New veep combines visitors bureau marketing, PR 

The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau has restructured its marketing and public-relations departments within months of hiring new leadership in those fields.

The bureau, which oversees The City’s $7.3 billion tourism industry, has combined its marketing and public relations departments, it said in a release this week.

The move comes some six months after hiring former Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau vice president Leonard Hoops as executive VP in charge of marketing, convention sales and services, public relations and tourism. The job, a new position, was designed to align these often-isolated areas, Hoops said at the time.

The strategy is designed to increase hotel-room sales and other aspects of commercial tourism, he said then. He said this week that the division changes are still designed to create greater cooperation between departments, but he’s implementing them earlier than usual because the bureau’s marketing VP, Diane DeRose, decided to pursue other opportunities.

"It presented itself a little faster than I anticipated. We talked her into doing a couple of months of consulting for us," Hoops said. "The point is that the way the teams are being incentived and directed is more in line with the convention and tourism division, rather than having separate goals."

The new department of marketing and communications will be led by VP Laurie Armstrong, who has been vice president of public relations since 1998. Under her new title, she oversees consumer marketing, marketing services, editorial services and public relations.

Former Member Communications Manager Tanya Houseman also saw her duties change, becoming public relations manager working with journalists based outside San Francisco.

The bureau also made some new hires, among them Angela Jackson as director of public relations. Jackson held the same title at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in San Francisco since 1996.

Former International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Publications Coordinator Sara Vasquez was hired as communications manager.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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