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Scott Beck Out as Head of San Francisco Travel Association

Anna Marie Presutti Named Interim Leader

By Jonathan Trager

Scott Beck, who took the reins of the San Francisco Travel Association less than a year ago, has resigned due to “personal reasons,” the organization announced on May 15. Longtime San Francisco hospitality leader Anna Marie Presutti has become interim CEO.

Photos of the Week

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David S. Beck, President & CEO of Kentucky Venues, welcomes attendees of MPI’s WEC to the Kentucky International Convention Center prior to the conference’s May 20–22 run.

IMEX Frankfurt IMEX Frankfurt

IMEX took place at Messe Frankfurt from May 14–16. Pictured here: Michelle Mason, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO, ASAE (far left); Annette Gregg, CMM, CEO, SITE (front, center); Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council (back, center); and Don Welsh, President & CEO, Destinations International (center), with industry professionals.


Christopher L. Thompson (center), President & CEO of Brand USA, was joined by his successor Fred Dixon (right), President & CEO of NYC Tourism + Conventions, and Todd Davidson, Brand USA Board Chair and CEO of Travel Oregon, at U.S. Travel Association’s IPW in Los Angeles on May 3–7. Photo by Brandon Ogden/Brand USA

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Delta Airlines on May 2 unveiled its custom Airbus A350 Team USA aircraft livery in Toulouse, France. The plane celebrates Delta’s eight-year partnership with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, which runs through the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The celebration in Toulouse, the home of Airbus’ global headquarters, featured Delta’s Chairman’s Club—a peer-selected honoree group of the airline’s top 100 employees from divisions across the company—being as part of the reveal moment for the first time.

VBR Love the Boot Week 2024 VBR Love the Boot Week 2024

On April 22, Visit Baton Rouge (VBR) participated in the annual Love the Boot Week, Louisiana’s largest litter cleanup effort held in conjunction with Earth Week, April 20-28, 2024. VBR collected 18 full bags of trash.

DSC08310[2] (1) IMEX Frankfurt FRPG-IPW Day ( VBR Love the Boot Week 2024

Trending Now

Industry Movers

Benjamin Godin

Benjamin Godin is now Executive Chef at Baillie Lodges’ Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge. The property is on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. He has 13 years of experience. He was the sous chef at Shokunin in Calgary where he ran day-to-day operations. Before that, he served as chef de partie at Anna Lena in Vancouver and as junior sous at Pidgin, a restaurant in the city’s Gastown District.

James McIver

James McIver is now W San Francisco’s Executive Chef. With more than 25 years of experience, McIver trained in Paris at the École Supérieure de Cuisine Française and worked with chefs such as Alain Ducasse and Thomas Keller. McIver was executive chef at The Westin Los Angeles Airport. He was also part of the opening teams of The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay and Four Seasons San Francisco.


Peter Yeung

Peter Yeung is now the General Manager at The Prince Kitano New York. He has worked at a variety of venues in New York City. He served as General Manager of The Spiral in Hudson Yards. Prior to that, he was General Manager of Walker Hotels and Gramercy Park Hotel. Yeung holds a degree from the Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at University of Houston.

Sean Olmstead

Sean Olmstead is Dream Downtown’s General Manager. The property is in New York City. He has nearly 25 years of hospitality industry experience. He was the executive chef at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco and became the director of food and beverage. He was vice president and director of operations for PUBLIC, an Ian Schrager Hotel, and general manager at L’Auberge de Sedona & Orchards Inn.

Association NEWS

Around Associations

2024 Edition of Incentive Travel Index Survey Launched…  Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), along with research partner Oxford Economics, have announced the 2024 edition of their joint survey of the global incentive travel market.
Now in its seventh year, the Incentive Travel Index (ITI) is the business event industry’s most authoritative study of the global incentive travel market and its impact on corporations, agencies and the supply chain in destinations, the distributors said.

