Black Meetings and Tourism

September / October 2015

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Anastasia Mann, owner and CEO of Corniche Group, Inc.,is pleased to announce that Reginald (Reggie) McDowell has joined the company as President. McDowell has a proven track record as a successful hotelier nationwide. He start- ed his hotel career with ITT Sheraton and later served as vice president and regional manager with Interstate with oversight of 25 hotels in the western U.S, Hawaii and Alaska. He most recently was VP & GM for Pyramid Hotel Group at the Burbank Marriott Hotel. In the last 20 years McDowell has served as general manager for three major hotels in the Los Angeles market and was also based in L.A. during his tenure with Interstate hotels. McDowell graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.S. degree in Hospitality. Corniche Group, Inc. includes Corniche Travel, a 28-year old, internationally respected travel management company which handles corporate travel for major companies within 80 countries. It also provides international leisure and group travel planning as well as full service meeting & event planning. Also included is Anastasia's Africa, now in its 11th year: a private, customized high level safari operator with offices in Cape Town, South Africa as well as the West Hollywood headquarters. And 10-year-old Corniche Entertainment, providing artist management, con- cert production and music for multiple venues within the Western United States as well as corporate events. "I couldn't be more excited," said Anastasia. "As a former hotelier myself, I appreciate the energy, the knowledge and the international experience Reggie brings to our company. The benefits to our valued clientele are far too numerous to list." Please join Anastasia and her team in welcoming Reggie into the Corniche family. N E W S M A K E R S B M & T ••• September/October 2015 ••• 6 Joseph "John" Oros has been selected to succeed Jim Smither as president of the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. Bill Murray, chairman of the Birmingham CVB board of directors, made the announcement recently. Oros, who assumed his new position August 1, was previously the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, overseeing a staff of 24 convention sales, convention services, sports sales and tourism professionals. Smither retired after more than 21 years as head of the Birmingham CVB and after more than 50 years in the hospitality industry. Board chairman Murray said, "The board knew it would be difficult to fill the shoes of one of the best CVB pres- idents in the country, so we undertook a national search to calibrate our candidates against the best and brightest in and out of the industry." "The CVB board worked hard to interview the candidates and choose the best fit for the organization, and John Oros is that person," Murray said. According to Murray, Oros plans to further expand the convention sales and tourism marketing programs of the Birmingham CVB as the region con- tinues to grow and the downtown area continues its renaissance. Oros will supervise the day-to-day operations of the 40-person CVB staff and will work closely with management and staff of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, along with the entire hotel community in Jefferson County. And Oros has his sights set beyond domestic confines. "I feel international tourism is a big opportunity for Birmingham," he said. "I am excited and honored to be given the opportunity to lead the veteran team at the Birmingham CVB," Oros said. "I have competed against these professionals constantly over the years, and they have earned my respect as well as the respect of other destination marketing organizations around the country." Oros said he will challenge the staff to create new ways to market Birmingham in the changing landscape of convention and tourism sales. HOTELIER REGGIE McDOWELL JOINS CORNICHE TRAVEL JOHN OROS NAMED BIRMINGHAM CVB PRESIDENT

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