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People, Venues & Destinations
Visit Madison Adds to Leadership Team
The Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has filled two key leadership positions to help bolster the organization’s role in attracting high profile events and tourism.
John Leinen has been named Vice President of Sales and Robert Gard is the new Sr. Manager of Communications & PR. Each brings a depth of experience in their fields that will benefit the GMCVB as it continues to lead the $2 billion impact that tourism and conventions bring to Madison.
“Madison is known as a vibrant, forward thinking community, and the new additions to our leadership team fit that description perfectly,” said Deb Archer, GMCVB and Madison Area Sports Commission (MASC) President and CEO. “Each adds experience and expertise that benefit our organization and our community.”
Leinen oversees sales strategies for the organization to grow convention and meeting related business in the destination with an emphasis on utilization of the Monona Terrace and Alliant Energy Center. This includes the development of sales strategies, budget development, goal setting and responsibility to achieve target room night and facility space sales and revenue goals for the GMCVB.
Prior to joining the GMCVB, Leinen led Convention and Tourism Sales for the Reno Convention and Visitors Authority. Additionally, he served as Divisional Corporate Director of Sales Company at Sage Hospitality Resources, National Corporate Director of Group Sales & Meeting Services Company at Omni Hotels, and a sixteen-year career with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts in various capacities.
Gard will lead the communications and PR efforts for the GMCVB, focusing on media relations, building organization and industry awareness, and community relations. He guides the organization’s outward facing strategy in order to position Madison as an event, travel, and business destination.
The Beloit, Wisconsin native comes to the GMCVB after a 20-year career in public relations and journalism in Los Angeles. Previously, he served as the director of communications and marketing for CicLAvia, winning the Public Relations Society of America – Los Angeles “Outstanding Achievement in Publicity”. Before CicLAvia, he served in communications capacities with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Cerrell Associates public affairs firm. Prior to his communications career, Gard was the editor for a newspaper group in Los Angeles, where he wrote about travel and lifestyle, among other subjects. He is a graduate of Colorado College, and serves on the board of the Alternative Travel Project. Gard was recently named Treasurer of the Public Relations Society of America – Madison chapter.
About the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau
The GMCVB is honored to play a key role in supporting the more than 21,000 Dane County jobs supported by tourism. Promoting tourism in Madison since 1972, the GMCVB continues to work strategically to expand upon the more than $2 billion dollars generated by visitor spending in Dane County every year. For the most up-to-date information, visit our website at www.visitmadison.com.
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