For Immediate Release November 30, 2011
Staff Contact: Eugene Waara, LAVA Interim Director,
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Three Finalists Named for LAVA Director
NOVEMBER 30, 2011 - As a result of an exhaustive hiring and interview process, the Longmont Area Visitors Association (LAVA) has selected three executive director candidates for final interviews on Monday, December 5.
A full day of activities is planned for the candidates. Each finalist will participate in multiple panel interviews to further evaluate the candidate’s background and experience, work style and interpersonal skills, required skills and personal characteristics. In addition to the morning interviews, the candidates with be taken on a tour of Longmont and will participate in a community forum at the Dickens Opera House from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. The public is invited to attend.
The LAVA hiring committee has been very busy this fall with the search for a new executive director. LAVA partnered with the City of Longmont Human Resources Office to develop and execute an extensive review and hiring process to recruit highly qualified candidates who would be a strong fit to lead the organization in its efforts to promote Longmont as a destination for leisure and business travelers.
“We are very excited and satisfied with the quality of the final candidates participating in the process,” said Eugene Waara, who has been acting as the interim executive director since July. “The partnership between the City of Longmont and LAVA has enabled us to bring three very strong candidates to this final stage of the hiring process”
Joseph Ward is a 24-year hospitality, travel and tourism industry veteran with a diverse background in sales, public relations, food service, and special event and destination marketing management. Heavily involved in tourism development throughout the destination marketing industry, Ward’s career highlights include, most recently, serving as Executive Director of the Orange County, Virginia, Visitors Bureau, and Vice President of Finance and President of The Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (VACVB). Ward has also previously served on the Education Committee of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and is recognized by the American Bus Association as a Certified Tourism Industry Specialist (CTIS). A native of Warsaw, New York, Ward loves to share his time outside of work with his wife, Sara, and young son, Joseph-Manuel.
Keith Toler is a seasoned marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience as a destination travel marketer. His previous positions include leadership roles with convention and visitor bureaus in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Bucks County, Pennsylvania; and Portsmouth, Virginia. He has served on the boards of directors for a variety of professional associations, advisory groups and local nonprofit organizations, including the Travel Association of New Mexico, the Bucks County Arts Council, and the Tourism Curriculum Advisory Board at Old Dominion University. Toler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Memphis, both in communication studies. In his leisure time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, professional sports, the cinema, theater, and music.
Pamela Loughman, a former resident of Castle Rock and Durango, Colorado, has extensive tourism marketing leadership experience with destination marketing organizations of all sizes. She has worked on both the tourism destination and advertising agency side of the business. In the public sector, Ms. Loughman was appointed by the governor to the position of Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department; she also worked for the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau in the role of National Sales Manager. In the private sector, Loughman was employed as Vice President/Tourism for Rick Johnson & Company advertising, where she led marketing initiatives for more than a dozen DMOs, including the state tourism office, Santa Fe County, Albuquerque CVB, Gallup CVB, Las Cruces CVB, Indian Country USA, chambers of commerce, ski areas and hotels. In Arizona, Ms. Loughman represented the Arizona Office of Tourism, overseeing marketing strategy, media and promotions, while employed as an Account Supervisor at Moses Anshell advertising. As Associate Vice President of Client Services, Public Relations and Strategy at Phoenix-based McMurry, she led marketing projects and research programs for clients such as CVS Caremark, STMicroelectronics, The Ritz-Carlton, Hotel Andaluz, SilverRock Resort/Arnold Palmer Classic Golf Course and guestLINK hotel technology. Loughman earned a Bachelor of Business Administration at Anderson Schools of Management, University of New Mexico, with a double concentration in Travel & Tourism and Marketing.
The Longmont Area Visitors Association (LAVA) is a tourism partner with the City of Longmont to support, market, develop and enhance historical, cultural, business meeting and recreational activities in Longmont. These activities draw regional, national and international tourism to Longmont and surrounding areas. LAVA’s goal is to establish and develop Longmont as a desirable tourism destination and enrich the economic well-being of the community.