Sales Manager, Galveston Island CVB
Describe your job.
As the social, military, education, religious, fraternal (SMERF) sales manager, I promote and sell Galveston Island. I strategically sell the destination to clients and organizations to increase visitor business, generate overnight stays, and maximize the economic impact to the island. My overall focus is to help develop memorable experiences for the group I serve, whether they choose to meet at the Galveston Island Convention Center or one of the many hotels and offsite venues on the island.
What’s your best experience of turning lemons into lemonade?
Most recently I was facing losing a religious youth group for 2021 after they had already cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Tight budget constraints were our number-one challenge. I recalled a local Galveston summer initiative our school district had through the nutritional department, and I was able to coordinate free breakfast and lunch for the entire youth group for the three days of their summer program, which saved them a few thousand dollars. It also gave the school program some good experience and promotion.
What’s your proudest moment so far in your career?
My most significant career achievement was being one of the youngest individuals awarded a sales position at the GICVB. They gave me the opportunity to begin my sales career and prove my strengths. I received my Texas Destination Marketer designation, a four-year program, through the Texas Association of CVBs in 2013. Most recently, I’m proud to have closed out 2020-2021 exceeding my annual goal during the ongoing pandemic. I was also recognized as a CONNECT Association 40 under 40 this year.
How has your business adapted to the ongoing uncertainties and challenges of the pandemic?
I hate to say that “P” word—pivoting! (Insert jazz hands.) Like everyone, we are always pivoting but with extreme uncertainty.
How do you keep up with industry trends and cutting-edge developments in the convention and meeting business? What new event industry trends are you excited about?
As diversity and inclusion are growing priorities for meetings and conferences, those imperatives have come into sharper focus for our CVB. We are spearheading a task force internally to emphasize the importance of creating and supporting multicultural experiences and producing a welcoming environment for all.
What are the essential skills every newcomer into the industry should possess?
People do business with people they like. So, it’s simple: Be likeable.
When you are not creating fabulous events for your clients, what do you like to do?
I live for boat days; my boat bag is always on standby. Another favorite activity is attending BBQ cook-offs. My husband’s an award-winning cooker who enjoys competing all over the Texas area, so that’s a fun thing we enjoy together.