Meet the Sonoma County Tourism Staff

Nicole Bradin, CTA, Executive Office Manager
Chyrl Collins, CMP, CTA, CTIS, Tour and Travel Sales Manager
Mark Crabb, CMP, CTA, FCDME, Chief Sales Officer
Kenneth J. Fischang, CHME, CMP, CTA, President/CEO
Kathleen Gray, Accountant
Paula Higgins, CMP, CTA, Director of Group Sales
Ariane Hiltebrand, CTA, Interactive Manager
Kila Janusevskis, CTA, Sales Coordinator
Bill Judson, CTA, Chief Financial Officer
Deleyse Langdale, CTA, International Sales Director
Tina Luster, CTA, Communications Manager
Tamara McGiboney, CTA, National Sales Manager
Susan Montes, CTA, Meeting Sales and Services Manager
Ginger Myrick, Advertising Traffic Coordinator
Barbara Quigley, CMP, CTA, National Sales Manager
Sandy Shuster, CTA, Customer Service/CTA Coordinator
Beth Snow, CTA, Marketing Manager
Maureen Tunheim, CTA, Administrative Manager
Jill Vanden Heuvel, CDME, CTA, Director of Advertising and Industry Relations
Birgitt Vaughan, CTA, Public Relations Manager
Jamie Ward, CMP, CTA, National Sales Manager
Tim Zahner, CTA, Chief Marketing Officer

 


Nicole Bradin, CTA

Position: Executive Office Manager
Date Started with SCT: May 21, 2010

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Assists president/CEO with administrative tasks such as travel, meeting scheduling, and client events
  • Manage all office functions involved with running an effective and efficient office operation such as but not limited to: phones, IT, janitorial, signage, copier, and business cards.
  • Work with all departments on any projection/forecasting issues, such as goals and incentives, projects not budgeted, and others.
  • Work with other departments to develop schedules and reports necessary for carrying out effective programs of work.
  • Prepare/publish monthly/quarterly and fiscal year end reports (non-financial).

Professional history:

  • Assistant to the president/business development – Reach Global Music Publishing, New York, New York
  • Business Development Officer –Yale Capital, New York, New York
  • Project manager/business development manager – Seriatim, New York, New York
  • Graduate of Rutgers University (M.F.A. theater arts)
  • Graduate of Sonoma State University (B.A. liberal arts/theater arts)

Places I have traveled:

Much of the United States, Ireland, England, Scotland, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, France, Dominican Republic, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Holland

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Sonoma County is so wonderfully diverse ... the coast between Bodega and Jenner, the Sonoma foothills, Highway 12 between Sonoma and Rincon Valley, River Road from 101 to Goat Rock, Armstrong Woods, Downtown Petaluma. My "favorite places" in Sonoma County are endless.


Chyrl Collins, CMP, CTIS, CTA

Position: Tourism Sales Manager
Date Started with SCT: May 17, 2006

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Geographic territory – national and international group tours
  • Represent Sonoma County’s lodging and attractions to event and tour professionals showcasing the diversity of beautiful Sonoma County as a desirable Wine Country destination.
  • Coordinate and represent Sonoma County at various tour and travel trade shows, meetings, and special events.
  • Create special events and tours to introduce travel and event planners to Sonoma County’s unique attractions, activities, special event venues and lodging.
  • Distribute, track, and report lead conversion with emphasis on obtaining new mid-week frequent individual traveler (FIT) and group tour business to enhance and increase Sonoma County’s hospitality industry.
  • Work effectively with SCT members, committees, city/county officials, and the hospitality industry to promote SCT’s sales efforts in the group and FIT markets.

