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San Francisco Travel Staff News

Our team works hard for you, which is why we're proud to share our achievements.

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We're proud that the hard work we do is continually recognized within the tourism industry as being among the best. And with visitation to San Francisco on the rise, we're excited to add more expertise to our dedicated team. Here are the latest updates about our achievements and our growth.

FEBRUARY 2020

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco Travel was honored at Visit California's 2020 Outlook Forum with three Poppy Awards. These awards, given out every two years, recognize the best destination marketing in California. This year, San Francisco Travel earned Poppys for Best Content Marketing Initiative, for its culinary program; Best Cooperative Marketing, for its work with the San Diego Tourism Authority in the China market; and Best Influencer Campaign, for its work with Chinese social media influencers. 

New Staff and Promotions

  • Jenn Buell has joined our team as Senior Associate, Visitor Experience. A graduate of the Hospitality Management program at San Francisco State University, Jenn has previously worked as a Front Desk Agent at the Fairmont.
  • Gabriella Giuliani has joined our team as Manager, Visitor Experience. She will be managing our flagship Visitor Information Center at The Moscone Center. Her prior experience includes group sales and tourism liaison at SFMOMA.
  • Alessa Lopez has joined our team as Associate, Convention Sales. She will be assisting Matt Brezinski, Tanjeet Santini, and Leticia Thorpe with their sales efforts. Her previous experience includes work with the Philippine Department of Tourism.
  • Kelsey Tinker has joined our team as Director, Sponsor & Member Sales. Her work will cover our sponsorship sales efforts with new and existing customers. Previously, Kelsey worked with Jacksonville's Office of Sports & Entertainment and Visit Florida.

JANUARY 2020

New Staff and Promotions

  • San Francisco Travel's new Special Events department will be led by its first Vice President, Linda Guy. Linda comes to us with extensive experience in managing events for some of San Francisco's busiest hotels, inclduing the Hiltons of Union Square, the Westin St. Francis, and the St. Regis, among others. Her team will be made up of existing San Francisco Travel staff members from our Partnership and Convention Services departments: Lisa Cleveland, Melissa Amato, Michael Thomas, and Nia Tahani Wilkes.

DECEMBER 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco was widely recognized for its inclusive and welcoming atmosphere in GayCities' Best of 2019 polls. With more than 130,000 votes cast by LGBTQ travelers, San Francisco was voted the Best City and picked up honorable mentions as Most Romantic City, a Dive Bar to Die For (Moby Dick's), Drag Bar Extraordinaire (Oasis), Monument to Our History (Harvey Milk's statue at City Hall), and Beloved Local Drag Queen (Juanita More). 

NOVEMBER 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco Travel was honored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce with their Economic Development Award. This award recognizes a company or orgnaization that substantially contributes to the economic vitality of San Francisco.
  • HSMAI (Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International) has honored San Francisco Travel with a Gold Adrian Award for its international marketing efforts in the past fiscal year and a Silver Adrian Award for its "Why San Francisco Is So Delicious" promotional video. HSMAI presents its annual Adrian Awards to hospitality brands and agencies for creativity and innovation in advertising, digital marketing, and public relations.

New Staff and Promotions

  • Jerome Filip has joined the San Francisco Travel team as senior associate, global PR and media relations. In this role, Jerome will focus on the data management and reporting that supports our global efforts to gain earned and paid media exposure for San Francisco as a destination. A San Francisco native, his prior work experience includes working at public affairs firms and on successful political campaigns.
  • Alexis Piligian has joined the San Francisco Travel team as an associate in our Convention Services department. Most recently, Alexis was part of the events team at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that, she was an intern with the San Francisco Travel partnership team.
  • Samantha Yee has joined the San Francisco Travel team as an associate in our Convention Sales department. She'll be assisting managers covering both citywide and self-contained meetings. Samantha began her tenure with San Francisco Travel as an intern with our administrative and research teams.

OCTOBER 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco Travel was recently honored at the annual eTourism Summit, receiving this year's eTSY Awards for Best Content Marketing Program and Best Use of Video. The content marketing prize was given in recognition of our series of culinary videos and the video prize was given in recognition of our highly successful arts anthem video. Creative works like these do more than just showcase our destination; they drive crucial engagement with our audiences and inspire potential travelers to book their visits to San Francisco.

New Staff and Promotions

  • Zeke Ramsell has been promoted to the role of Manager, Convention Sales. Zeke will now tackle our California market for meetings totaling 50 rooms or less. Over the past year, Zeke has assisted members of our sales team whose territories include northern and southern California, and whose clients represent both self-contained and citywide meetings. Prior to joining San Francisco Travel, Zeke worked for Visit Oakland.

