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Published on : Friday, December 4, 2015
The board of directors of Brand USA today announced the re-appointment by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker of Marriott President & CEO Arne Sorenson, who currently serves as board chair, to its board of directors, as well as the appointment of three new board members. The newly appointed and reappointed members include:
• Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, Inc., who currently serves as the chair of the board (re-appointment)
• Kyle Edmiston, assistant secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism (new appointment)
• Maryann Ferenc, owner & CEO, Mise en Place (new appointment)
• Rossi Ralenkotter, president & CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (new appointment)
Each appointment is effective Dec. 1, 2015 for a term of three years.
“Brand USA is fortunate to have a strong, diverse, and experienced board whose members represent broad sectors of business and the travel industry,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. “We thank Visit California President and CEO Caroline Beteta, Bloomberg Associates CEO George Fertitta, and Chef Roy Yamaguchi for their invaluable contributions to the board over the years.
Their support as part of the original board of Brand USA helped bring Brand USA into existence and whose leadership helped make Brand USA a strong, results-driven organization. As they complete their terms of service with us, we are fortunate to welcome three new members to the Brand USA board. We are confident they will provide effective leadership and governance along with new perspectives to Brand USA as we build upon the success of our first five years as the nation’s destination marketing organization.”
Kyle Edmiston, assistant secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism, has served in his capacity since 2012. Prior to his current position, he served as President/CEO of the Ruston Lincoln CVB. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Southeast Tourism Society, U.S. Travel Association and is the Vice Chair of the Travel South USA Board of Directors. Additionally, he serves on the DMAI Destination Foundation Board of Trustees, the U.S. Travel Association Board executive committee, the U.S. Travel Association Project: Time Off Advisory Board, and is a member of the National Council of State Tourism Directors. Mr. Edmiston previously served as president of the Louisiana Association of CVBs and Vice Chair of the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association. He has also served on the Brand USA Marketing Advisory Committee. He received his Certified Destination Management Executive distinction from DMAI in 2008 and was named as tourism’s Rising Star by Southeast Tourism Society in 2010. During 2013, the Louisiana Office of Tourism received the Southeast Tourism Society state tourism office of the year, and the Louisiana Office of Tourism is only the second state to receive international accreditation from DMAI.
Maryann Ferenc, president and owner of Mise en Place, has spent her entire career in the hospitality industry. Maryann and her partner, James Beard award-winner Chef Marty Blitz made their mark in Tampa Bay, Florida, with the opening of Mise en Place, a hospitality group that began as a catering company in 1986. Since that time, Mise en Place has grown into an upscale urban restaurant in downtown Tampa and diverse operations that include in-house events; a full-service catering and event company; retail marketing, exclusive contracted events at the Tampa Museum of Art with an on-premise restaurant; a wine bar and bistro at the Tampa International Airport; and a wine bar and café at Amalie Arena, the home of the Tampa Bay Lightning. A passion for hospitality and independent business led Ms. Ferenc to community roles as founder and board member of the Tampa Independent Business Alliance; board member and past chairperson of Visit Tampa Bay, Super Bowl Host Committee, Tampa Bay World Cup Soccer Bid Committee and RNC Host Committee.
She was appointed to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board in 2009 and is now serving a third term. In addition, she was appointed to the board of directors for Visit Florida in December 2011 with a term through June 2019 and currently serves as treasurer of the board. Maryann’s love of the industry goes beyond her own dining room to a variety of hunger relief efforts including Share our Strength, Feeding America, and Taste of the NFL. Community and business work have led to awards, such as Lou Groza Kick Hunger, Gonzmart Ambassador and TBBJ Businesswoman of the Year. She is active in the animal rescue community and lives with nine fabulous dogs.