Professional history:

  • Director of sales and marketing, Inn at Oyster Point
  • Senior sales manager, Hilton Sonoma County
  • Director of sales and marketing, Sonoma Valley Inn
  • Corporate sales manager, Flamingo Resort Hotel and Conference Center
  • Sales manager, Los Robles Lodge
  • Director of sales and marketing, Crown Sterling Suites
  • Sales manager at various San Francisco and South San Francisco hotel properties

Professional Organizations:

Northern California Chapter Meeting Professionals International, Sacramento Chapter Meeting Professionals International, Society of Government Meeting Professionals International, Northern California Society of Association Executives, American Bus Association, National Tour Association, Travel Industry Association of America

Places I have traveled:

South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Arizona, Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Nevada, District of Columbia, Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, and Mexico

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Wine tasting and picnicking at one of the many fabulous wineries or dining coast side at sunset.


Mark Crabb, CMP, FCDME, CTA

Position: Chief Sales Officer
Date Started with SCT: April 9, 2008

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Supervises staff within the sales department. Assist sales managers in setting and reaching measurable goals.
  • Ensure that annual marketing plans and budgets are developed, approved, implemented and tracked for performance (accountability, measurability, and results driven).
  • Ensures that accurate record keeping processes are in place for booking contracts, sales calls, correspondence, and expense accounts, and for other appropriate documentation.
  • Maintains a close and active working relationship with general managers or directors of sales at area lodging establishments so as to develop cooperative sales programs. Coordinates regular partner meetings in conjunction with other SCT departments.
  • Works effectively with volunteers, SCT board of director members, committees, city and county officials, hoteliers and hospitality industry staff in selling Sonoma County as a premier meeting and leisure travel destination.
  • Performs any other duties as assigned by the president/CEO.

Professional history:

  • Deputy director sales, marketing and communications, Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Executive director, Muncie/Delaware County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Muncie, Ind.
  • Executive director, Rising Sun/Ohio County Convention and Tourism Bureau
    Rising Sun, Ind.
  • Bachelor of arts, Visual Communications, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Fellow, Certified Destination Management Executive (FCDME)

Professional Organizations:

Conference and Convention Council Advisory Board, Destination Marketing Association International, Education Committee, Florida Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus, Education Committee, FGCU Professional Golf Management School Board Member, FGCU Resort and Hospitality Management Wanderlust Committee, Florida Society of Account Executives, National Tour Association, Visit Florida, Sales Committee, Tour Indiana Motorcoach Council president, Association of Indiana, CVB, president-elect and treasurer

Places I have traveled:

The majority of the U.S., Canada, London, Germany, Puerto Rico, St. Marten, St. Thomas, and would like to take a mission trip to Africa with my family.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

The sheer diversity of Sonoma County lets you be in the mountains looking over rolling vineyards in the morning, dangling your feet in the Russian River while redwoods shade the afternoon sun, and then being blown away by a brilliant sunset over the rugged Pacific coast in the evening. Enjoying that diversity is the best part of Sonoma Country.


Ken Fischang, CHME, CMP, CTA

Position: President and Chief Executive Officer
Date Started with SCT: July 25, 2005

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Provide the leadership to promote Sonoma County as an authentic wine, spa, and coastal destination in order to increase demand for full- and limited-service hotels, bed-and-breakfasts/inns, vacation home rentals, and campground accommodations

Professional history:

  • Kalamazoo County (Mich.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Pasadena (Calif.) Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Palm Springs (Calif.) Convention Center
  • Hyatt Regency Hotels in San Francisco (Calif.), Long Beach (Calif.), Lincolnwood, (Ill.) and Chicago, (Ill.)

Professional Organizations:

Professional Convention Management Association, Meeting Professionals International, American Society of Association Executives, Religious Convention Management Association, Association Forum of Chicagoland, Destination Marketing Association International, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce

Places I have traveled:

All 50 U.S. states, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Russia, China and Pacific Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

At a winemaker dinner that pairs Sonoma County wine and locally grown food, and was preceded by a spa experience that also uses locally grown products.


