Todd Davidson, president and CEO of Travel Oregon (Oregon Tourism Commission) has officially taken over as the new national chair of the U.S. Travel Association as the association began its membership year with a new board of directors. Davidson, who has moved up the ladder of the board’s executive committee, is one of the longest serving state tourism directors in the USA—he started with Travel Oregon in 1996 after serving for two years as international program manager for the Oregon Tourism Commission. Davidson has also chaired the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board; he has served on the board since December 2011.
A member of the NAJ Strategic Advisory Council and long-time travel and tourism industry leader, Bob Gilbert has been appointed vice president of sales and marketing for Exotics Racing the world’s largest and highest rated racing school experience, which currently has locations in Las Vegas, California and growing. Gilbert, who has headed the consulting firm Captivation Marketing, previously held senior positions at several different travel and tourism companies including: a tenure as vice president of sales and marketing for Delaware North Companies; executive vice president, international, Helms Briscoe; and publisher of Travel Agent magazine.
Jennifer Barbee has been named senior vice president, digital, for North Star Destination Strategies, a Nashville-based firm specializing in destination marketing, communications and branding. She comes to the post after heading up her own marketing and tourism consulting firm for eight years. Previously, she served for six years as president of USDM.net.
Lesley Kane, has left her post as head of corporate travel and groups at Ryanair and has joined Canada-based carrier Air Transat as director of sales for Britain and Ireland. Transat flies to a number of U.S. destinations, selling both flights and packages.
Brand USA has announced the appointment of David Whitaker as its new chief marketing officer. A veteran of nearly three decades in the travel and tourism industry, Whitaker comes to the position from Tourism Toronto, where he has served as president and CEO for almost eight years. Prior to his tenure in Toronto, Whitaker spent 17 years with the Greater Miami CVB, lastly as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.