People on the Go

April 2017

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Visit Aurora is proud to welcome Bruce Dalton as president and CEO. Dalton succeeds Visit Aurora’s Gary Wheat, who established the organization in 2010. Dalton is a second-generation leader in the hospitality industry. He comes to Visit Aurora with 29 years of industry experience, most recently serving as vice president of Groups360, a Nashville-based hospitality company. In his previous role, he served as managing director of sales for the Grapevine (Texas) CVB. Dalton began his career as a bellman at the Twin Bridges Marriott Hotel and then progressed with positions with Marriott and Hyatt hotels, as well as sales roles with the convention and visitors bureaus in San Antonio, Nashville, Hawaii, and Fort Worth.

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In November, the Reno-Sparks CVA selected Phil DeLone as the organization’s new president & CEO. Since 2012 DeLone has been the CEO of Safari Club International, a nonprofit organization that protects hunters’ rights and promotes wildlife conservation. In that role, he has been responsible for the implementation of SCI’s strategic long-range plan, overseeing a staff of more than 80 employees with responsibility for government affairs, marketing, communication, human resources, conventions and meetings, as well as land and facilities management. With more than 35 years of experience in tourism, sales, marketing and management, DeLone is familiar with the amenities and attractions throughout Reno Tahoe USA. DeLone has 20 years of executive sales and management experience working at Reno hotels.

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Visit Phoenix has promoted Lorne Edwards to vice president of sales & services. Edwards joined Visit Phoenix five years ago as director of sales after a 16-year career at Hyatt Hotels Corporation. In his new role, Edwards will guide the organization’s national strategic sales and services initiatives.

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Carrie Hawks has joined Travel Lane County (Oregon) as visitor services manager. Hawks oversees all aspects of the Adventure Center, manages the retail program and processes consumer leads. In her spare time, she produces independent feature films with her husband.


The Mendocino County Tourism Commission has announced the appointment of Alan Humason as executive director. Humason will be responsible for reporting to an 11-member board of directors and seven sub-committees as well as supervising staff, contractors and vendors with a $1.56 million annual budget. The nonprofit organization welcomes 1.8 million visitors to Mendocino County annually. A 15-plus-year veteran of the marketing/communications industry, Humason will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the organization’s initiatives, full-time management of the business of promoting the county and directing all paid and volunteer employees, contractors and administrators. Humason previously served as executive director of Yolo County Visitors Bureau (from 2011 to 2017). He has also held posts in the sales, marketing and editorial/publishing arenas.

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Travel Portland, has hired James Jessie as vice president of convention sales. A national sales manager for Travel Portland’s predecessor organization, the Portland Oregon Visitors Association (POVA), in the late 1990s, Jessie has spent the past nearly two decades leading sales efforts at Visit Phoenix. Since 1999, Jessie has served as senior vice president of sales and services at Visit Phoenix, where he led successful pre-booking efforts and opening production strategies for a city-owned headquarter convention hotel as well as for an expanded convention center. In addition, he was instrumental in directing hotel and convention center sales efforts toward successful bids to host the 2015 and 2008 NFL Super Bowls, 2015 College Football Playoff Championship, 2010 MLB All-Star Game and 2009 NBA All-Star Game. Prior to his time at POVA, Jessie spent time as national sales and services manager at the Lane County CVB (now Travel Lane County) in Eugene, Oregon.

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Briana Matthews has joined Travel Lane County (Oregon) as adventure specialist. Matthews manages the event calendar and, as an adventure specialist, she is a resource for what is happening in the region. She assists visitors and locals with planning adventure itineraries. She has worked in a variety of tourism positions, including a stint at Augusta National working at the Masters Golf Tournament.

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Abbie Youngs has joined Travel Lane County (Oregon) as a tourism coordinator. Her responsibilities include supporting the Tourism Marketing Department in managing photo assets, developing content and creating media pitches. Before moving to Eugene, Youngs spent three years in Boulder, Colorado, working for the Boulder CVB as the visitor and conference services manager.