Kathleen Gray

Position: Accountant
Date Started with SCT: Dec. 3, 2012

SCT activities/responsibilities: Daily accounting responsibilities including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. Support chief financial officer as needed

Professional history:

  • Seven years as accounting manager for Santa Rosa construction equipment rental company.
  • 17 years as accounting manager for sonoma construction company.
  • Eight years as CPA for two Northern California firms.
  • B.A. in English literature; B.A. in business/accounting

Places I have traveled: I have visited 28 different states and lived in nine. I have traveled to Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Spain, Germany, Holland, Austria, and Switzerland.

My favorite place in Sonoma County: I love spending the day anywhere on the coast. I also enjoy hiking the many trails and backroads on Sonoma Valley. I especially enjoy sharing Sonoma County with first-time visitors and seeing it anew through their eyes.


Paula Higgins, CMP, CTA

Position: Director of Group Sales
Date Started with SCT: June 13, 2005

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Geographic territory: Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada.
  • Represent Sonoma County's lodging, attractions, and gorgeous landscape to event and meeting professionals as an attractive group and individual travel destination with numerous activities such as golf, spa, wine and culinary programs, kayaking, hot air ballooning, biking, and hiking.
  • Assist meeting and incentive program planners with requests for proposals, lodging, site tours, and itineraries.
  • Coordinate and represent Sonoma County at various corporate, incentive, and association tradeshows, monthly meetings, and special events.
  • Produce and direct special events and site tours to introduce event and meeting professionals to Sonoma County's lodging, special event venues, and attractions.
  • Distribute, track, and report lead conversion with emphasis on obtaining new mid-week group business to support and grow Sonoma County's hospitality community.
  • Work effectively with Sonoma County's hospitality and city/county officials and leaders to enhance outreach in group markets.

Professional history:

  • Director sales, Sonoma Wine Country Meetings
  • Senior sales manager, Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa
  • Sales/marketing manager, Crowne Plaza Foster City
  • Executive kitchen manager and trainer, Chevy's Mexican Restaurants
  • Bachelor’s of science, hotel administration University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Associate of science, hotel and restaurant management City College of San Francisco

Professional Organizations:

Meeting Professionals International, Society Government Meeting Professionals, Hospitality Sales Marketing Association International, California Society of Association Executives, American Society of Association Executives, Professional Convention Management Association, and SITE.

Places I have traveled:

I’ve visited every state in the Continental United States and Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Italy, and Western Mediterranean countries. Australia, New Zealand, Paris, Hong Kong, and Bali are on my wish list.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

I love to walk my dogs at various parks in the redwoods, around lakes, and dog-friendly beaches in Sonoma County. Discovering new vintages at the various wine regions throughout Sonoma County is always a favorite, especially when paired with a picnic, gorgeous view, and family and friends.

 


Ariane Hiltebrand, CTA

Position: Interactive Media Manager
Date Started with SCT: Jan. 9, 2012

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Oversee the interactive and online marketing initiatives of Sonoma County Tourism.
  • Develop and implement digital marketing strategy to drive overnight visitation from SCT’s three core market segments: individual travel, meetings and groups, and tour and travel.
  • Manage Sonoma County Tourism’s online presence, including websites, social media channels and mobile applications. Coordinate technology providers and application development.
  • Implement online advertising and search marketing strategy.

Professional history:

  • Marketing manager at Suntrek Tours Inc.
  • Direct marketing manager at Intrepid Suntrek (part of Intrepid Travel, now Peak Adventure Travel Group)

Places I have traveled:

Born and raised in Germany, I have studied at universities and colleges in Muenster, Paris, and London. I have traveled to most countries in Western Europe, Australia, Peru, Mexico and Canada. Within the U.S., I have visited Alaska, Hawaii, all of the western states, as well as Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. I have had the chance to explore many North American national parks on guided adventure trips while working for an internationally renowned adventure tour operator: Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Joshua Tree, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley Tribal Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Everglades, Kenai Fjords, as well as Banff, Jasper, and Yoho in Canada.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

I very much enjoy the diversity of Sonoma County. On weekends you can find me and my family jogging around Spring Lake, relaxing at Doran Beach or swimming in the Russian River. I like exploring Sonoma County’s fantastic wineries, especially in the Sonoma Valley area. You can also spot me shopping at the Petaluma Premium Outlets or strolling around Petaluma and Sonoma’s historic downtowns with all those quaint boutiques, galleries and cafes. In the evenings I like trying out trendy restaurants to eat a delicious dinner with fresh California produce and seafood or international delicacies. Coming from Europe I also appreciate Sonoma County’s gourmet-European restaurants for a taste of French, Italian, or German cuisine.

