Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2023

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11 B M & T ••• March/April 2023 ••• touchpoints and the ability to integrate brands into music, sports, business, tech and more—that will drive unmatched value for the brands, content providers, venue partners and guests." Oberlander said Bryce G. Townsend, senior vice president, commercial partnerships; Kevin Dent, vice president, sponsorship sales and busi- ness devel- o p m e n t ; and Emily W i l s o n , director of m a r k e t i n g s o l u t i o n s , will help provide "the most scaled, diverse and impactful opportunities the industry has seen to date." Townsend has over 20 years of strategic consulting, brand marketing and commercial strategy experience with a diverse background including executive leadership roles at GroupM, Momentum Worldwide and the Drone Racing League. Dent has spent over 25 years in var- ious sports and lifestyle corporate spon- sorship roles including AT&T, NBA, MLS, the Summer Olympics and Host Communications. Wilson comes to ASM Global from Dotdash Meredith, America's largest digital and print publisher; following stints at Time Inc. and Universal McCann. VISIT WICHITA PROMOTES ONE TEAM MEMBER, ADDS TWO MORE Visit Wichita has promoted one of the organization's existing team members, Jessica Viramontez, to Senior Sports Sales Manager and has added two new team members. Viramontez has been a member of the team for the past four years and most recently served as Sports Sales Manager. As Senior Sports Sales Manager, she will be responsible for attracting sporting events to Wichita – bringing local eco- nomic impact to the city. "I am very excited to begin this new role at Visit Wichita and continue to showcase Wichita as a premier Midwest destination for hosting sporting events of all kinds," said Viramontez. "My passion for sports combined with my years of expe- rience with the organization and in the hospitality industry has given me the opportunity to develop relationships and skills necessary to propel Wichita as a major player for hosting sporting events in the Midwest." Viramontez was born and raised in Wichita and received her bachelor's degree in exercise science from Wichita State University. Prior to joining Visit Wichita, she worked as a consultant for Cerner Corporation in Kansas City. Visit Wichita also welcomed two new staff members recently. Zach Blessant has joined the organization as Sport Coordinator and Samuel Eckels was added as Marketing Coordinator. Blessant joins Visit Wichita's sports team, helping to sell Wichita to sports planners and rights holders around the country. He provides admin- istrative support and project coordination to the sports sales and event staff. Other key responsibilities include supporting the promotion of Wichita as an ideal site for sporting events of all shapes and sizes, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city and region. He will accommodate sports organizations who are set to compete in Wichita and will assist the sports team as needed at sporting events that Visit Wichita hosts. "I am most looking forward to developing my career and helping Wichita grow to become an even bigger destination city," said Blessant. "I grew up in Wichita and my biggest passion in life is sports. Whether it is watching or playing, I am always enthusiastic about sports. I want to make a career in the field, making this an exciting opportunity." Blessant received his bachelor's degree in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management from Wichita State University and worked at the Derby Recreation Commission in various roles prior to joining Visit Wichita. Eckels will provide support for all Visit Wichita marketing initiatives and staff needs. He will help to keep the team on deadline, coordinate marketing and community events, assist with the development, execu- tion, and monitoring of email, digital, social media and content market- ing campaigns and create original content. Eckels is a native Wichitan, calling the community his home for the past 25 years. Prior to joining Visit Wichita, he was a Passenger Service Agent at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. In 2022, Eckels was recognized by the Wichita Business Journal (WBJ) for his involvement in The Gathering, a networking group that launched about a year ago for Black business professionals in Wichita to meet one another and build connections with the goal of diversifying Wichita's business landscape. He also placed second in the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' 2022 Radio Awards. Eckels said he is excited about combining his passion for Wichita with his desire to learn and grow in the marketing and hospitality field. "My heart beats for Wichita – the Heart of the Country – so to be able to serve and promote my community in a professional capacity makes it a dream job."

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