FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(CHICAGO, IL)-Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago today announced the appointment of D. Bradley Kent to Senior Vice President of Sales & Services. Kent, 52, most recently served as the Vice President of Industry Relations for Freeman in Dallas, TX. He will join Choose Chicago on December 3, 2012.
Kent returns to Chicago after having served the last six years in senior business development and sales positions in both audio visual and exposition divisions with Freeman. Prior to this, he spent 26 years in the hotel industry in senior leadership roles with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels Corporation, including the Chicago-based national sales office and Hilton Chicago. He started his hospitality career as a desk clerk at the Hilton O'Hare.
"Brad is an influential leader with tremendous respect throughout the industry," said Welsh. "Choose Chicago has an aggressive annual goal of securing 2.3 million hotel room nights and 50 new pieces of meetings and convention business. His ability to drive business growth through sales initiatives that deliver revenue, market share and market penetration is exactly what our organization needs to achieve these goals."
In this role, Kent will lead the 32-person Sales & Services team to ensure the aforementioned hotel room night and convention business goals are met. Key initiatives include the development and implementation of comprehensive sales strategies to impact new business to McCormick Place, hotels, and all Choose Chicago members, and to work with the McCormick Place team and stakeholders to develop an effective plan for seamless delivery of attendee and exhibitor services.
"I am excited to join what I truly believe is the country's most dynamic destination marketing organization and to sell the most customer-friendly business destination," said Kent. "Our customers are challenged to create engaging experiences for their attendees, and to connect the education and market opportunities between those attendees and exhibitors. Chicago is unmatched as a backdrop for association, trade, and corporate events and we will work together as a community to deliver what the customer expects."
Kent currently serves as a member of the Meetings & Events Section Council for ASAE, as chairman of the Exhibition and Trade Show Task Force for PCMA, and was recognized with the Distinguished Member of the Year award by PCMA in January of 2012. He is a past board director and foundation board trustee for PCMA and the PCMA Education Foundation. Kent and his wife, Sharon, are originally from Downers Grove, IL, and have two sons.
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