Latest Staff Appointments News & Views...
VISIT Milwaukee names VP Finance & Administration
Dana Jones has been promoted to Vice President, Finance & Administration at VISIT Milwaukee. In her position, Jones is responsible for both fiscal oversight of the hotel occupancy tax dollars generated by VISIT Milwaukee’s sales and marketing efforts, as well as the bureau’s administration and human resources.
Jones’ tourism roots run deep, spanning 29 years and starting out with her family’s resort in north woods Minocqua, Wisconsin. According to Jones, “Hospitality is in my blood. I’ve seen how much our hospitality industry in Milwaukee has grown in the past 18 years, and I know that we’re on the cusp of creating great things for the region in the next 5 to 10 years. You will not find a more passionate group of individuals in the city than the VISIT Milwaukee staff – they love what they do and love sharing Milwaukee with our visitors.”
Dana Jones started at VISIT Milwaukee in 1996, after graduating with a Bachelor’s of Business from UW-Madison with a major in accounting and certificate in international business. In the Milwaukee area she also worked for Roundy’s Inc. and Harp & Eagle/County Clare.
“VISIT Milwaukee is proud to recognize Dana’s contributions over many years with this promotion. No one knows the bureau’s history and finances better than Dana, and we are confident that she will continue to encourage best practices at VISIT Milwaukee for years to come,” said Paul Upchurch, president & CEO of VISIT Milwaukee.
Locally, Dana has also volunteered with the Bay View Neighborhood Association and Hunger Task Force Farm.
Tim Walker Joins Special D Events as Senior Meetings & Events Manager
Special D Events is pleased to announce a new member of their team, Tim Walker, CMP. Walker will be serving as a Senior Meetings & Events Manager, assisting corporate, association and tradeshow clients who are looking to achieve strategic business goals with events.
“I have worked in most areas in the hospitality/planning industry (i.e., CVB, airline, hotel, corporate and association meeting planning). I love planning the most because it is never the same.”
Walker has shown excellence in the areas of project management, tradeshows and event marketing throughout his career at Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Kalamazoo Convention & Visitors Bureau, and most recently as the Director of Programs and Education for The Engineering Society of Detroit. He was also named a Hall of Fame Inductee - Best Meeting Professional in 2012 by Michigan Meetings and Events Magazine.
Blue Harbor Resort Announces Promotions and Expansion of Senior Management Team
Blue Harbor Resort & Spa, the #1 resort on Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan Coast, announced promotions and expansion of its senior management team.
David Sanderson, vice president and general manager of Blue Harbor Resort, has been promoted and assumed additional responsibilities as president of Garland Lodge and Golf Resort. Garland Lodge is Blue Harbor’s sister resort, located in scenic Northern Michigan. Both resorts are owned by the Forsythe family, who acquired 100 percent interest in Blue Harbor earlier this year from the group’s former partner, Claremont Companies. Sanderson will continue to be based in Sheboygan.
Blue Harbor also announced the promotion of John Klemme from director of sales to assistant general manager and appointed Susan Engler as director of group sales. Laurie Hobbs, who recently joined the resort as director of marketing, will lead sales and marketing efforts for the property.
According to Sanderson, we are thrilled to continue to build our senior management team with promotions and additions of capable professionals who will continue to the positive results and momentum of Blue Harbor Resort. “For the third consecutive year, the resort has produced record financial results and the team has shaped the image of Blue Harbor as a hospitality leader and winner in the marketplace,” said Sanderson.
The changes and additions in the organization come at a time when Blue Harbor continues to provide operational support for Garland Lodge. “Strategic areas of Garland Lodge will benefit from Blue Harbor’s strong operational excellence in departments where it makes sense including information technology, finance and accounting, human resources and marketing,” added Sanderson.
David Sanderson who joined Blue Harbor Resort in 2011, led the team that turned the lakeside property into the successful resort it is now. Sanderson was previously with Crestline Hotels and Resorts where he served as general manager and director of sales and marketing at Rocky Gap Lodge and Golf Resort in Maryland. Earlier in his career, he was also general manager of Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, Michigan. Sanderson attended Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
John Klemme, who is now assistant general manager at Blue Harbor, joined the property in January 2012 as senior sales manager and was subsequently promoted to director of sales. Prior to Blue Harbor, he was sales manager and front office manager at The Osthoff Resort. His operations experience includes his positions as assistant executive housekeeper, assistant front office manager and manager of guest services of The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Klemme attended the University of Wisconsin and graduated from Lakeshore Technical College, Sheboygan.
Susan Engler’s successful sales background in and outside the resort industry will be an asset for Blue Harbor’s sales team. Engler joins Blue Harbor from Time Warner Cable Media. She previously was sales manager at The American Club in Kohler. She also served as director of sales for the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler from 2001 to 2004. Earlier in her career she served 11 years with Kaytee Products Inc., where she held the titles of Midwest divisional sales manager, director of sales and regional sales manager. Ms. Engler is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Laurie Hobbs came to Blue Harbor after serving as director of marketing for Destination Hotels in Illinois and more than five years at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida. In addition to being a consultant for leading US companies, Ms. Hobbs was vice president at Edelman Worldwide, the #1 international PR and communications agency. For more than 15 years at Edelman she worked on many top corporate, travel and hospitality accounts including the National Tour Association, American Express and Marcus Hotels. She began her career at Financial Shares Corporation and earned her bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.
