New Orleans’ Tourism Official Named One of “Top 25 Minds” in the Country
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau earns four prominent national awards for public relations
campaign results and innovation
NEW ORLEANS (March 2, 2011) – New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (CVB) Vice President of Communications and Public Relations Kelly Schulz was selected by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as one of the 2010 “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing.”
The Top 25 recipients were judged by a panel of senior travel industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns; triumph in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.
Kelly Schulz, a native of St. Bernard Parish, returned to her hometown in April 2006 to join the CVB team, led by CEO Stephen Perry, which was rebuilding New Orleans’ $5 billion tourism industry post-Katrina through sales, marketing, media relations, branding and advocacy. A graduate of LSU, Schulz worked in Dallas as director of communications for Meeting Professionals International and account supervisor for global PR giant Edelman.
In addition to Top 25 honors, the New Orleans CVB received one gold and two silver HSMAI Adrian awards for three media relations campaigns in 2010. Adrian Awards recognize achievements in advertising, digital marketing and public relations in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.
Since 2006, the New Orleans CVB has received more than 15 national awards of excellence for PR/crisis communications from HSMAI and the Public Relations Society of America. Their campaign to preserve 70,000 local tourism jobs and overcome visitor misperceptions after the BP oil spill is one of five national finalists for “crisis management campaign of the year” by PRWeek Magazine.
Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI said, “The Top 25 is a hot list that celebrates the sales and marketing leaders and innovators of our industry. The creative strategies, passionate dedication and sharp intelligence of these professionals have not only made a difference within their organizations but have absolutely raised the bar for the hospitality industry as a whole.”
Other Top 25 honorees include:
· Pat Moscaritolo: President and CEO, Greater Boston Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB)
· William C. Pate: President and CEO, Atlanta CVB
· Brian Hall: Chief Marketing Officer, St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
· Danielle Saba Courtenay: Chief Marketing Officer, Orlando/Orange County CVB
· Mark D. Thompson: Vice President of Marketing, Irving Texas CVB
· Audrey Hendley: Vice President Marketing, American Express
· Todd Castor: Area Director of eCommerce, Marriott International
· Susan Helstab: Executive Vice President of Marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
· David Keys: Regional VP of Sales/Marketing, Eastern USA and Canada- Hilton Worldwide
· Tracy Quan: Director, Brand Communications, Royal Caribbean International
· Anne Fischer: Director of Digital Marketing, Busch Entertainment Corporation
HSMAI also presented lifetime achievement awards to J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc., and Nancy Friedman, president of Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations. While in New York for the HSMAI Awards event on January 31, Schulz met individually with approximately 12 journalists from business, trade and consumer media outlets to promote New Orleans’ hospitality industry and create positive media coverage about the visitor experience.
HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI's Affordable Meetings(r). Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. For more information, visit www.hsmai.org.
About New Orleans CVB
The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,000-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. We create $5 billion in new capital each year- more than any other business sector- by attracting millions of visitors, special events and conventions. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com.
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