People in the News

Kelly Saling

Visit Seattle announced the promotion of Kelly Saling to SVP/Chief Sales Officer – the most elevated sales role in the organization. Saling joined Visit Seattle in 2009, most recently serving as Vice President of Convention Sales & Services. Outside of her work with Visit Seattle, Saling serves national and local hospitality and convention organizations including MPI’s Women’s Advisory Board, the Steering Committee for the new MINT+, and the Destinations International Sales & Services Committee, and is an active member of Professional Convention Management Association, Meeting Professionals International, and Destinations International.  In her new role, Saling will continue to navigate the convention sales and services team through pandemic recovery, manage and strategize sales operations for future business booked into the Washington State Convention Center, and oversee the Summit building opening in mid-2022.

 

Reach Kelly at ksaling@visitseattle.org or (206) 461-5802

Kimberly Hardcastle

Kimberly Hardcastle, President and Chief Marketing Strategist of MDG, was honored as the WPA Hall of Fame Award recipient at WPA Chairman’s Reception in Las Vegas on August 17. Hardcastle has handled marketing and public relations efforts for SuperZoo “for the better part of the last two decades,” according to WPA officials. During this time, attendance has more than tripled. SuperZoo has consistently been a Trade Show Executive Gold 100 honoree since 2014, and Hardcastle and her team at MDG were responsible for coming up with the SuperZoo rebrand name and logo.

 

Reach Kimberly at kimberly@mdg.agency

Andrew Ortale

Andrew Ortale has been named Chief Sales Officer of VisitPITTSBURGH to start on October 11. With more than 20 years of domestic and international event experience, Ortale previously served VisitPITTSBURGH as National Sales Director from 2000-03 before serving Visit Orlando in a senior sales role. Most recently he served as Vice President, Events & Business Development for AIS International since 2017. Ortale looks forward to working with the hospitality community to help rebuild the Pittsburgh travel economy.

Reach Andrew at andrew.ortale@visitpittsburgh.com or (412) 281-7711

Angi Van Berg

Angi Van Berg is retiring from her role as Vice President of Trade Show Sales at Louisville Tourism and will join Fern Expo as a Senior National Sales Manager on September 13th. Van Berg served Louisville Tourism for 24 years, where she was most recently responsible for booking large trade shows requiring 1,501 peak hotel room nights and above. At Fern, she will focus on business development related to key trade show and association business across North America while also representing Fern at select industry events.

Reach Angi at avanberg@fernexpo.com or (502) 472-6022

Peter Gamez

Peter Gamez has been named President & CEO of Visit Oakland, the city’s official destination marketing organization. Gamez brings 32 years of travel industry experience, most recently with Hunter Hospitality Consultants in the San Francisco Bay Area where he also served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Travel Association and was Board Chairman from 2018-2019. At Visit Oakland, Gamez plans to amplify the tourism voice of Oakland through cutting-edge marketing and sales strategies, destination development, and brand management.

Reach Peter at peter@visitoakland.com

Tom Shanley

Tom Shanley has been appointed Senior Vice President, Technology Services at SmartSource, where he will lead the further growth and expansion of SmartSource’s Managed Information Technology (IT) Services. Shanley has more than two decades of high-level IT technical and professional services experience, most recently serving as Vice President of Information Technology with the Greater Nevada Credit Union where he was responsible for the institution’s broad IT operations. At SmartSource, Shanley will direct a team of IT professionals to provide vital services to clients such as helpdesk support, rapid deployment of equipment, and ensuring the protection of their data.

Reach Tom at tshanley@thesmartsource.com

Wayne Crawford

Wayne Crawford has been appointed Vice President of Account Management at Grip, a market engagement platform supporting event professionals. Crawford brings over 30 years of event industry management and executive experience in sales and marketing as an organizer and technology supplier. At Grip, Crawford will aid in maintaining the momentum of the growing platform to continue to meet the needs of event organizers today and in the future.

Reach Wayne and the Grip Sales team at sales@grip.events

Mike Haarvei

Mike Haarvei has joined GES as Vice President of Client Relations where his responsibilities will include leading a sales team tasked with expanding GES’ healthcare client base and offering first-rate marketing solutions to GES healthcare clients. Haarvei has more than 25 years of leadership, business development and healthcare program management experience, most recently serving as VP Strategic Accounts for Sparks where he provided leadership and management for healthcare program accounts. Under Mike Haarvei’s leadership, the GES healthcare sales and strategy team will continue to expand its offerings in healthcare experiential marketing and strategic program management.

Reach Mike at (702) 515-5500 or mhaarvei@ges.com.

Jeff Stelmach

Jeff Stelmach joined GES as the Global President Brand Experiences. Stelmach brings more than 30 years of experience of building agencies to his new position. Most recently, Stelmach was President at Opus Agency. Stelmach has won the Grand Ex Award for the best experiential marketing campaign of the year twice, making him one of only two people to have won twice.

Reach Jeff Stelmach at 214-808-2654

Sonia Fong

Sonia Fong will be stepping into the role of Senior Vice President of Convention Development at Louisville Tourism on August 23. Fong has worked in the hospitality industry for 24 years, most recently at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau as Vice President of Convention Sales & Services. Previously, she served the Miami Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for 21 years in a variety of sales positions. In her new role, Fong will develop and implement a marketing plan, manage the convention sales team to achieve annual room night goals, and outline sales objectives to promote Louisville as a premier convention destination.

Reach Sonia at the Louisville Tourism office at (502) 584-2121