Denise Pedersen, Keola Shimooka and Anne Yost have been named new Convention Sales Managers for the organization. They join a team responsible for securing new convention and meeting clientele that help contribute to the $1.3 billion dollars generated by visitor spending in Madison and Dane County, WI.
Pedersen will be responsible for the Midwest region, including Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. She has been in the travel and hospitality industry for over 20 years. She started her career in event planning as the Director of Alumni Relations at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She then joined Holiday Vacation as the Director of TV/Radio Sales where she led a national sales team focused on group travel with radio and television personalities. She later worked and lived in Europe as a tour guide for Trek (Bicycle) Travel. Most recently, Pedersen worked for Fox World Travel, working with groups, meetings and incentive programs.
Shimooka joins Destination Madison with 23 years of hospitality industry experience. He began his career at the Madison Marriott West, serving in a variety of roles including Banquet Captain, Director of Convention Services, Catering Sales Manager and Sales Manager. He also spent time in Hawaii at the Illikai Hotel on Waikiki Beach working as a Banquet Captain. Shimooka’s work focuses on the southeastern region, including Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida as well as the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia markets.
As Convention Sales Manager, Yost is responsible for the western states with a focus on segments including agri-business, environmental, education, engineering/science and high-tech. She brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, starting her career in Chicago with the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, Marriott Schaumburg and Marriott National Sales. Yost opened the Colorado Convention Center in a Senior Convention Sales capacity with the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. She later moved into another segment of the industry, working for 10 years in advertising sales for Meeting News Magazine and Travel Weekly.