Food & Beverage Director Added to The Olivia Collection Staff; The Oread Announces New Executive Chef
The Olivia Collection, the holding company for The Oread and Eldridge Hotel, welcomes Marvin Estill who takes the reins as its Food & Beverage Director.
His addition to the team bolsters the properties’ credibility as an award-winning locale for wine enthusiasts. Estill is a well-trained and knowledge wine professional who recently completed his Level 1 Sommelier certification in Las Vegas. He’s a member of the Guild of Sommeliers.
In his professional career, Estill has been a corporate trainer for Ruth Chris Steak House, is a certified Instructor for Serve-Safe Food Protection and Educator for the Foundations of Restaurant Management & Culinary Arts. His career in the hospitality industry has also included employment with the Hilton President and the Marriot Country Club Plaza, where he co-managed all event spaces.
“As we welcome Marvin to Lawrence, we also tip off Lawrencians and visitors alike that Marvin’s focus on exceptional quality, customer service and brand will be seen and felt every day by guests to our hotel and restaurants,” said Nancy Longhurst, The Olivia Collection General Manager.
Estill will oversee food and beverage budgeting and kitchen operations and ensure exceptional customer service hotel-wide, while assisting the General Manager with management of personnel and events.
The Oread welcomes new leadership and culinary direction with the addition of Brad Brown as its Executive Chef. He will oversee Five 21 restaurant and The Bird Dog Bar, in addition to the many receptions, holiday parties, wine dinners and other fine dining experiences at The Oread.
“Guests to our property can expect superb dining experiences, creative flavors and new dishes coming out of our kitchen,” said Nancy Longhurst, The Olivia Collection General Manager. “Industry insiders in Kansas and Missouri tell us we’ve made a ‘very special hire in Brad’ and we certainly think so too. It’s just a matter of time before all of Lawrence knows it.”
Brown will supervise The Oread’s culinary team, design and introduce dishes using locally sourced ingredients, interact with guests to the restaurants, represent the hotel at public events, and ensure the highest quality product in all of hotel’s culinary efforts.
Visit www.oliviacollection.com for more information.
National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners Elects Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Jason Dunn to Board of Directors
The National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP) has elected the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) Director of Multicultural Affairs, Jason Dunn, to its Board of Directors for 2015-2018.
As a member of the Board, Dunn will play an instrumental role in making key decisions regarding the Coalition’s future events and initiatives. Dunn represents one of only two Convention & Visitors Bureau executives serving on the current NCBMP Board of Directors.
“The Coalition is a highly influential organization in the meetings and convention industry that represents the rich diversity of its members,” said Jason Dunn. “I am honored to have been chosen to serve on the 2015-2018 Board of Directors, and look forward to the opportunity to help influence and shape the future of the Coalition.”
Dunn will join an esteemed list of hospitality and organizational executives on the Board of Directors, including: Ana Aponte-Curtis, NAACP; Delores Brinkley, Association of Junior Leagues; Erica Qualls, Atlanta Marriott Marquis; Stephie Young, National Black MBA Association; and Charles Jeffers, Destination Marketing Association International, among others.
“Over the past five years, the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau has worked closely with civic partners to establish our region as one of the country’s top destinations for multicultural meetings and events,” said Dan Lincoln, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA CVB. “This focus is paying off, and Jason’s appointment to the Board of Directors both strengthens the CVB’s reputation as a strong industry partner and elevates our region’s potential for future multicultural meetings.”
Dunn started his career with the Cincinnati USA CVB in 2004. In his current position, he develops and manages the Bureau’s comprehensive multicultural strategy, working to more deeply engage the local community, region-wide partners, and the CVB sales team to pursue new business opportunities and forge inroads with the national multicultural meetings market. According to Black Meetings & Tourism, the Cincinnati USA CVB has now hosted or booked 15 of the top 25 multicultural conventions in the country.
In 2011, Dunn was named a “40 Under 40” convention-industry leader by Connect and Rejuvenate magazines, and he was awarded the distinguished honorary 33° Masonic Degree. Also in 2013, Dunn was awarded ‘40 under 40” by Cincinnati Business Courier. He currently serves as the Chairman of the board for the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), and was recently named to Mass Transit Magazine’s 2014 “Top 40 Under 40” list, honoring professionals making significant contributions to the public transit industry.
Morrissey Hospitality Companies, Inc. Names Ken Boyles New General Manager at The Saint Paul Hotel
Meet Chicago Northwest Announces Staff Appointment
Meet Chicago Northwest, the official destination marketing organization for Chicago’s northwest suburbs, has selected Kim Leva to join the organization’s sales efforts as an Account Manager focusing on the Medical and Legal Associations and Corporate markets.
Prior to joining Meet Chicago Northwest in November, Kim has held professional hospitality sales positions with Marriott International, Q Center in St. Charles, IL and with Pillar Hotels. She has also worked as a meeting planner in the digital media industry.
A graduate of Oakton Community College, Kim resides in Lake in the Hills, IL with her two children.
"We are very excited to have Kim joining our bureau, she is a dynamic sales professional that we are confident will contribute to the success of our region." said Dave Parulo, President of Meet Chicago Northwest.