People News: Fern, CNTV, Visit Milwaukee and More Make New Hires, Expand Leadership
The trade show, events and destinations industries are continuing their hiring and promoting sprees at organizations far and wide. Check them out:
National exhibition and event services provider Fern has hired hospitality industry veteran Angi Van Berg as senior national sales manager.
As part of Fern’s national sales team, Van Berg will focus on business development related to key trade show and association business across North America while also representing Fern at select industry events. She will join the company on Sept. 13 after a successful 25-year career at Louisville Tourism, where she most recently served as vice president of trade show sales.
CNTV, a leading full-service production company for the exhibitions and events industry, has named Jeff Davis as its chief sales officer. As the newest addition to the leadership team, he will be responsible for driving the next stage of accelerated growth at the company.
Davis brings more than 20 years of experience driving revenue and performance in the media and events industries. He most recently served as vice president, sales and business development for Informa Markets, where he led revenue and client-solutions teams for the company’s extensive event portfolio.
In 2011, Davis joined Hanley Wood Exhibitions, where he built out the group’s digital products, sales and marketing capabilities. After Informa’s acquisition of Hanley Wood in 2014, he continued on in a variety of sales, strategy and product leadership roles until 2021.
Twenty-year hospitality industry veteran Erin Keedy has joined the VISIT Milwaukee sales team as a national account executive representing VISIT Milwaukee in the Washington, D.C. market. In her new role, she will work to grow strategic partnerships and showcase Milwaukee as an emerging city for meetings and major events.
A resident of the Washington, D.C. area for the past decade years, Keedy comes to the CVB from Marriott International where she worked in several roles for the past nine years, most recently in the national sales office.
Global experiential marketing partner GES has expanded its leadership team with the appointment of Jeff Stelmach as global president, brand experiences. Bringing more than 30 years of deep experience in growing successful agencies in the event marketing space, his appointment bolsters the firm’s growing experiential marketing practice.
Stelmach has worked with top-tier agencies including Mosaic, Geometry, EMI and at Opus, where he most recently served as its president. He has worked with leading brands including Samsung, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch and Oracle, and is one of only two people in the world to win the coveted Grand Ex Award for the best experiential marketing campaign of the year, twice.
The company also recently welcomed Mike Haarvei as vice president of client relations. Bringing more than 25 years of leadership, business development and healthcare program management experience to his new role, he will lead a sales team tasked with expanding GES’ healthcare client base while offering best-in-class experiential marketing solutions to GES healthcare clients.
Most recently, Haarvei served as vice president of strategic accounts for Sparks, where he provided leadership and management for healthcare program accounts.
Leading SaaS-based engagement marketing solutions company Banzai has appointed Ashley Levesque as its new vice president of marketing. She comes to Banzai from webinar platform Demio, which the company acquired in February, starting as an executive assistant and working her way to senior executive in just five years.
A results-oriented, impact-driven communications professional, Levesque’s expertise in generating customer success, building marketing organizations from the ground up and creating high-energy engaging marketing programs will be put to great use to complement Banzai’s strategic growth strategy.
Pop culture event organizer LeftField Media, a division of Clarion Events, has appointed anime industry veteran Lance Heiskell as manager of guests and programming for its Anime NYC and Anime Frontier Japanese pop culture festivals. He will work to amplify the fan experience at the events, including developing new curated content, expanding the roster of top-tier guests and working closely with anime and manga publishers in both the U.S. and Japan to foster richer and deeper participation.
Previously, Heiskell worked at Funimation for 13 years, overseeing strategy and marketing for more than 400 anime titles, and establishing the brand voice of Funimation, emphasizing a direct and active relationship with its devoted audiences. He also served as brand manager, marketing director, and director of corporate strategy.
Louisville Tourism has added staff and announced several promotions recently.
Lauren Johnson has been promoted from national sales manager to senior sales manager, responsible for booking large trade shows requiring 801 peak hotel rooms and above in the trade, business, commercial (TBC) segment, which include major events such as Mid-America Trucking Show, GIE+EXPO and Utility Expo. She replaces Angi Van Berg, who retired July 31.
Michelle Clark has been hired as a national sales manager, covering TBC requiring 800 peak hotel rooms or less as well as the legal/government, hobby and reunion segments with varying peak nights. Clark is returning to the Louisville area from Houston, where she held leadership positions with Hilton and Hyatt hotel properties.
Courtney Pickett has been promoted to convention sales manager, responsible for 300 peak or less for the education, culture, labor unions, health/medical, scientific/engineering, legal/government, public affairs and wedding sales segments.
Promoted to convention sales coordinator, Morgan Kemmeling will support the CVB’s sales administration team, the senior vice president of convention development as well as one of the organization’s senior sales managers.
Additionally, Mallory Cappelli has returned to the Louisville Tourism team as a convention sales assistant after previously serving in this role as well as in a convention sales manager capacity, and Zoey Wohl has also stepped into a convention sales assistant role after previously serving as an intern.
Digital experience and virtual event platform provider BeyondLive recently welcomed Nadav Shifman as business development director, responsible for building a nationwide team to develop and cultivate relationships with clients. Based in Austin, Texas, Nadav is an accomplished business development executive with more than 15 years of dedicated experience in consultative sales, event technology platforms and SaaS sales.
Event engagement platform provider Grip has appointed Wayne Crawford as vice president of account management. With more than 30 years of event industry management and executive experience as an organizer and technology supplier under his belt, Crawford will work to expand the company’s U.S. operations. He is actively involved in industry organizations, committees and boards and is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority
The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) recently announced two major promotions on its marketing and finance teams.
Bringing more than a decade of experience in brand development and implementation of the marketing and communication strategies for the Reno Tahoe region, Christina Erny has been promoted from director of marketing to vice president of marketing. She is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic marketing initiatives and overseeing programs related to integrated marketing, research, advertising, media buying and negotiating, official publications and collateral, web strategy, social media and event marketing, as well as lead the day-to-day operations of the marketing and communications teams.
Courtney Jaeger has been promoted to vice president of finance, responsible for overseeing the RSCVA’s budgeting, financial reporting, cash management, treasury functions, capital projects, and debt management. She will also monitor the CVB’s laws and regulations compliance and manages multiple operational areas including accounting, room tax collections, human resources, payroll, IT and purchasing. A licensed CPA, Jaeger joined the RSCVA in August 2020 as the director of finance, bringing more than a decade of management experience in local government finance, accounting and auditing to her position.
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