• Brenda Bazan Confirmed as President & CEO of Houston First

     
    POSTED April 10, 2018
     

Houston City Council approved the appointment of Brenda Bazan as the new president and CEO of the Houston First Corporation (HFC).

“It’s an honor to be selected by Mayor Turner and confirmed by the city council,” said Bazan.

“I look forward to the opportunity to lead this amazing organization and to build on the incredible momentum Houston is enjoying in the travel and tourism industry,” continued Bazan. “I am committed to working with my talented team to position Houston as a premier, global tourism destination that also boasts amazing quality of life.”

Bazan is no stranger to Houston First, having been with the organization since its inception in 2011, serving as the chief financial officer where she oversaw finance, human resources and purchasing functions of the organization.

“Having served as CFO, I am familiar with the organization’s broad and unique range of responsibilities, projects, initiatives as well as our various funding sources and opportunities,” said Bazan. “I know my team, have relationships with board members and many key stakeholders, and I understand many of the challenges and opportunities facing Houston First.”

Bazan also recognizes that while she has a financial background, she is committed to get beyond the numbers. “This is how I will move strategically and creatively to better position Houston as one of the world’s premier destinations.”

David Mincberg, Chair of the Houston First board of directors, noted Bazan’s impressive track record of accomplishments.

“With her valuable financial experience, cooperative nature, and energetic spirit, Brenda will build on our momentum of success. I am confident she will take Houston First and the city to the next level of growth in tourism and travel, which will pump more dollars and jobs into our economy. Houston is poised for greatness as a premier destination and Brenda will provide the strategic leadership to help us get there,” said Mincberg.

Bazan’s career with the city began in 1993 where she held several positions in the Controller’s Office including director of finance and accounting and also with the Convention & Entertainment Facilities department where she served as deputy director.

“The early part of my career was in public accounting, but for family reasons moved to private industry,” said Bazan. “I remember learning the foundations of convention, hospitality and tourism at the Controller’s Office.”

Bazan took what she learned and worked on citywide endeavors such as property insurance, energy procurement and management, and debt-related issues using the Houston First model.

According to Bazan, “The model is the first of its kind in the destination marketing industry and has achieved record successes across the organization, including sales, tourism, marketing and public relations.”

To this day, Bazan said she is fortunate to have an awesome team of professionals at Houston First. “Together, I know we will continue transforming our big dreams into big successes for our beloved city. The future of Houston is bright and I am committed to making sure HFC serves as a beacon of light.”

Julie Pingston, executive vice president/chief operating officer and David Buckenberger, senior vice president of Business Development of the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau have earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry.

 

Diverse, extensive experience and a passion for both DC and Denver are what Lester Robinson II is bringing to Visit Denver as the new sales director, Washington DC Region. A Michigan native, Robinson has been in the DC area for 10 years and has traveled all over the country for work. Prior to joining Visit Denver, he worked with Caesar’s Entertainment in Las Vegas and Hilton Worldwide in Baltimore and Michigan.

 

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to Megan Gosch. 

Marsha Wilson recently become the Durango Area Tourism Office's sales manager.