FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lauren Cason or Vicki Bristol
New Orleans CVB
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristian Sonnier Named Vice President of Communications and Public Relations of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
NEW ORLEANS - February 3, 2015 - Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOCVB), announced today that Kristian Sonnier, a 20-year public relations and communications veteran, will become the vice president of communications and public relations of the NOCVB, effective February 23rd.
Specializing in public relations planning, media relations management, special events and crisis communications, Sonnier has most recently served as director of public relations for Peter A. Mayer Advertising and in his new position will focus on the strategic direction and messaging of the New Orleans tourism industry. He will create and oversee the implementation of public relations and communications strategies to brand New Orleans as the nation's premier business and leisure destination as well as position the NOCVB as one of the top CVBs in the country. He will support the president and CEO as a spokesperson for the tourism industry on all levels, supervise the day-to-day operations and management of the eight-person communications staff and manage activities of outside CVB partners.
During the last 16 years at New Orleans-based Peter A. Mayer Advertising, Louisiana's largest full-service advertising, public relations and marketing agency, Sonnier and his team serviced approximately 20 accounts per month ranging all categories including Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, GE Capital, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana, Hancock/Whitney Bank, The National World War II Museum and the Louisiana Office of Tourism, among others.
He has held numerous leadership positions in the city and region, including serving on the Host Committee for Super Bowl XLVII, serving on the city's team of BP oil spill communications specialists, and working with key city and state officials on Louisiana's recovery efforts post-Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Sonnier began his career as a public relations manager at the Resort at Squaw Creek in California.
"Kristian is one of the most respected public relations professionals in New Orleans. He is a strategic thinker with a proven track record for producing results, a tireless work ethic and a great passion for the city. We are thrilled to have him join our team," said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Kristian will be a senior leader in our promotion of New Orleans as a premier destination for meetings, special events, domestic and international visitation, and he will be an integral part of the planning and execution of our award-winning communications and branding programs."
Sonnier replaces Kelly Schulz, who held the position for eight years before joining ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as vice president of communications in April 2014. In the interim, Lauren Cason, director of marketing and communications, and Tara Letort, CMP, director of group public relations, oversaw the strategic planning and day-to-day responsibilities of the department.
Tourism is a $6.47 billion industry for New Orleans, employing more than 80,000 people and attracting 9.28 million visitors annually.
The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Louisville, KY, Washington, D.C. and six foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 55th anniversary in 2015. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com; www.facebook.com/neworleans; www.twitter.com/neworleanscvb.