People News: Visit Salt Lake, Ungerboeck, Visit Spokane and More Expand Leadership Teams, Welcome New Staff
From expanding leadership teams to newly created positions designed to better position organizations for accelerated growth and scale, the meetings and events industry remains a plentiful source of expansive opportunities for hard-working professionals seeking career advancement. Take a look at the latest people moves!
Spring continues to blossom with a slew of new hires and promotions at trade show and event-related organizations across the U.S. and abroad. Here’s the latest news about professionals in the trade show industry that you need to know!
Visit Salt Lake
Visit Salt Lake recently promoted Karen Staples to managing director of sales, East Coast office, an expanded role in which she is responsible for booking all meeting and convention business in the Washington, D.C., and northeast regions.
An employee of the CVB for more than five years, Staples previously held director of sales roles at Spokane Regional CVB and the Greater Hartford Convention Bureau. She will continue to serve as PCMA’s New York Chapter chair through 2022.
The CVB also recently named global marketing veteran Tyler Gosnell its new chief brand and marketing officer, responsible for helping to develop Salt Lake’s brand image and increase public perception through cohesive brand narratives and strategic marketing campaigns.
He has led global brand and marketing programs for leading destination marketing organizations including Visit California and San Francisco Travel, and has most recently been a key member of the destination management and marketing team at the Royal Commission for AlUla in Saudi Arabia.
Event and venue management software leader Ungerboeck has added two roles to its chief executive leadership team.
Technology services executive Jim McPherson has been promoted to the newly created role of chief customer officer (CCO), responsible for the global efforts of Ungerboeck’s Professional and Technical Solutions and Customer Success Management teams. An employee of Ungerboeck for almost four years, he brings more than 20 years of technology, professional services and consulting experience to his new role.
Sales and revenue management leader Mike Besecker has joined the company as chief revenue officer (CRO), focused on sales development and growth in the market segment strategy and building sales and business development globally.
Bringing more than 22 years of experience leading software companies and building sales and revenue management teams to his new role, Besecker will lead a global team of account executives, account managers, solution engineers, sales development representatives and commercial operators responsible for the entire customer revenue lifecycle.
Visit Spokane recently added two new directors of sales and one sales manager to its team.
Bringing decades of experience in the hospitality sales sector to her new role, Ana Liberty has been appointed director of national accounts. She has worked as a sales manager for both Hilton and Hyatt Regency, and most recently, worked as national account director for Travel Portland.
Director of National Accounts Kristina Ovies brings more than a decade of experience in hospitality sales, including roles at Wyndham Vacation Ownership and most recently, as national sales director at Nugget Casino Resort in Reno, Nev.
Chuck Carter joins the CVB’s team as sales manager, bringing more than 20 years of experience in hospitality sales. He previously worked for WestCoast Hospitality Corporation and as global director of sales at RLH Corporation.
Content and booking professional Starr Butler-Jemison will join OVG360 as senior vice president of content development and private events, overseeing a new division focused on innovative private functions, major corporate events and content development across OVG360’s more than 300 arenas, stadiums and convention centers. She will be based in Detroit and start her new position July 5.
Bringing more than a decade of experience in booking, venue and event management spanning arenas, stadiums, ballparks and non-traditional entertainment venues to her new role, Butler-Jemison will bring her creative approach to filling dark days, curating corporate experiences, securing unique content and generally supporting venues build and better activate their networks of promoters, content creators and corporate clients.
Butler-Jemison joins OVG360 from the 2020-21 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, where she served as vice president of booking and events for Fiserv Forum arena and Deer District, and prior to that, as director of booking and events at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Award-winning hospitality group Barton G. named 25-year marketing and management leadership veteran Chris Caldwell president of events, experiential marketing and development. In his new role, Caldwell will be responsible for the group’s continued growth and evolution to capitalize on the opportunities and changing landscape of the hospitality and events industries.
Caldwell’s career boasts a unique blend of agency, property and global expertise honed through years of innovative work for clients including FedEx, Mars, Visa, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Kroger, Sonos, IBM, Verizon and Mercedes.
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
The Orlando Bonnet Creek properties of Hilton Hotels appointed 20-year hotel management veteran Ryan Fitzgeraldgeneral manager of Waldorf Astoria Orlando, responsible for leading its team in all aspects of hotel operations, from marketing and hotel administration to guest services and satisfaction.
Prior to joining the luxury hotel, Fitzgerald was with the Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix, where he spent six years serving as resort manager and played an integral role in leading the operational coordination of the hotel’s recent $80 million property-wide renovation, repositioning and relaunch. Prior to that, he was hotel manager of the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, where he successfully served as its interim general manager.
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NVCVC) has welcomed Eddie Canaday to its sales team as director, national accounts. In his new role, Canaday will serve as the in-market representative for the mid-Atlantic area and Washington, D.C., where he is based.
Bringing more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, public relations and leadership to his new position at the NCVC, Canaday previously worked for Visit Salt Lake in the Washington, D.C., market. He is a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), where he currently serves on the IGLTA Foundation’s board of directors, as well as co-secretary of the foundation’s executive board of directors.
Leading technology solutions provider SmartSource recently hired Roy Benear as director of sales. Based in Dallas, Texas, he brings a proven track record in business development, strategic growth and sales force development spanning more than 25 years to his new role.
Before joining SmartSource, Benear served as head of sales for Game Developers Conference and GameDeveloper.com, as well as Digital TV Europe and Television Business International on behalf of Informa Tech’s Media & Entertainment Group (London, UK). He has also held sales and leadership roles at Encore, Wyndham Jade, IAVM, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and Visit Denver, to name a few.
Spiro, the brand experience agency within the GES Collective, has named marketing, PR and digital media content veteran Beki Winchel its thought leadership and innovation director. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, she will focus on creating impactful thought leadership content, strategies and campaigns designed to encourage innovative conversations, partnerships and solutions.
Prior to her time at Spiro, Winchel was a learning content and research developer at PCMA, where she worked with a wide range of well-known names, including Destination Canada, Visit Louisville, Marriott International and Hilton Hotels & Resorts. She also honed her skills at the likes of Ragan Communications and consulted for other companies, creating editorial, sponsored and event programming content featuring thought leadership from Estée Lauder, PayPal, Nike, NBC Universal, The Absolut Company, MSNBC, Microsoft, Facebook and AstraZeneca, among multiple others.
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) recently appointed two new managers to its marketing team.
In his new role as manager, social media, EJ King is responsible for overseeing the voice and message of the ACVB across all social media platforms, and for showcasing Atlanta as a top destination for business and leisure travel while ensuring content adheres to brand standards. He will also support sales and convention services to raise awareness for upcoming events. Previously, King served as lead brand ambassador for Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.
As the destination marketing organization’s new manager, content, Daniela Cintron oversees the lifecycle of content, developing strategy and executing initiatives to help tell the story of Atlanta across ACVB channels and publications. She previously contributed as a bilingual writer for Discover Atlanta Now magazine and most recently served as director of marketing for a law firm with experience as a bilingual journalist and podcaster.
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