SearchWide Global Tapped by Choose Chicago to Find Chief Marketing Officer

January 5, 2023 – The travel and tourism industry is growing at an annual rate of 8.46 percent. By 2026, the projected market value will be just under $1 billion. This has created a heightened demand for senior leaders within the sector, keeping executive search firms busy. Executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global was recently enlisted to find a chief marketing officer for Choose Chicago, a destination marketing organization. Nicole Newman, the search firm’s vice president, is leading the assignment.

The CMO is responsible for the development and implementation of strategic marketing initiatives to help achieve the goals of Choose Chicago through leadership, collaboration, change management, innovative partnerships, sophisticated brand development/management, and capitalization on technological resources. The CMO leads the day-to-day operations of the marketing and communications teams. Additionally, this executive leads the effort for brand strategy, integrated marketing, media relations, partnerships, research, advertising, media buying and negotiating, official publications and collateral, web strategy, social media, and event marketing.

This new position focuses on continuing to strengthen Chicago’s narrative locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally and collaboratively designing organizational strategies that increase visitation to Chicago through the creation and implementation of an integrated sales and leisure strategy, harnessing the power of visitation for equitable economic impact.

Essential qualities for this role include: a visionary strategic and growth mindset, an ability to see the big picture, to collaborate, to think critically and creatively, and to inspire employees (including those outside of marketing) and marketing partners to reach their highest potential for the greatest economic impact.

Additional Requirements

• A thorough understanding and expertise in marketing, communications, partnerships, and brand management across multi channels/advertising and platforms.

• Strong leadership experience and proven visionary strategic planning, financial management, and budgeting skills.

• Ability to engage strategically and consultatively with peers, stakeholders, and political leadership.

• Skilled in professional and persuasive written communications, as well as presentations and public speaking with a strong executive presence.

  Demonstrated mastery of copywriting, editing, content development, and proofreading.

• Leadership skills must include collaboration, inclusion, motivating, monitoring, developing, and mentoring a creative team, contributing as an overall visionary/strategic leader, and effectively managing board relationships.

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

Choose Chicago is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago. It’s mission is to bring regional, national, and international business, group, and leisure visitors to the city for the economic benefit of Chicago, the community, and Choose Chicago’s industry partners. This private, non-profit organization is responsible for marketing the greater Chicago area as a business, meetings/convention, and leisure visitor destination. It is governed by a 35-member board of directors and employs a staff of more than 55 industry professionals. Funding is from both private sector and public sources. For the fiscal year 2023, Choose Chicago has a budget of over $27 million.

Respected 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 Sales Officer for VisitPittsburgh
Following a nationwide search that began in May, executive recruitment firm SearchWide Global has placed Andrew Ortale as the new chief sales officer for VisitPittsburgh, the tourism promotion agency for Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County. Senior vice president Kellie Henderson led the assignment. Mr. Ortale’s appointment marks a return to Pittsburgh for the seasoned industry veteran, who previously served as the national sales director for VisitPittsburgh from 2000 to 2003 before taking on a senior sales position with Visit Orlando.

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.

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.

Related: SearchWide Global Recruits Chief Diversity Officer for Destinations International

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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