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Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association Announces Staff Changes October 30, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association has announced a number of staff changes as it prepares for increased sales and marketing of the city in keeping with the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center, opening of Lucas Oil Stadium, new hotels and cultural growth.

“We have a tremendous group of professionals at the ICVA,” said president and CEO Don Welsh. “With these team changes, ICVA is made stronger to meet the increased expectations of our constituents and to take Indianapolis to the next level of tourism growth.”
 
The changes include:

  • James Wallis has been promoted to senior vice president of finance, administration and technology. He was vice president of finance, administration and technology. 
  • Susie Townsend has been promoted to vice president of services. She was the director of convention services and meetings team.
  • Mary Huggard has been named vice president of strategic partnerships & development. She was vice president of marketing and communications.
  • Matt Carter has been named vice president of music, arts & culture and executive director of Music Crossroads.  He was vice president of strategic development.
  • Bill Benner has been named director of special projects. He was associate director of communications.
  • Patty Creech has been named cultural tourism manager. She was leisure marketing manager.

Earlier it was announced that Warren Wilkinson has been named senior vice president of marketing & communications for ICVA.

The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shiffllet & Associates, 21.9 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,621 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.

Media Contact: Bob Schultz, 317-639-4772, bschultz@indianapolis.org

National Travel and Tourism Professional to Lead Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association’s Marketing Republic Airways’ Warren Wilkinson to Start at ICVA on October 31 October 2, 2008

Posted by ICVA Communications in ICVA Business.
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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA) has named Warren R. Wilkinson as its new Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications.  Wilkinson has served as the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications for locally based Republic Airways Holdings since 2001.  He will move into the ICVA’s chief marketing position that has been held by Mary K. Huggard since 1994.  Huggard is becoming the ICVA’s Vice President of Partnership and Development, a newly created ICVA position.  Both positions are effective October 31, 2008.
  
“We are incredibly fortunate to have secured the type of national and international marketing talent embodied by Warren,” said ICVA President & CEO Don Welsh.  “His extensive experience in tourism marketing, branding and communications will enable ICVA to focus our message and expand our reach as America’s premier convention and sports destination.” 

“I am very pleased to be joining the ICVA during one of the most exciting periods in our city’s history.  Indianapolis continues to develop an exceptional array of facilities and attractions for both convention and leisure visitors,” said Warren Wilkinson.  “I look forward to working with the ICVA team to leverage these assets to enhance the reputation and national awareness of our great city as a meetings and tourism destination.”

A veteran of 27 years in corporate marketing and communications, Wilkinson comes to the ICVA with an extensive resume from the airline industry, where he was responsible for directing the marketing and corporate communications efforts for the second largest regional airline company in the world.  In addition, Wilkinson managed the successful brand integration of the company’s three operating subsidiaries with five major airlines partners. 

“For the past seven years, Warren has led our marketing and communications efforts with exceptional vision and creativity,” said Bryan Bedford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Airways.   “Our loss is definitely ICVA’s gain.  I’m confident his passion and commitment will take our city to even greater heights.” 

Prior to joining Republic Airways, Wilkinson served as Deputy General Manager and Senior Vice President of Edelman Public Relations Worldwide’s Atlanta office heading the corporate practice.   Prior to joining Edelman, Wilkinson held senior marketing and communications positions for several regional airlines. 

Wilkinson currently serves on the board of the Indiana Repertory Theatre and the Purdue University School of Aviation Technology Advisory Board.  He is also a member of the ICVA Board of Directors. 

ICVA Board Chairman Jerry Semler added, “Along with Don Welsh’s arrival two months ago, the hiring of Warren is yet another example of our efforts to build and sustain a high performance team of experienced professionals in order to better market and sell Indianapolis’ growing list of outstanding tourism assets.”    
    
The mission of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association is to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth.  The ICVA seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis and positively influence the visitor experience.  According to a Global Insight report, in partnership with D.K. Shiffllet & Associates, 21.9 million visitors annually provide $3.56 billion in total annual economic impact of tourism on the Indianapolis economy resulting in 66,621 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry.