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People News from U.S. Travel & the South

By M+E Staff

On a national level, Geoff Freeman, has been named president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association effective Sept. 1. He rejoins U.S. Travel after nearly a decade of association leadership, first as president and CEO of the American Gaming Association and currently in the same role for the Consumer Brands Association. Freeman succeeds Roger Dow, who is stepping down following a 17-year tenure as leader of the organization. 

In his previous role at U.S. Travel, Freeman’s strategic work led to the industry’s bipartisan legislative effort to establish the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 and create Brand USA. Other accomplishments included leading the industry effort behind the creation of TSA PreCheck and Meetings Mean Business, an industrywide coalition that showcases the value that business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences, and conventions bring to people, businesses, and communities.

News from the South includes several new hires for several leadership positions at Royal Sonesta New Orleans in Louisiana, located in the heart of the city’s French Quarter. Executive Chef Glen Clarke brings more than 25 years of experience in the culinary industry and most recently served as executive chef with Princess Cruises, where he developed diverse menu concepts, managed large banquet functions, and directed staff from around the world. Prior to joining Royal Sonesta New Orleans team, Director of Rooms Randall Scott-Miller worked in the same role for Hilton hotels in Key West, Florida. Olivia Sage-El rejoins the property as catering sales manager and has extensive experience planning events in New Orleans.

Ryan Fitzgerald has been appointed general manager for the 502-room Waldorf Astoria Orlando in Florida. His career spans more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of hotel management, from rooms operations to food and beverage management. Fitzgerald began his hotel career at Los Angeles’ famed Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, and went on to spend nearly a decade on the Hawaiian Islands in multiple executive positions. Prior to joining Waldorf Astoria Orlando, Fitzgerald spent six years serving as resort manager for Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort.

Chris Caldwell has been named president of events, experiential marketing, and development by Barton G. The Miami, Florida-based hospitality group has dining establishments in Miami and Los Angeles and an event production and design enterprise. Caldwell’s career includes a blend of agency, property, and global expertise through work for clients such as FedEx, Mars, Visa, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Kroger, Sonos, IBM, Verizon, and Mercedes.

Treasure Wilson is the new sales manager for Discover Dunwoody, the destination marketing organization responsible for promoting tourism for the community of Dunwoody, located 10 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. A seasoned hospitality sales veteran, Wilson has served on sales teams for global hotel and resort brands such as Marriott International and IHG and was sales manager for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, overseeing meetings, conferences, exhibitions, and other special events. Most recently, Wilson was director of sales for Sonesta International Hotels Corporation in Atlanta.