 


Kila Janusevskis, CTA

Position: Sales Coordinator
Date Started with SCT: June 6, 2011

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Support SCT and sales department in promoting Sonoma County’s identity as a premier overnight destination
  • Work with SCT sales staff to plan and support meetings, special events and other activities.
  • Assist with coordination of special events and tradeshows, including shipments of collateral, and amenities
  • Maintain a comprehensive and updated sales client database.
  • Maintain travel calendar, and coordinate sales staff trip and tradeshow reports.
  • Work effectively with SCT staff, hospitality and BIA partners.

Professional history:

  • Office coordinator for Direct Flow Medical
  • Owner and office manager of webbeautystore.com
  • Owner and accounts manager of Oilstop, Inc.
  • Executive secretary for International Computer Consultants, Inc.
  • Executive secretary for Ring Land Development

Places I have traveled:

While living in Washington State I traveled to Oregon, Idaho, and Montana camping in beautiful parks. I have enjoyed my travels within California to Santa Barbara, San Diego, Los Angeles and Long Beach. Hiked the trails of the amazing Yosemite National Park, Played the slots in Nevada, Vacationed at the islands of Hawaii, and walked the sandy beaches of Mexico.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

The wonderful thing about Sonoma County is that you can discover something new every time you venture out. My favorite place that I have discovered in Sonoma County would have to be picnicking and horseback riding while enjoying the serene and majestic beauty of the Armstrong Redwoods.


Bill Judson, CTA

Position: Chief Financial Officer
Date Started with SCT: March 21, 2011

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Maintain effective financial management of the organization.
  • Review, develop and monitor systems of internal controls.
  • Oversees purchase decisions, obtaining multiple bids on major expense items when appropriate.
  • Oversee payroll, accounts receivable, accounts payable and the general ledger.
  • Prepare financial reports for both internal and external purposes.
  • Oversee financial forecasting and budgeting.
  • Oversee financial analysis and various revenue and expense studies.
  • Oversee HR and IT service delivery for the organization.

Professional history:

  • B.S., business administration, accounting concentration, San Jose State University
  • Certified Public Accountant (currently inactive)
  • E.F. Hutton Life Insurance Company – accountant
  • DBSI Discovery Services, Inc. – investor accounting manager
  • Crew Concepts, Inc. – controller
  • Blue Shield of California – director of finance
  • Neighborhood Housing Services – chief financial officer

Places I have traveled:

Most of the continental United States, Hawaii, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Choosing a favorite place in Sonoma County is like choosing your favorite song. There are far too many great choices. The best I can do is to pick the one that best fits my mood at the moment. It might be sampling world-class wines while chatting with the winemaker in a quaint winery, playing with my son at the beach, hiking through the awe inspiring towering redwoods, cycling down a quiet back road enjoying the breathtaking mixture of vineyards and forest or enjoying basking in the sun while paddling down the Russian River. My list goes on and on ...


Deleyse Langdale, CTA

Position: International Sales Director
Date Started with SCT: 14 January 2013

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Promote Sonoma County’s lodging and attractions/activities/events on an International platform to key tour operators and travel planners to further develop both group and FIT overnight stays.

