September 19, 2022 – Executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global has been enlisted to find a president and CEO for Discover Santa Clara (DSC), the official destination marketing organization for Santa Clara, CA. Search firm vice president Nicole Newman is leading the assignment.
Reporting to the board of the directors, the CEO is the senior officer for Discover Santa Clara. This position will oversee all aspects of DSC including directing the sales and marketing efforts. The CEO will engage as a strategic partner with the Santa Clara Convention Center (SCCC), food and beverage operations at SCCC, the City of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Tourism Improvement District (SCTID) Hotels. The position will also support ongoing policies and affairs of the organization, direct day-to-day operations, and ensure the activities of the organization are in alignment with the overall mission and key priorities of the board of directors.
The search firm is looking for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, community relations, advertising/marketing, hospitality, or another related field or equivalent required. They should have a minimum of 10 years of experience in the hospitality/tourism industry, another destination marketing organization, or a relevant association, with a demonstrated ability to achieve positive results. Candidates should also have a proven track record and extensive experience in convention sales and marketing. Experience overseeing administrative functions, policy development, financial reporting, and human resource functions is also preferred as well as experience as a respected professional capable of building strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders. Non-profit executive leadership experience, including working with a board and engagement with public agencies is also desired.
- Learn, understand, and integrate into the Santa Clara meetings and convention market. Get involved in strategic actives to promote Santa Clara.
- Know the destination’s assets, strengths, and weaknesses including and in-depth knowledge of the competitive set of destinations.
- Gain an in-depth knowledge and promote and directly sell the Santa Clara Convention Center and the food and beverage operations. Lead to effort to increase bookings and utilization of the SCCC as an economic engine for the tourism and hospitality industry.
- Implement an effective sales strategy including target markets, sales performance, and incentive plans.
- Develop strong and meaningful relationships with all stakeholders/constituents and maintain effective on-going communication with customers, staff, board, convention center, TID Hotels community, industry and community leaders, elected officials, partners, and vendors.
- Work closely with the board of directors to confirm and add new short and long-term goals
Discover Santa Clara is a 501(c)6 with a governing board that represents strategic partners of the tourism industry and overall business stakeholders. Discover Santa Clara is contracted by the City of Santa Clara and funded by the Santa Clara Tourism Improvement District.
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.
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 the Mobile Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Empire State Building Co., 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.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media