People News: Impact XM, U.S. Travel and More Announce New Leadership Roles, Staff Promotions

April 4, 2024

Spring kicked off in the corporate events industry with organizations and suppliers announcing key staff promotions, new hires and expanded executive teams. Check out all the seasoned industry professionals on the move in this month’s People News.

Impact XM

Impact XM elevated James Morris from senior vice president of client services to executive vice president of growth, responsible for spearheading strategic growth initiatives for the full-service event and experiential marketing agency.

In his new role, Morris will play a pivotal role in shaping Impact XM’s trajectory, spearheading initiatives to broaden market reach and foster ongoing development. Assuming oversight of the client service, new business development and marketing divisions, he will continue to lead the formulation and execution of strategic positioning, while actively contributing to the augmentation of Impact XM’s client portfolio.

VISIT Milwaukee

VISIT Milwaukee appointed Meisha Bridges as its new CFO, responsible for providing leadership in financial management, operational efficiency and strategic planning, including overseeing financial reporting, budgeting, cash management and payroll processing. She will collaborate closely with the executive team, the Board of Directors and a range of external stakeholders to ensure the CVB’s continued fiscal integrity and forward momentum. 

Prior to joining VISIT Milwaukee, Bridges served as the controller at YWCA Southeastern Wisconsin, where she spearheaded financial and IT operations. Her professional background spans various industries, including roles at Robert Half, IBVI, Baker Tilly, Johnson Controls and C&D Technologies. 

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) welcomed Tommy Costales as its new assistant director of information technology. A seasoned professional with more than 25 years of information technology (IT) and process improvement experience, he is tasked with managing all aspects of the core technology infrastructure for the facility, including handling data networks, ensuring infrastructure security, providing server support, managing cabling and wireless setups, overseeing disaster recovery processes and managing VoIP and CCTV systems.

As the MCCNO moves forward with technology infrastructure investments as part of its $557 million five-year Capital Improvement Plan, Costales will play a key role in ensuring these investments produce improved connectivity, security and reliability for all digital services users. His career has spanned multiple high-level roles in the IT sector, including Rouses Markets, where he served as vice president of IT.

The venue also welcomed Andrew Palumbo as director of security, responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all event attendees, contractors, personnel, vendors and facility assets, as well as planning, directing and coordinating with staff and local law enforcement agencies to create and deliver highly effective public safety measures.

Previously, Palumbo spent more than 25 years with the New Orleans Police Department, and throughout his tenure, held several key leadership positions, including as Lieutenant commanding the Special Events Section in the Field Operations Bureau. Prior to that, he served as the Fifth District Investigative Unit Commander, where he led a team of dedicated officers and detectives in crime reduction efforts.

Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando has named 22-year event services industry veteran Tammy McCormick as director of destination experience, tasked with providing leadership to the destination experience team to elevate engagement with clients and further enhance their customer experience while planning and conducting meetings and conferences in Orlando.

McCormick most recently spent 14 years at ACCESS Destination Services, where she served as national director of creative, responsible for providing strategic creative direction for national and brand-wide accounts, leading the creative process for site inspections and presentations through the execution phase and collaborating with the creative team. Before that, she served as its partner/director of business development and director of sales.

Sodexo Live!

Sodexo Live! tapped 20-year hospitality industry veteran Randy Morales as general manager of food and beverage at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC), responsible for spearheading F&B operations at the venue.

Morales joined Sodexo Live! in 2022 as a beverage consultant for the opening of the Rum Room at MBCC, and before that, worked at Mr. Hospitality Miami as a human resources manager. He previously worked for 15 years at Hillstone Restaurant Group, where he served in a variety of management roles, including as general manager and manager, in various locations including Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Dallas, Texas and Coral Gables, Fla.

Visit Salt Lake

Lizzie Fillo joined Visit Salt Lake (VSL) as associate vice president of marketing, tasked with overseeing the CVB’s core marketing functions and leading strategic initiatives to develop VSL’s brand identity and narrative.

At PepsiCo UK, Lizzie served as senior marketing lead, crafting full-funnel marketing campaigns for Walkers snack portfolio. She managed multiple stakeholders, agencies and internal teams and won awards, including being shortlisted for a Media Cannes Lion and winning most effective creative by Ad Week. Prior to that, she was the digital lead in the U.K. for PepsiCo’s beverage portfolio, spearheading digital transformation focusing on social and partnerships.

VSL also welcomed Braeden Beckstrand as national sales manager, responsible for pursuing meetings with 200-2,000 attendees from organizations based in Arizona, New Mexico and the upper Midwest.

Beckstrand previously spent six years as Hotel Monaco’s group sales manager, primarily handling the corporate, sports and traveling entertainment markets. Prior to that, he worked as a sales manager at the SpringHill Suites/Courtyard by Marriott in Lehi, Utah. Since the pandemic, he has been Topgolf’s sales account manager, handling up to 25 events per day.  

Gateway Center Campus

The Gateway Center Campus, comprising the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), Gateway Center Arena and Historic College Park Golf Course, appointed Terrin Sampey as marketing manager and graphic designer. In her new role, Sampey will oversee all graphic design initiatives and develop marketing programs to raise awareness of the campus, its facilities and partners.

Bringing creative expertise and a track record of developing compelling marketing strategies and proficiency in graphic design to her new position, she most recently served as a marketing and graphic design specialist for Georgia Correctional Industries and before that, owned and operated a graphic design and photography company.

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