MIAMI, Fla. – The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has made five staff appointments in support of an increased emphasis on communications, customer service, multicultural promotion and inclusion, and community engagement.
“As we continue to rebuild from previous staff reductions due to the pandemic, we also are beginning our new fiscal year by adding senior leadership resources and responsibilities to support the expansion of our focus and effort in several key areas,” said GMCVB president/CEO David Whitaker. “We are tapping into current talent, recruiting new expertise, and experience while welcoming back two returning veterans who, working alongside our partners, will provide even more opportunities to promote our destination by telling our story, expanding customer service to our key convention and meetings clients, and further leverage our commitment to equity and diversity.”
Gisela Marti will lead the marketing and tourism division as its new senior vice president. As a GMCVB vice president of marketing and tourism for the past seven years, she will be expanding her marketing leadership role within the organization. She began at the GMCVB as an associate vice president in tourism sales and prior to joining the organization, spent 20 years with Carnival Cruise Lines, managing international sales and the company’s global general sales agent network.
Newly named senior vice president Connie Kinnard will continue to spearhead expanded multicultural tourism development efforts, where she has served as vice president since 2015. Kinnard is a 25-year- plus hospitality industry veteran and holds a master’s degree in management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tennessee State University. Prior to joining the GMCVB, she spent 19 years at the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation as senior vice president of multicultural sales & development. Her portfolio will expand to include oversight of the organization’s Black Hospitality Initiative.
Richard Gibbs has been named director of corporate communications and external affairs. Prior to joining the GMCVB, he served as the senior external affairs manager at Royal Caribbean Group, where he led campaign strategies that integrated stakeholder outreach, public affairs, corporate responsibility partnerships, and community events in support of the company’s destination development initiatives. Gibbs is a graduate of the University of Florida and serves as vice-chair of the Village of Allapattah YMCA Family Center advisory board.
Marianne Schmidhofer rejoins the GMCVB after 10 years as director of meetings and convention services. She currently teaches a certification course in meeting and event management at Florida Atlantic University and has extensive experience in managing a wide variety of special events including the 2016 Rio Olympics, the inauguration of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Encore, and the Summit of the Americas. She holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Denver.
Jennifer Diaz-Alzuri returns to the GMCVB as vice president of marketing communications. She brings more than 20 years of experience to her new role; her previous tenure with the organization spanned 13 years. She was previously a senior vice president with the Boden Agency, managing national consumer accounts. Diaz-Alzuri has an MBA from the University of Miami and a bachelor of science degree in communications from Florida International University.