SearchWide Global Retained by Visit Bend for CEO Search

February 16, 2024 – After taking a massive hit during the pandemic, employment and hiring within the hotel and hospitality industry has rebounded. The leisure and hospitality industry added an average of 39,000 jobs per month in 2023. Consumer research reveals that leisure and group business travel remains strong as well and new workplace trends allow people to travel more as they can work from anywhere. All of this has been keeping executive recruiting filling senior roles within this sector busy as ever. Executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global was recently selected by Visit Bend to lead in its search for a new president and CEO. Nicole Newman, the search firm’s vice president, is leading the assignment.

The firm is looking for a genuine, passionate, approachable, and experienced leader. The CEO is the top staff position for the organization and an important leadership position for the broader economic development efforts of the City of Bend. They will lead Visit Bend’s strategic planning process and be responsible for the execution of Visit Bend’s tourism marketing programs, sustainability programs, and grant programs. This individual is responsible for recruiting, training, managing, and evaluating Visit Bend’s staff. This role is also responsible for recruiting and overseeing Visit Bend’s contract vendors.

This position has a high level of contact outside the organization, representing Visit Bend and the broader tourism industry throughout the local community as well as the statewide and national tourism industry, according to SearchWide. The firm explains that this position entails a high level of leadership, organization, and independent work. This position also requires excellent communication skills and requires expertise across a broad spectrum of business and marketing disciplines.

The CEO of Visit Bend is responsible for the overall operations of the organization, including internal and external operations, management of staff, and oversight of all marketing, sustainability; and grant program efforts. Additionally, the CEO serves as the primary spokesperson for the organization and the citywide tourism industry.

Related: SearchWide Global Assists Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Visit Big Sky in CEO Search 

As a primary caretaker of Bend, OR’s brand, Visit Bend is dedicated to enhancing the city’s economy by attracting visitors and encouraging them to connect with our rich culture and diverse local businesses. Visit Bend’s strategic, creative, and thoughtful initiatives promote the area with a focus on community, sustainability, and respect for Bend’s natural resources and way of life.

Experienced Recruiters

SearchWide Global, based in St. Paul, MN, is a full-service executive recruitment firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management, and experiential marketing industries. The firm specializes in C-level and director-level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations.

SearchWide Global Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
SearchWide Global has assisted in the recruitment of Herschel Herndon as chief diversity officer for the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) in Boston. Executive recruiter Donna Thornton led the assignment. “We are thrilled to welcome Herschel and have him join the leadership team at the MCCA,” said David Gibbons, executive director of the MCCA. “After a comprehensive search process, it was clear that Herschel’s leadership capabilities, experience, and knowledge of the DEI landscape makes him the perfect person to lead our efforts in truly making the MCCA an employer of choice.”

The firm recently filled chief executive officer positions for Visit Aurora, Visit Baltimore, the Greater Newark Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, Visit West Hollywood, Kentucky State Fair Board, and the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. SearchWide Global is currently engaged in searches for top leaders at Discover the Palm Beaches and Visit Santa Cruz County, among others.

Ms. Newman works in all sectors of the hospitality and travel industry. Her experience in group sales, catering, and event planning, according to clients, gives her a unique perspective on executive level recruitment.

Related: SearchWide Global Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for Destinations International

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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