Professional history:

  • Associate Director of Sales, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
  • Commercial Manager USA – Virgin Holidays, National position
  • Regional Operations Manager West & North East USA – Virgin Holidays, National position
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honors) Communication Studies, Sunderland University, UK

Places I have traveled:

3 year working/backpacking trip around the world after graduating from University including living and working in Australia for a year and New Zealand for a year! During my travel industry career I have also lived and work in Spain, Greece, Turkey and Goa, India. Twelve years ago I had the fabulous opportunity to move to the US while working for Virgin Holidays (UK Tour Operator) and jumped at the chance, working on a national level and luckily based out of California. During this time I traveled extensively across the US and throughout the Caribbean.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Sonoma County is my favorite place, so much so that I made it my permanent home in 2012! I love outdoor pursuits and the endless opportunities that Sonoma offers; from cycling the backroads and hiking the State Parks to kayaking on the Russian River. One of my favorite things to do is take a new turn in the road to explore.

 


Tina Luster, CTA

Position: Communications Manager
Date Started with SCT: Dec. 10, 2007

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Manage communications for SCT: Primary writer/editor for company-level communications
  • Editor of SCT publications: Monthly Tourism Update and Visitors Chronicle; blogs
  • Write business-oriented press releases about the work SCT is doing
  • Write travel-oriented press releases to entice visitors to discover Sonoma Country
  • Create and maintain SCT’s communications strategy
  • Write, edit, and project manage SCT’s annual report and marketing plan
  • Assist the PR manager with journalist itineraries and article pitches, as needed
  • Graphic design projects as needed

Professional history:

  • Graphics designer, Napa Valley Register
  • Communications coordinator, State Farm Insurance Companies
  • Newspaper editor for arts and entertainment publication, Laughlin, Nev.

Places I have traveled:

“From sea to shining sea.” I’ve traveled through a lot of the country by train: California Zephyr from the Bay Area to Chicago; Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle; Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles; Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans. I’ve done a lot of traveling around the Southwest, Southeast, and West, explored the mid-Atlantic region, New England (a baseball game and the venerable Fenway Park in Boston!), and the Midwest (another baseball game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field - Go Cubs!); and Hawaii – the most relaxing vacation ever.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

My very favorite is the view of the Mayacamas Mountains from my back deck in Sonoma Valley – best enjoyed while sipping some Sonoma County Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. My second favorite is watching the wild surf hit the cliffs below the overlook at Bodega Head. After hiking or whale watching (when in season), it’s nice to climb back into the car, roll the windows down a bit, lean the seat back and let the sound of the crashing waves lull you to sleep for a quick nap.

 


Tamara McGiboney, CTA

Position: National Sales Manager
Date Started with SCT: Feb. 18, 2013

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Geographic territory – group market for Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah
  • Based in north San Diego County and represent Sonoma County’s lodging, attractions, and service partners to group planners showcasing the diversity of beautiful Sonoma County as a genuine, independent, and adventurous destination.
  • Coordinate and represent Sonoma County at various association, corporate and incentive tradeshows, meetings and special events.
  • Produce and direct special events and site tours to introduce event and meeting professionals to Sonoma County's lodging, special event venues, and attractions.

Professional history:

  • National Sales Manager, Sonoma County Tourism
  • Regional Director of Sales, DMI Hotels
  • Director of National Accounts, Dallas CVB
  • Senior Sales Manager, New Orleans CVB
  • Sales Manager, Nashville CVB

Professional Organizations:

  • Meeting Professionals International (Southern California, Orange County and San Diego)
  • Society of International Travel Executives (Southern California)
  • California Society of Association Executives

Places I have traveled:

43 of the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and France,

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

My favorite times have been with my husband and daughter experiencing it as a family.  Activities include zip-lining through the redwoods, horseback riding on the beach, getting a taste of an African safari at Safari West, and even enjoying wine tasting at kid friendly wineries such as Copolla and Benziger.  


