November 18, 2022 – Executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global has been enlisted to find the next president and chief executive officer for Visit Spokane, a destination marketing organization in Washington State. Last month, Meg Winchester announced her retirement from the non-profit’s top job effective Jan. 1. Nicole Newman, the search firm’s vice president, is leading the assignment.
Responsibilities of the role will revolve around administrative, financial management, policies and goals, communications, operations, and supervision, said SearchWide Global
Visit Spokane’s new leader will be charged with overseeing all administrative, operating, and marketing functions of the organization, said the search firm. The president and CEO will also be expected to provide information, analysis, and recommendations to the board of directors for decision-making or approval as required.
This leader must oversee the creation of financial reports and annual audit reports, direct the preparation of the annual budget, direct financial programs to fund new and continuing activities, and manage the financial functions.
Strategic and Operational
Preparing and submitting applications for external funding is also a critical part of the role. In addition, the president and CEO will be responsible for the strategic and operational direction of Visit Spokane, long-term and short-term planning, goal setting, budgeting, performance reporting and evaluation, and action plans.
Top priorities for the role will include: getting to know the internal staff, organizational structure, responsibilities, needs, and goals of the organization; evaluating the team and building rapport; building relationships and lines of communication with stakeholders, elected officials, and partners; and creating a sales plan targeting short term business for 2023 and 2024 while continuing the booking momentum for future years.
Visit Spokane’s president and CEO will also be expected to develop and supervise the implementation of an annual operating and marketing plan in order to promote the destination to local, state, regional, national, and international audiences. He or she will also develop positions on major industry-related proposals and initiatives and constructively participate in community affairs related to tourism, among other duties.
Candidates should have a minimum of a four-year degree from an academic institution with an emphasis in business, marketing, or a related field in addition to five years of related experience, said SearchWide Global. Knowledge of marketing, business theories, practices and procedures, and budget development is also required. A combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for the above requirements.
Good communication and public presentation skills, and a proven
ability to work with a diverse group of individuals and groups is expected, said the search firm. Candidates must be people-oriented, have high stamina/high energy levels, and be very “goal-oriented.” Other important characteristics are proven problem analysis and resolution skills with exceptional analytical skills that work with a very diverse group of partners.
To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of general office computer programs such as Microsoft Office Suite, as well as familiarity with computerized sales tracking systems. This leader must be able to travel independently, both domestically and internationally.
SearchWide Global Leads CFO Search for Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
SearchWide Global has been enlisted to find a chief financial officer for the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau in Ohio. Senior vice president Kellie Henderson is spearheading the assignment. The organization’s CFO serves as the principal financial advisor and strategic partner to the chief executive officer, said the search firm. The CFO directs and oversees all financial activities, including financial strategy, cash management, investments, insurance, payroll, budgeting, accounting and financial reporting, annual audit, and related activities. The incoming leader will direct and oversee the organization’s HR function, coordinating with external service providers (payroll, benefits, and general HR) and internal staff responsibilities for various aspects of HR. Direction and oversight of legal, administration, and information technology and security also falls under the CFO’s purview.
Visit Spokane is a non-profit 501(c)(6) organization which was developed in 1976 to create economic growth for Spokane County by marketing the region as a top-of-mind convention and visitor destination. Today, Visit Spokane has 25 full-time employees working in all facets of sales, marketing, group coordination, and public relations. As a regional organization, Visit Spokane partners with travel suppliers throughout the Inland Northwest to market its destination.
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 Destination Ann Arbor and the Baltimore Convention Center, 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