Hard Rock International has named Danielle Babilino its new senior vice president of global sales and marketing for Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. In this role, she will oversee the Hard Rock Hotel sales division, managing all hotel sales and marketing incentives, sales training, customer events, and sales program implementation, as well as the recruitment and retention of sales professionals. Babilino has nearly two decades of experience in executive sales and business development leadership, and most recently served as executive vice president of sales and marketing for Alon Las Vegas, a proposed luxury hotel and casino.
The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (LRCVB) has appointed Bliss Krucas as sales director for state association and government markets at the state and national level. Krucas will direct and manage all business opportunities to increase Little Rock’s visibility as a meetings destination. Krucas brings 20 years of experience to her new role. She most recently served as director of sales for Carver Hotel Group and Strategic Planning Solutions.
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) has appointed Miriam Chovanec as senior international tourism sales manager. Chovanec, who officially started in January, is responsible for the development and execution of international sales and marketing strategies throughout Europe, Scandinavia, and South America. Chovanec most recently worked as senior sales manager at the Sofitel Washington, D.C. Lafayette Square.
Meetings.com has named Bas Lemmens as chief executive officer. Lemmens brings nearly two decades of experience in travel and hospitality to the role — he is the co-founder of booking.com and served in various roles within the European hotel business. Lemmens will be based in one of the company’s newest offices in Amsterdam, where he will help grow the company’s support services to professional meeting, event, and group hotel planners worldwide.
Todd Garofano has announced he will leave his role as president of the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau (DBA Discover Saratoga) after eight years of service, effective April 6. He is leaving to pursue interests outside of the industry. During his time with Discover Saratoga, sales grew nearly 125 percent. A search committee has been formed to find the next president of the organization.
The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) has named Tina Gaccetta as head of events, effective March 1. She will be responsible for the strategy and execution of events hosted by SITE and the SITE Foundation. Gaccetta, who has years of expertise in event marketing and incentive travel, previously served as vice president of client services for One10 Marketing.
Zack Davis and Allison Joyce
The Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau (LCVB) has promoted Zack Davis to vice president of destination services after serving as director of marketing for LCVB since 2015. In his new role, Davis will lead LCVB’s destination services and housing team for Louisville’s meetings business. Davis has been with LCVB since 2008, when he was appointed as convention services manager.
Allison Joyce has been promoted to national sales manager. She has been with LCVB since 2016, previously serving as convention sales manager. In her new role, she will work with groups booking more than 300 peak room nights in the religious, social welfare, and direct selling markets.
Visit KC (Kansas City, Missouri) has appointed Patrick Geschwind to the role of interim president and CEO, effective Feb. 20. The owner and senior consultant at Patrick Geschwind & Associates has more than 30 years of leadership experience, including 25 years of marketing, sales, and human resources positions. Over the past 14 years, he has consulted approximately 70 firms in the profit and not-for-profit sectors on workplace culture, executive coaching, and more.
Houston First Corporation has announced the retirement of Dawn Ullrich, president and CEO. She has been with the organization since 2011. Ullrich oversaw the renovation of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the opening of the Marriott Marquis Houston, and new tourism initiatives. Houston First Corporation will announce a new president and CEO shortly as part of its mission to make its operations forward-thinking and efficient.