Hawaii VCB reorganizes


HONOLULU -- The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau reorganized its marketing structure, putting five vice presidents in charge of various business divisions.

The divisions represent meetings, conventions and incentives (MCI); developing international markets; marketing services; North America, and Japan. Each vice president will report to Tony Vericella, the HVCB's president and chief executive officer.

"We have streamlined and refocused responsibilities by assigning highly qualified and creative individuals to Hawaii's market areas," said Vericella.

David Preece will run marketing in the U.S. and Canada as vice president for the North American market. A consultant to HVCB for several months, he was formerly senior vice president of marketing and sales at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Gail Ann Chew was promoted from communications director to vice president, heading the marketing services division. Marketing services will help create and execute campaigns for the other divisions. The MCI and Japan divisions were already in existence.

Tokyo-based Kiyoshi Mukumoto continues as vice president for Japan, and Sandra Moreno continues as vice president for MCI. Vericella said a vice president for international developing markets will be appointed soon.

That person will be responsible for leisure sales and marketing in western Europe, Latin America, Oceania and Asia, excluding Japan. He added that the new structure "will allow us to optimize the market impact of funding, which is now in the ballpark with our global competition."

The state's tourism funding for the HVCB is almost $60 million.

Since Jan. 1, tourism funding comes from a fixed percentage of the state's hotel room tax and is administered by a new Hawaii Tourism Authority. Prior to that, it had been voted upon annually by the Legislature.

Vericella also announced that HVCB's human relations and membership services operations will be consolidated under Terry Lynne Hee, vice president of finance and administration. Market research will continue to be directed by Barbara Okamoto.

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