People on the Go

November 2016

Anita Cerana was appointed as a national account director for Visit Seattle in early October. With more than seven years of sales and marketing experience, Cerana joins Visit Seattle’s convention sales team. She will be responsible for promoting and selling Seattle as a convention and meeting destination for associations and corporations in the Southeast market, as well as the sports market. Cerana comes to this position after spending two years as public affairs assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea. From 2003 to 2005, Cerana served as the director of sales for Jacksonville and the Beaches CVB in Washington, D.C. Prior, Cerana held various sales roles and was a high school English teacher for the JET program in Tsuno and Miyazaki, Japan.


The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) has appointed Ashlee Ciora as senior director, tourism, where she will be responsible for overseeing strategy and programming for half of L.A. Tourism’s international markets in coordination with Stephanie Nakasone, who will continue to oversee the other half. Ciora will report to Kathy Smits, vice president, tourism.Most recently, Ciora served as vice president of travel industry sales for the Greater Palm Springs CVB. During her six years in Palm Springs, Ciora was responsible for the domestic and international marketing and product development for the travel industry sales department. Ciora has spent her entire career with DMOs, beginning with the Scottsdale CVB where she managed the travel agent and wholesale market for the U.S., Canada and eventually Germany, United Kingdom and Mexico. She was chair for the Visit California Rural Region Committee and sits on Visit California’s International Marketing Committee.


Visit West Hollywood has appointed Tom Kiely, a seasoned travel industry executive, as chief executive officer. Since 2010 Kiely has served as executive vice president-tourism at the San Francisco Travel Association.As CEO, he will provide executive oversight of Visit West Hollywood operations and be responsible for implementing the direction set by the Board of Directors to fulfill the organization's mission and goals. Kiely has extensive sales, tourism and leadership experience within the hotel, destination management and attraction industries. His past experience includes leadership positions with the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Atlantis The Palm-Dubai and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Visit Seattle welcomed Charles Pinckney as its newest convention sales national account director, effective Oct. 24, 2016. In this role, Pinckney is responsible for the Chicago area market as well as the International market. Most recently, he was associate director of sales at the Sheraton Grand Chicago/Westin River North in Chicago, overseeing a team of small market sellers and directly handling the Northeast Association Market.

David Powell has joined the San Francisco Travel Association as director, international meetings & incentive sales. Powell will be responsible for securing international meeting business for San Francisco from Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America. His primary focus will be self-contained meetings. He will also help to identify citywide conventions and participate in joint sales efforts with the travel trade with San Francisco Travel’s tourism division. Powell had been with Kimpton Hotels & Resorts since 2002, most recently as regional director of international sales, West Coast, where he oversaw all business and international sales activities at 15 Kimpton hotels in California and Arizona. Previous experience also includes positions with the Crowne Plaza Cabana in Palo Alto; Sky Express Travel Services in New York, and Go America Tours, also in New York. 


Chris Prince recently joined the staff at the Tempe Tourism Office as a sports sales manager. Prince will focus on the sports tournament and meeting markets for the group sales team. He will participate in trade shows, sales missions, prospecting campaigns, and familiarization trips. Originally from Phoenix, Prince was working in Los Angeles for the new Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). Prior to that, he was the premium seating manager at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.