Susan Montes, CTA

Position: Meeting Sales and Services Manager
Date Started with SCT: Aug. 16, 2007

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Overall responsibility of attracting and booking conventions, conferences, trade shows, group meetings, tours, and social groups to Sonoma Country.
  • Provide premium service to facilitate and accommodate the meeting/event planner, their staff, and program attendees.
  • Work with hotel/venue staff to provide event planning services for corporate groups wishing to plan functions and activities outside of their hotel.
  • Develop customer relationships through the promotion of attendance, extended stay programs, local venue site tours, referrals, and customized services.
  • Create unique marketing collaborations that increase overnight stays in Sonoma County and increase brand awareness and knowledge of area.
  • Produce and coordinate special events and tours to introduce event and meeting professionals to Sonoma Country’s lodging, special event venues, attractions and activities.
  • Develop MINT database/lead generation.

Professional history:

  • Graduate of Empire College – Tourism, Hospitality, and Wine Industry with American Hotel and Lodging Association certificates in convention management, front office operation, supervision, marketing, hospitality sales and marketing and tourism and the hospitality industry
  • Event coordinator- Empire College fundraiser
  • Hotel and catering – Motherwell College, Scotland

Places I have traveled:

Born and raised in Scotland, I have visited varies parts of United Kingdom. Other countries: France, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Mexico. USA: Oregon, Florida, Virginia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Maine, Alabama, New Orleans,and Hawaii.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Staying in The Sea Ranch and hiking along the coast. Amazing scenery! 


Barbara Quigley, CTA     

Position: National Sales Manager
Date Started with SCT: Dec. 1, 2007

SCTB activities/responsibilities:

  • Geographic territory: Midwestern States:  Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Kentucky, Kansas and Iowa.
  • Based in Chicago, Ill. and represent Sonoma County's lodging, attractions, and gorgeous landscape to event and meeting professionals as an attractive group and individual travel destination with numerous activities such as golf, spa, wine and culinary programs, kayaking, hot air ballooning, biking, and hiking.
  • Assist national association, corporate and incentive program planners with requests for proposals, lodging, site tours, and itineraries.
  • Coordinate and represent Sonoma County at various corporate, incentive, and association tradeshows, monthly meetings, and special events in the Midwest market.
  • Produce and direct special events and site tours to introduce event and meeting professionals to Sonoma County's lodging, special event venues, and attractions.

Professional history:

  • Sonoma County Tourism, Midwest Sales Representative
  • The CVB Source, Inc., President
  • Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, Midwest Sales representative
  • Sotheby’s Real Estate, Realtor
  • Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, sales director
  • San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, Midwest sales director

Places I have traveled: Throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Israel, England and Scotland.

My favorite place in Sonoma County: I can’t say that I have a favorite place, since I am based in Chicago and so many of my experiences have been a memory for a lifetime.  The overall beauty of our destination is the first “favorite” that comes to mind, visiting a winery and experiencing the passion of our winemakers as they explain the process of making wine, zip lining in the redwoods early in the morning with views of our beautiful landscape, and a drive along our coastline are just a few of my favorites.

 


Sandra Shuster, CTA

Position: Customer Service/CTA Coordinator
Date Started with SCT: Dec. 5, 2011

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Support services for Sonoma County Tourism, Sonoma County Vintners, and the Sonoma County Winegrowers
  • Provide fundamental day-to-day office operations
  • Customer service provided to tourist and county organizations

Professional history:

  • Receptionist and office assistant for Nelson Staffing Assignments
  • Online reservationist for Mexican Resorts–Playa Del Sol Vacations
  • Reservationist and concierge for Hawaii and Mexico tour operator – Creative Leisure International

Places I have traveled:

While working in the travel industry for many years, I have had the opportunity to travel to the beaches of Mexico, the islands of Hawaii, cruise the Caribbean, drink champagne in Paris, walk the beach in St. Topaz, walk the halls at Heidelberg Castle, and shop in Frankfurt, Germany.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

I greatly appreciate the diversity of things to do in Sonoma County. I love to find a new restaurant or one I haven’t been to in awhile. Shopping in one of Sonoma County’s unique little towns. I have rented a home in Bodega Bay and have done it up royally, treating myself to a hotel with spa treatments with girlfriends.

