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Laura Gonzalez and Kelly Sanderson
Visit Jacksonville has welcomed new members to its sales and marketing team. Laura Gonzalez will serve as national account manager, focusing on the sports tourism market to promote Jacksonville as a destination for youth, amateur, collegiate, and professional sports, as well as sports conventions. Previously, she served as director of sales and marketing at Tru by Hilton in Jacksonville.
Kelly Sanderson has been named convention sales marketing manager. In this role, Sanderson is responsible for marketing initiatives and strategies associated with helping the Visit Jacksonville sales team bring conventions and groups to the city. Most recently, Sanderson was the destination service director for PRI Productions.
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced Anthony Molino as director, Chicago area sales. Molino is responsible for attracting citywide conventions of 1,200 room nights or greater on peak from the Midwest market. Molino has worked in hospitality for nearly 20 years, most recently with Choose Chicago as director of hotel sales and national sales manager after joining the DMO in 2017.
Explore St. Louis has named Denece Laborde as its new corporate sales manager, effective March 14. Laborde will be a key team member as the America’s Center Next Generation’s multimillion-dollar renovation continues in downtown St. Louis. Laborde has extensive experience in convention center and hotel sales. She has worked with the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Kronos Hotels, and most recently, New Orleans & Company.
Monica Freire, congress department director of Iberia region, AIM Group International, has been re-elected to the Council of IAPCO (the International Association of Professional Congress Organizers) for the 2022-2023 term. She has been in this role for the last four years. Freire has been with AIM Group International since 2010 — heading the congress department in Lisbon since 2012 and overseeing the entire Iberia region since 2020.
Paul Pettas has been promoted to the role of vice president, brand and communications for Sodexo Live. He previously served as communications and public relations director. In this role, he will develop an internal and external communication strategy and will be tasked with rolling out the next phase of the organization’s brand identity that shines a light on the clients and venues it serves.