Media Contacts:
Kelly Schulz at MPI World Education Congress
New Orleans CVB MeetingPlace Booth 1353 
Mobile: 504-421-0962 Office: 504-566-5019 

Mary Beth Romig
New Orleans CVB

New Orleans CVB Opens Offices in St. Louis and Atlanta and Expands Convention Sales Team in New Orleans AND WASHINGTON D.C.

NEW ORLEANS – Aug. 11, 2008 – The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau is expanding its award-winning sales force by opening regional offices in Atlanta and St. Louis and hiring new team members in New Orleans and Washington D.C. to retain and attract new convention business to New Orleans.*

New Atlanta Office
LaVerne Brown, CTC, brings more than 20 years of sales management experience to the New Orleans CVB. Brown has worked for Delta Air Lines, Inc., based in Atlanta, since 1986, most recently serving as the corporate sales general manager of national accounts for Delta. Brown will work with corporate and association customers in the Southeast from the newly opened Atlanta office of the New Orleans CVB. Brown can be reached at 770-436-9661 or

New St. Louis Office
With more than seven years of hospitality industry experience, Jennifer McDonald has worked for Arnaud’s Restaurant and the J.W. Marriott, among others. McDonald has been with the New Orleans CVB for over a year and will cover accounts in Kansas and Missouri in her new role as convention sales manager of the newly opened office in St. Louis. McDonald can be reached at 504-874-1155 or

New Eastern Regional Sales Manager
Helen Mesfin, CMP, brings nine years of experience in the hospitality industry to New Orleans. Mesfin previously worked as a sales manager for Destination DC (convention and visitors bureau) in Washington, DC. She also has experience working in the Washington Convention Center as the catering sales manager before becoming the director of catering. As Eastern regional sales manager, she will focus on the association market in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Mesfin can be reached at 202-269-2020 or

New Director of Business Development
Overseeing the regional offices is Stephanie Turner in a new position of director of business development. With more than 18 years in the hotel industry, Turner has served as director of sales and marketing at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans and worked as a hospitality industry consultant. Based at the CVB office in New Orleans, Turner will report to Nikki Nicholson, vice president of convention sales. Turner can be reached at 504-566-5031 or

In March 2008, the New Orleans CVB opened a regional office in Dallas and hired Bethani Blair to generate business from the Southwest. It also added a second sales professional in Chicago by appointing Mary Calvert to generate business from the Midwest.

In an effort to help corporations and associations reduce costs and achieve more successful meetings during this unusual economic climate, The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau and the New Orleans Morial Convention Center today unveiled “Extraordinary Experiences,” a program offering complimentary space, F&B, marketing resources and more for meetings held during specific months from now until 2011.

* Photos available upon request

Consistently recognized as one of the top five convention and visitor bureaus in the United States, The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism. Today the cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. The most celebrated and historic core of the city - including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, the Faubourg Marigny and Garden District - are thriving. In 2007 New Orleans welcomed 7.1 million visitors, nearly double the amount of visitors in 2006. For more information, visit

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