 


Beth Snow, CTA

Position: Marketing Manager
Date Started with SCT: July 21, 2008

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Manage partner information that is used for marketing programs (seasonal promotions, visitor guide, map, websites, and social media) and for sales efforts in meetings, tour and travel and weddings.
  • Produce the monthly email Sonoma Insider newsletter that goes out to more than 15,000 subscribers
  • Work with partners in developing partnerships and community relations programs to support local business marketing goals

Professional history:

  • Sonoma County Farm Trails – chair of the marketing committee; special projects manager, webmaster and marketing consultant
  • John Ash, world-renowned chef, cookbook author and educator – Special Projects Manager, Webmaster and Marketing Consultant
  • Apple Creek Design Studios – co-founder of full service web design company specializing in the food and wine industry within Sonoma County.
  • Member of Sonoma County Culinary Guild
  • Board member of Sonoma County Farm Trails (2006-2008)

Places I have traveled:

I’m a Colorado mountain girl (at heart), who ventured further west. Since I’ve been in Sonoma County, I have been to Hawaii several times, and many places throughout California. I’ve yet to travel abroad; within the U.S. I have visited all the western states as well as the great cities of Portland, Ore., Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and New Orleans (I’m determined to return for Jazz Fest!). Most memorable places travelled to include Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon National Parks.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Depends on my mood! I love visiting each town with its own distinct personality and flavor. Getting a great cup of coffee and bite to eat tops the list. Walking in Armstrong Woods. Sunset picnic at Goat Rock beach. Drive through Dry Creek Valley in the fall. Or just staying at home and watching the moon rise over the redwoods while sipping a glass of wine.

 


Maureen Tunheim, CTA

Position: Administrative Manager
Date Started with SCT: Sept. 14, 2005

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Process written communications generated by president/CEO and SCT board and committees, including agendas, minutes, reports and correspondence. Draft communications as necessary
  • Setup new board members orientation, ethics training for board members and Form 700 collection from all board members
  • Work effectively with SCT staff, volunteers, partners, committees, city and county officials, hoteliers and hospitality industry staff
  • Assists president/CEO with administrative tasks as required.

Professional history:

  • Graduate of Empire College – Tourism, Hospitality, and Wine Industry with American Hotel and Lodging Association certificates in convention management, front office operation, supervision, marketing, hospitality sales and marketing and tourism and the hospitality industry
  • Event coordinator – SCT events and meetings, Empire College events, Norwegian Club functions, family reunions and parties (ongoing)
  • Agilent Technologies/Hewlett Packard – business planner, strategic buyer, administrative assistant

Places I have traveled:

All states except Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Countries: Canada, Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Grenada, St. Thomas, Ireland, England, and Australia

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Kenwood has a great view of the hills, valley and vineyards, and has great hiking, relaxing wineries, and some excellent restaurants.

 


Jill Vanden Heuvel, CTA

Position: Director of Advertising and Industry Relations
Date Started with SCT: August 2005

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Advertising strategy and planning, negotiate, place, and traffic annual media schedule
  • Manage annual advertising campaigns
  • Create in-house collateral materials
  • Manage creation of additional collateral created by marketing agency
  • Assist sales department with various sales and client events
  • Board member, CalTravel Association

Professional history:

  • Executive director, Battle Creek/Calhoun County Visitor and Convention Bureau
  • Director of tourism – Long Island CVB
  • National tourism manager – Horizon Group

Professional Organizations:

  • CalTravel Association
  • Meeting Planners International, Sacramento Sierra Nevada Chapter; annual event committee
  • California Society Association Executives

Places I have traveled:

Continental U.S., Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico: Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, and Taxco.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

TOO many wine country restaurants to be good for the diet plan! I also love driving through the vineyards and rolling hills.