“The Incentive Travel Index is our industry’s flagship global survey, providing insights from both source markets and destinations. The ITI is an important roadmap for our rapidly evolving industry, disclosing the threats and opportunities that lie ahead and providing indispensable direction as we navigate our way to the future,” said Stephanie Harris, President, Incentive Research Foundation. “We are thrilled to once again collaborate with SITE on the ITI, and look forward to presenting this year’s results to the industry at IMEX America in October 2024.”

Annette Gregg, CMM, MBA, CEO of SITE, said: “This year, with vital input at the design stage from our global community, we’re going deeper with some lines of enquiry, providing more detail and clarity in the survey questions. While the survey will continue to pose the perennial questions around who, how, where and why, it will also focus on today’s emerging themes and the impact for incentive travel now, and in the future, of AI and technology; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as sustainability; geo-political instability; workplace changes; and inflation.”

The ITI survey is live between May 14 and July 25 and is available in English and Spanish. Find more information at


Hotel NEWS

Checking Inn

The Paséa Hotel and Spa in Huntington Beach, California completed a $5 million renovation, the property announced on May 6. The renovation focused on the hotel’s food and beverage program, revealing a new “California coastal-inspired” restaurant, Lōrea, and a rebranded rooftop lounge, the Treehouse on PCH.

“Paséa has long established itself as the quintessential Southern California escape – with unmatched ocean views and year-round programming,” said Vincent Savignano, Director of Food & Beverage. “As the newest dining concepts in Huntington Beach, Lōrea and the refreshed Treehouse on PCH elevate the epicurean experience on-property and make Paséa a true culinary destination, while simultaneously raising the bar for the restaurant scene in Orange County.”

The new menu at Lōrea features “a chef-driven menu inspired by land and sea,” according to Scott Rackliff, the property’s Executive Chef. Signature dishes in the newly renovated restaurant include duck and goat charcuterie, the Spicy Little Gems Salad and a selection of seasonal dishes. Meanwhile, the Treehouse on PCH features a refreshed selection of craft cocktails, including non-alcoholic offerings.



Hotel Stratford San Francisco, Handwritten Collection

International hotel company Accor announced on May 6 that it will be opening its first Handwritten Collection property in the U.S. this summer, the Hotel Stratford in San Francisco.
The Hotel Stratford was built in 1910 and has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar “refurbishment,” according to Accor.

“The arrival of the first Handwritten Collection hotel in the United States underpins our expansion strategy throughout the Americas: to introduce brands and hotels that respond to the needs and wants of travelers today,” said Abel Castro, Chief Development Officer Accor Americas – Premium, Midscale & Economy.

Accor’s Handwritten Collection brand was established in 2023 and is a portfolio of “carefully curated addresses, each resonating the warmth and character of its dedicated hosts,” the hotel company said, and consists of primarily converted independent hotels. Currently, there are more than 35 Handwritten Collection hotels open and in development.



Convention Bureau/Center NEWS

CVB Update

Fontainebleau Miami Beach will celebrate one of the most significant expansions in its seven-decade history with the opening of the all-new Coastal Convention Center in the fall.

The five-story facility will feature a 16,500-square-foot divisible ballroom with an outdoor terrace, a 9,500-square-foot junior ballroom, 15 total meeting rooms, and 15,000-square-foot of pre-function space. The interior of the convention center features decorative art and murals by Kevin Barry Art Advisory and Jean-Paul Philippe.

The convention center was conceived by Fontainebleau Development and created by Miami-based Nichols Architects and interior design firm Jeffrey Beers International.

“The Coastal Convention Center will be a jewel in the crown of Fontainebleau Miami Beach and also this city’s social and tourism sector—a new, magnificent home for business and leisure events along the oceanfront,” said Fontainebleau Development Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Soffer. “This is the next evolution of our brand, further solidifying our role as a global hospitality leader, and we look forward to showing guests the world-class features and unparalleled service that are synonymous with the name Fontainebleau.”

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