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Mariann Costello installed as Chair of San Francisco Travel Association’s 2013/2014 Board of Directors at 103rd Annual Luncheon

The San Francisco Travel Association installed Mariann Costello, vice president of Scoma’s Restaurant, as chair for the 2013/2014 fiscal year at the organization’s 103rd Annual Luncheon meeting today.


June 18, 2013 – The San Francisco Travel Association installed Mariann Costello, vice president of Scoma’s Restaurant, as chair for the 2013/2014 fiscal year at the organization’s 103rd Annual Luncheon meeting today.

Costello succeeds 2012/2013 Chair David Nadelman, general manager of the Grand Hyatt San Francisco.

The San Francisco Travel chair presides over the board of directors and the executive committee. Costello will direct and guide policy at all meetings involving members, the executive committee and the board of directors.

“Mariann will be the perfect chair to lead this organization in the year ahead,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “Her background and dedication will be invaluable as we finalize plans to expand Moscone Center and prepare for the new sports arena and the Super Bowl in 2016.”    

A native San Franciscan, Costello has 29 years of restaurant experience.  She served as President of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and President of the San Francisco Taxicab Commission.  Currently she  serves as Chairwoman of the California Restaurant Association Board,  as a member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Board and as a Trustee for the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation.  In 2009, Ms. Costello was selected by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Most Influential Women in Business in the Bay Area, and inducted in the Forever Influential Honor Roll in 2010.

Costello has been part of the San Francisco Travel board of directors and executive committee since 2006 and has served as chair of numerous councils and committees including the Community Engagement Council, the Finance Committee and was the inaugural chair of the Tourism Council.  She was most currently chair-elect on the San Francisco Travel Board of Directors.

Presented with the theme “Now’s the Time,” the luncheon was attended by more than 1,000 people. 

“We have an exciting year ahead.  Now's the time for San Francisco,” Costello said.  “As a native, I am honored, humbled and very excited that now's the time for me to serve as Chair of San Francisco Travel.”

The tone of the luncheon was upbeat and enthusiastic. 

“We are on a roll. Things are good and the future looks bright,” said Joe D’Alessandro, San Francisco Travel president and CEO.  “However, now is also the time to stay focused, to take risks and try new things, to prepare for the unknowable future.  This is not the time for complacency or resting on our laurels.”

Attendees were ushered into Moscone West by San Jose Taiko.  Now celebrating their 40th anniversary, this group has a long-term vision of establishing a Taiko Conservatory, the first of its kind in the United States, to serve as a national resource for this vibrant Asian American art form.  

Mayor Edwin M. Lee and David Chiu, president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, both addressed the assembly, commenting on tourism’s importance to the City’s economy and the upcoming developments and events that will make San Francisco even more attractive to visitors in the future. 

After lunch, the gathering of tourism professionals was entertained by Bandaloop.  A pioneer in vertical dance performance, Bandaloop weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and the art of climbing to turn the dance floor on its side and has performed on some of the most notable urban and natural landmarks throughout the world. Tickets are still available for their upcoming performance at Fort Mason, July 18–21, 2013.

The John A. Marks Scholarship was presented to University of San Francisco student Elena Quach by Toni Knorr, Chair of the San Francisco Travel Foundation, and Kevin Carroll of the Hotel and Restaurant Foundation.  The scholarship benefits local students enrolled in college and university hospitality management programs.

The fourth annual Crystal Bridge Award was presented to Karen Reul, Vice President, Strategic Events for, Inc. by John Reyes, San Francisco Travel executive vice president/chief customer officer.  This award is presented annually to acknowledge major convention customers that bring outstanding events with significant impact for San Francisco.

D’Alessandro presented the Silver Cable Car Award to Monique Moyer, executive director of the Port of San Francisco.  This award has been presented annually since 1965 to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to San Francisco’s visitor industry.

The program closed with a rousing performance by Fogo Na Roupa.  Synonymous with exciting display of Brazilian dance and music, influenced by African, Latin, and Caribbean cultures, Fogo is a passionate company of artists, from varied cultural backgrounds and extensive professional experience featuring the full spectrum of Brazilian dance, the sizzle of Samba to the gravity defying Capoeira.  Fogo Na Roupa most recently performed during the opening weekend of the 35th Annual, Ethnic Dance Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. 

The San Francisco Travel Association’s 103rd Annual Luncheon was sponsored by Webcor Builders which has transformed the city skyline with projects including the construction, renovation and coming expansion of Moscone Center, hotels such as the Intercontinental San Francisco, W San Francisco and Hotel Vitale,  the California Academy of Sciences,  the Museum of the African Diaspora and the upcoming expansion of SFMOMA and the Transbay Transit Center.

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  With more than 1,500 members, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generates in excess of $8.93 billion annually for the local economy. The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at One Front St., Suite 2900, San Francisco CA 94111

San Francisco Travel also operates the Visitor Information Center located near the Powell Street cable car turnaround at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level.

For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit 

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