People News: Banzai, Louisville Tourism, BeyondLive and More Announce a Bevy of Promotions, Tap New Directors
The flurry of hiring and promoting in the corporate events industry continues, with event and destination organizations expanding staff and bringing on industry veterans to lead up teams. Take a look:
Leading SaaS-based engagement marketing solutions company Banzai has appointed Ashley Levesque as its new vice president of marketing. She comes to Banzai from webinar platform Demio, which the company acquired in February, starting as an executive assistant and working her way to senior executive in just five years.
A results-oriented, impact-driven communications professional, Levesque’s expertise in generating customer success, building marketing organizations from the ground up and creating high-energy engaging marketing programs will be put to great use to complement Banzai’s strategic growth strategy.
Louisville Tourism has added staff and announced several promotions recently.
Lauren Johnson has been promoted from national sales manager to senior sales manager, responsible for booking large trade shows requiring 801 peak hotel rooms and above in the trade, business, commercial (TBC) segment, which include major events such as Mid-America Trucking Show, GIE+EXPO and Utility Expo. She replaces Angi Van Berg, who retired July 31.
Michelle Clark has been hired as a national sales manager, covering TBC requiring 800 peak hotel rooms or less as well as the legal/government, hobby and reunion segments with varying peak nights. Clark is returning to the Louisville area from Houston, where she held leadership positions with Hilton and Hyatt hotel properties.
Courtney Pickett has been promoted to convention sales manager, responsible for 300 peak room nights or less for the education, culture, labor unions, health/medical, scientific/engineering, legal/government, public affairs and wedding sales segments.
Promoted to convention sales coordinator, Morgan Kemmeling will support the CVB’s sales administration team, the senior vice president of convention development as well as one of the organization’s senior sales managers.
Additionally, Mallory Cappelli has returned to the Louisville Tourism team as a convention sales assistant after previously serving in this role as well as in a convention sales manager capacity, and Zoey Wohl has also stepped into a convention sales assistant role after previously serving as an intern.
Meanwhile, the CVB has doubled down on sports tourism with two recent promotions.
Certified Sports Tourism Strategist Gen Howard has been promoted to director of sports market development, focusing on the continued growth of sports in Louisville while expanding Louisville Tourism’s efforts into local facility development.
Working specifically on sports tourism under Howard, Dana Baldwin has been promoted to national sales manager/sports, focused on expanding Louisville Tourism’s local footprint and helping to identify sporting events that could grow with expanded resources.
Digital experience and virtual event platform provider BeyondLive recently welcomed Nadav Shifman as business development director, responsible for building a nationwide team to develop and cultivate relationships with clients. Based in Austin, Texas, Nadav is an accomplished business development executive with more than 15 years of dedicated experience in consultative sales, event technology platforms and SaaS sales.
Twenty-year hospitality industry veteran Erin Keedy has joined the VISIT Milwaukee sales team as a national account executive representing VISIT Milwaukee in the Washington, D.C., market. In her new role, she will work to grow strategic partnerships and showcase Milwaukee as an emerging city for meetings and major events.
A resident of the Washington, D.C., area for the past decade, Keedy comes to the CVB from Marriott International, where she worked in several roles for the past nine years, most recently in the national sales office.
Event engagement platform provider Grip has appointed Wayne Crawford as vice president of account management. With more than 30 years of event industry management and executive experience as an organizer and technology supplier under his belt, Crawford will work to expand the company’s U.S. operations. He is actively involved in industry organizations, committees and boards and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority
The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) recently announced two major promotions on its marketing and finance teams.
Bringing more than a decade of experience in brand development and implementation of the marketing and communication strategies for the Reno Tahoe region, Christina Erny has been promoted from director of marketing to vice president of marketing. She is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic marketing initiatives and overseeing programs related to integrated marketing, research, advertising, media buying and negotiating, official publications and collateral, web strategy, social media and event marketing, as well as leading the day-to-day operations of the marketing and communications teams.
Courtney Jaeger has been promoted to vice president of finance, responsible for overseeing the RSCVA’s budgeting, financial reporting, cash management, treasury functions, capital projects and debt management. She will also monitor the CVB’s laws and regulations compliance and manage multiple operational areas, including accounting, room tax collections, human resources, payroll, IT and purchasing. A licensed CPA, Jaeger joined the RSCVA in August 2020 as the director of finance, bringing more than a decade of management experience in local government finance, accounting and auditing to her position.
ROAR for Good
ROAR for Good, a leading technology company for hotel worker safety, has hired veteran sales leader and safety advocate Peter Klebanoff as senior vice president, business development. In this new role, he will implement a strategy to increase market share within the hospitality industry, gather intelligence to improve the company’s AlwaysOn platform, build out the sales force and penetrate new verticals, such as healthcare.
A full-time sales consultant for the last six years, Klebanoff specializes in the development of marketing and sales strategies that accelerate growth for technology companies of varying size. He brings decades of insight and industry relationships to the team, serving 16 years as a director and vice president at LodgeNet Interactive (now SONIFI Solutions), where he worked with clients to improve the hotel guest experience with technology. He has formed partnerships with major brands and engineered marketing plans to support the adoption and implementation of new products.
Klebanoff has also overseen the design and installation of security technology for the U.S. government and helped develop one of the first guides for preventing infant abduction with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Visit Rochester has promoted David Samentello to convention and sports sales manager, focused on attracting conventions, meetings and events to the Rochester area through building and maintaining relationships within national, regional and local markets. He will specifically focus on bringing meetings, conventions and events in the engineering, LGBTQ+, Optics and Sports meetings markets.
Now in his sixth year working in the tourism and hospitality industry, Samentello most recently was a sales account executive at Visit Rochester, where he worked to support the day-to-day operations of the meetings and convention sales team, in addition to managing several accounts. He also has prior experience working with Visit Rochester’s Event Services department, providing support for incoming meetings, conventions and sporting events to the area.
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