Kathy Semmes director of sales, regional, Washington D.C., The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
Erick Garnica, director of international sales for Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Erick Garnica has been named director of international sales of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Most recently, Erick, who is a native of Mexico City, held the position of senior international tourism sales manager at the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, where he built solid relationships with tour operators and wholesalers in key international markets including the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Latin America and Brazil.
Fernando Harb named vice president of tourism sales at Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has named Fernando Harb as vice president of tourism sales. He has worked with the company since 2007, handling domestic sales and supporting the international market. He successfully launched Greater Fort Lauderdale as the first U.S. destination in the Virtuoso luxury travel tourism program.
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau names Carlos M. Molinet as senior vice president
Carlos M. Molinet has been named senior vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Molinet previously served as general manager for the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina.
Name: Karen Brown
Company: LGBT Visitor Center
New Position: Executive director.
Past Experience: Served in the hospitality industry for 19 years. Worked at The Angler’s Resort in South Beach as general manager. Has been a co-emcee for the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade for the last four years.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?: “If you’re ever offered a mint, take it, which means be receptive to cues in business opportunities. Even simple gestures can open the door for successful, life-long business relationships.”
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Visit Florida, the official tourism marketing corporation for Florida, has named two South Florida tourism leaders to national positions.
Olga Ramudo, president and CEO of Express Travel in Miami, will serve on the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
Christian Goode has been named president of Genting's Resorts World Miami (RWM). He will oversee the development of the RWM project in downtown Miami. He was chief financial officer of the Resorts World New York City project in Queens, N.Y. Before that, he was director of compliance at Seneca Gaming Corporation in New York, and before that he was casino controller at Charles Town Races and Slots in West Virginia. The firm also has named seven new members to its senior management team. Dan Sternberg will become senior counsel to Resorts World starting in Jan. 2012 and will serve as chairman of the Resorts World Miami advisory committee. He has been a corporate attorney for 30 years and has represented Genting and Resorts World for more than 20 years. Jessica Hoppe will serve as senior vice president of governmental affairs and general counsel for RWM. She will oversee legal affairs and will collaborate with legislative leaders statewide as the project develops. She was an attorney at the New York firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. William Thompson will join as senior vice president for development. He was executive vice president for development with the Related Group of Florida for 12 years. Farooq Rehmatwala has been named vice president of business and community affairs. He will be responsible for building and strengthening relationships within Florida’s business and hospitality industry, and the community. He has held management positions at the Fontainebleau Hilton in Miami Beach, the New York Hilton and the Walt Disney World Hilton. Dana Leibovitz will serve as vice president of operations. He will be in charge of all operational matters at RWM. He was vice president of VIP marketing for Resorts World New York City. Before that, he was senior vice president for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Jesse Manzano-Plaza has been named vice president of governmental affairs and public relations. He will work with local civic organizations, stakeholder groups and public officials to foster working relationships between RWM and community partners. He has worked with several state and local elected officials, including former Gov. Jeb Bush and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz. He also served as chief of staff for the Florida Department of Transportation. Ray Valentino has been named general manager of the Hilton Hotel. He has spent more than 20 years working with the Hilton Hotels Corporation, having worked at the Fontainebleau Hilton, Doubletree Coconut Grove, and the Hilton Miami Airport.
Dana Beth Hagendorf has been named vice president and chief marketing officer at Fontainebleau Miami Beach. She will be responsible for providing executive leadership and management of marketing, advertising, public relations and social media activities worldwide. She is founder and principal of Gallant Media Group, a brand-consulting firm.