 


Birgitt Vaughan, CTA

Position: Public Relations Manager
Date Started with SCT: August 2011

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Promote Sonoma County as a destination to travel media
  • Deskside visits to target media markets to promote Sonoma County as a destination
  • Assist incoming media with itineraries and story ideas
  • Track and analyze media stories about Sonoma County

Professional history:

  • California Travel and Tourism Commission Contractor
  • Kleber PR Network (Germany) – Account Director California and Tasmania
  • DERTour (Germany) – Product Manager North America
  • Aeroworld Fernreisen (Germany) – Product Manager Caribbean

Professional Organizations:

  • Public Relations Society of America

Places I have traveled:

Coming from Germany, it is kind of a natural to start travelling around Europe. Beside of traveling all over Europe, I have been to Nepal, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa, South America, North America, and many Caribbean Islands. I feel lucky to have travelled to places in five continents, but there are still so many more places I would like to explore.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

That depends on the season and day! One day it is hiking and hanging out in Annadel State Park or in Armstrong Woods. The other it is letting a kite rise along the beach, especially in November. I am always enjoying the bounty of Sonoma County’s produce and wines – no matter where I am sitting – at the coast, the forest, the vineyards or in one of the many great restaurants.

 


Jamie Ward, CMP, CTA

Position: National Sales Manager
Date Started with SCT: Aug. 7, 2006

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Geographic territory – group market for Texas and the East Coast
  • Represent Sonoma County’s lodging and attractions to group meeting planners and incentive planners showcasing the diversity of beautiful Sonoma County as an authentic wine, spa, and coastal destination
  • Coordinate and represent Sonoma County at various incentive and corporate tradeshows, meetings and special events.
  • Distribute, track, and report lead conversion with emphasis on obtaining new mid-week, off-season group business to enhance and increase Sonoma County’s hospitality industry.
  • Work effectively with SCT partners, committees, city/county officials and the hospitality industry to promote the Bureau’s sales efforts in the many diverse group markets in Texas and the East Coast.

Professional history:

  • Sales manager, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort
  • Sales manager, Hotel Crescent Court and The Mansion on Turtle Creek
  • Sales manager, Westin City Center Dallas
  • Executive meetings manager, Fairmont Dallas

Professional Organizations:

DFW Chapter, Meeting Professionals International, Texas Society of Association Executives

Places I have traveled:

Most of the United States, The Caribbean and Mexico, England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, France, Spain, Prague, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, and British Columbia

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Too many! However my favorite day in Sonoma would be a day of wine tasting at several of the gorgeous wineries followed by a massage at one the local spas, and then an elegant dinner at one of our fantastic restaurants.

 


Tim Zahner, CTA

Position: Chief Marketing Officer
Date Started with SCT: Dec. 12, 2006

SCT activities/responsibilities:

  • Strategic communications: advertising, customer relationship management (CRM), online marketing strategies, collateral and messaging of organization.
  • Public relations: direct strategy for organizational message in mass media, online and in response to needs.
  • Community relations: detail the work of SCT and the billion-dollar hospitality industry in California's wine country. Speak to industry groups and local business organizations.
  • Management: Lead team of professional marketers, communicators, and vendors to increase market share for Sonoma’s Wine Country. Work with sales team to promote meetings and group tour business.

Professional history:

  • San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau (now San Francisco Travel)
  • Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady: Haiti Mission, Inc.
  • Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee
  • Institute for Wisconsin’s Future
  • Freelance Travel and News Writing

Professional Organizations:

American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America. On the board of directors for Children’s Museum of Sonoma County.

Places I have traveled:

Many of these fine United States, backpacking in Southeast Asia, lost weekend in Montemartre, honeymoon by bus in Costa Rica, Haiti with nuns, and the Dominican Republic with friends. Also Mars Cheese Castle in Racine, Wisconsin. Got the ’fridge magnet, too.

My favorite place in Sonoma County:

Hiking in the redwoods or playing football at the beach with my family. Otherwise, I’m always on the prowl for the perfect espresso, the best chocolate croissant and a good book shop willing to take my money.

 

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