan brings more than 32 years of hospitality industry experience to her new post, the last 25 of which were served with Hilton Worldwide.
On the association side, we learned that DeWayne Woodring, longtime executive director of the Religious Conference Management Association, was leaving his post at the end of the 2011.
We also heard Steven Hacker, CAE, ASAE, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, announce his retirement effective September 2012. He was then appointed chairman of the Convention Industry Council for 2012.
Also in the “going away”, but not really “gone” category is Bill Marriott, who announced his resignation as CEO of Marriott International in December. Read about his replacement and his plans for “retirement.”
Another icon in the hospitality industry, Jim Evans, was appointed the new CEO of the Corporation for Travel Promotion, a publicly funded entity created under the Travel Promotion Act. Evans has a long history in the hospitality industry, including a stint as president and chief executive officer at Best Western International hotel company and many years at Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Sadly, the world said good-bye to Ray Liuzza, who died in late December at the age of 83. He led the New Orleans Convention Center’s organization, from its conception through its second major expansion. Liuzza championed the 1978 legislation that created the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, whose mission was to explore the feasibility of building a convention center in New Orleans. In 1979, Liuzza was appointed to the Authority and served as chairman of the Citizens Referendum Committee, whose efforts were instrumental in obtaining voter approval of a hotel/motel occupancy tax, which provided financial support for the construction of the convention center. Read more about his life.