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Published on : Saturday, November 23, 2013
Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO today announced that following a nationwide search, Shana Lee has joined the organization as Chief Marketing Officer. Lee will be charged with defining a sales and marketing strategy to further elevate Chicago’s brand globally with a mandate to capitalize on record leisure travel to Chicago and to infuse business travel strategies. She will report directly to Welsh.
Lee, 41, joins Choose Chicago with an extensive global business and marketing background, including technology, mobile innovation and new media across the travel and media/entertainment industries. Most recently, she served as Vice President, Commercial Director Hospitality with UK-based Travelport, the Blackstone-owned travel industry distribution company.
“When you consider the sheer impact of Chicago’s visitor industry and the demands of the organization responsible for marketing it regionally, nationally and internationally, Shana is the right leader to take us to the next level,” said Welsh. “She embodies the energy and passion necessary to build upon our marketing, sales and communications strategies to achieve the goals set forth by Mayor Emanuel.”
“Chicago is such an amazing brand and I believe it is largely due to the people of Chicago,” said Lee. “I have deep family roots in Chicago, and remain thankful for the opportunity to have lived and worked here several years ago. The passion and pride Chicagoans have for this amazing city makes it a one-of-a-kind destination for every type of traveler. Mayor Emanuel and Don’s team have done a brilliant job of elevating awareness of the destination, and I look forward to working alongside this fantastic team to really showcase to the world a welcoming and vibrant destination. The opportunities for Chicago are endless as long as we have the right strategic plan in place.”
“We definitely found the right leader to take Chicago to the next level,” said Desiree Rogers, Chair, Choose Chicago Board of Directors. “Shana’s global business experience will fully complement the tremendous work Don and his team have been doing these past couple years. I look forward to supporting Shana and the team as we work to make sure everyone around the world knows what Chicago has to offer as a business and leisure travel destination.”
Lee earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Her global business experience spans across the travel, advertising and broadcast industries, including CBS Television, BBDO Advertising, and Saatchi & Saatchi.
Chicago’s visitor industry is directly responsible for 132,000 jobs resulting in $806 million in tax revenue that supports education, healthcare, public safety and other public services and $12.8 billion in direct spending by visitors on food, entertainment, transportation and shopping.