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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courtney Freeman and Brittney Hendricks were recently appointed group sales manager and director of marking & communications with Oxnard CVB.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
Courtney Freeman: Having been raised in Oxnard, I am now looking forward to selling Oxnard as a destination.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
CF: Most of my hotel sales experience was handling accounts based out of the northeast for hotels that were located off the Las Vegas strip. This tested my sales skills, because many clients struggle with the idea of flying 5 hours to Las Vegas and not staying on the strip. With Oxnard being 60 miles from LAX, I’ll be working similarly to convey to clients that meeting in Oxnard is absolutely worth the hour drive from the airport.
Brittney Hendricks: My first marketing position was in social media at the onset of Facebook and Twitter and long before Instagram. I used to have to write html code to send out an eblast. Blogging and copywriting were the go-to method of online marketing at the time. Marketing today is so different, but the foundational building blocks are still there. I’ve gotten to witness an entire evolution of how marketing has changed in the past decade. The prevalence of new tools and efficiencies have streamlined the industry and made the barrier to entry far easier; therefore, the marketplace is far more saturated and competitive. A brand has to really stand out to make an impact – that’s my role at OCVB, and I’m so excited for everyone to witness the brand we’re building. It’s going to be something very special.
3. How did you get into the industry?
CF: I studied Meetings & Event Management at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I also was as an admin in the sales office at the Las Vegas Hilton with intentions to “just learn the hotel side” and ended up falling in love with hospitality sales.
BH: I studied marketing at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business. While there, I interned at Realtor.com/Move.com in “viral marketing.” That was my first marketing position.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
CF: I am hoping to bring more corporate meetings and conferences to our hotels.
BH: My job today is to strategize on the best way to penetrate the marketplace with our brand and stand out amongst the competition. We recently went through the RFP process to secure a marketing subcontractor, who will be assisting in creative services, media buying and more. We’ll be working with Verdin Marketing out of SLO this coming year – their technical capabilities are incredible, and we’re so excited for this new partnership!
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
CF: The relationships that are formed with clients are the best part about working in the tourism industry, in my opinion.
BH: I landed in tourism by happenstance, and it’s an incredible industry. I’m hooked. I really enjoy the partnerships. Everyone is so connected, and there’s a lot of collaboration. I’ve never seen anything like it. There is a CVB/DMO in almost every city, so it’s really incredible to see what our friends in other cities and states are doing, and it’s even more incredible when we get to partner with other organizations to leverage our assets and create cutting edge campaigns.