SEPTEMBER 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco Travel was awarded a Silver Magellan Award for its "Why San Francisco Is So Delicious" promotional video. This original video is the centerpiece of our ongoing culinary campaign to attract visitors to the city. This is the third consecutive year that San Francisco Travel's marketing efforts have been recognized with a Magellan Award.

New Staff and Promotions

  • Hsin Hua Tsai has joined our team as Associate, Visitor Experience & Lead Designate. She has previously interned with San Francisco Travel in our Visitor Information Center and with our Global Tourism department.

AUGUST 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • At this year's U.S Travel ESTO event, San Francisco Travel was honored for its "Best in California" campaign, done in partnership with Hilton Hotels and the San Diego Tourism Bureau. Named the best international campaign of the past year, "Best in California" targeted vistiors in the Chinese market to maximize visits to the state.

JULY 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • Dan Rosenbaum, Director, Digital Content, has been named to the U.S. Travel Association's Destination Council's Emerging Leaders program. The program provides developing professionals enhanced opportunities to grow leadership skills and advance their careers in the travel industry.

New Staff and Promotions

  • Arturo Araujo has been promoted to Sr. Associate, Accounting Services. Arturo has been part of the Administration and Finance teams for four years, and his new role comes with a focus on our internal accounting responsibilities.
  • Alexandra Fieber has been promoted to Sr. Manager, Operations & IT Change Management. Alexandra has been a driving force in the successful, company-wide implementation of new technologies, including Salesforce.
  • Christy Hopeman has been promoted to Sr. Vice President, Technology & Operations. Over the past eight years, Christy has overseen the crucial work that guarantees that San Francisco Travel operates as a model destination marketing organization with its embrace of various operational and marketing technologies. 
  • Kimberly Lee has been promoted to Director, Convention Services. Kimberly is an expereinced hand at working with some of our largest convention clients and in preparing our team for some of its largest industry trade shows.
  • Oscar Lee has been promoted to Sr. Manager, Convention Services. Oscar has been integral to expanding our Convention Services team's ability to connect convention clients with corporate social responsibility opportunities across the Bay Area.
  • Erin Rheinschild has been promoted to Senior Director, Operations & Staff Experience. In this role, Erin will continue her responsibilities managing the staff at our Visitor Information Centers, as well as begin new work overseeing staff recruitment, internship programs, and company culture initiatives.
  • Charles Rubinoff has been promoted to Director, Design. Charles managed much of San Francisco Travel's brand refresh and was integral in its successful launch at this year's Annual Luncheon.
  • Emily Sandel has joined the San Francisco Travel team as Associate, Global Tourism Development. A recent graduate of the University of San Francisco, Emily previously worked as an intern in our Partnership department.
  • Charlie Thi has been promoted to Sr. Associate, Convention Sales. Charlie has been a part of the San Francisco Travel team for nearly a decade, beginning his tenure in the Finance Department.
  • Winnie Wong has been promoted to Director, Convention Sales. Winnie has made terrific headway in bringing more MICE business to San Francisco, and will add this responsibility to her regular work with self-contained meeting clients in Silicon Valley.
  • Matt Zhao has been promoted to Sr. Associate, Convention Sales. Based in our Washington, D.C. office, Matt assists our Northeast and Midwest sales managers.

MAY 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco Travel received a Gold Telly Award for its Co-op Video Partner Program with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). The Telly Awards honor the best in broadcast and digital video marketing. Our thanks to our production partners at Miles Partnership. To view the winning video, click here.
  • Susanna Flores, our Director of Convention Sales for the Northeast Region, was honored by Smart Meetings at their 2019 Smart Women in Meetings Awards. Recognized as a Stellar Performer for her work bringing east coast clients to San Francisco, Susanna joins an elite group of women meeting planners who are raising the bar in our industry.

APRIL 2019

Awards and Accolades

  • San Francisco Travel received two Shorty Awards for its work marketing to the Chinese market via WeChat and Weibo. The Shorties celebrate the best content creators and producers in social media. These wins highlight our innovative global strategy and exemplify our position as one of the leading destination brands marketing to China.

MARCH 2019

New Staff and Promotions

  • Stephanie Swackhamer has been promoted to Manager, MICE Programs and Events. Stephanie's previous roles in the company included interning for our Partnership team and working as an Associate on our Convention Sales team. She will now work with our San Francisco-based Sales and Tourism teams, as well as our 14 international offices, to bring more MICE business to the Bay Area.

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