Monday, January 25, 1999

Visitors bureau
revamps marketing

The group names vice presidents
to head five divisions

By Russ Lynch


The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau has hired David K. Preece, a business and marketing consultant, to head its U.S.-Canada marketing effort in a new post as vice president for the North American market.

Although the HVCB is pushing harder into new international markets, a policy to be explained in detail at a membership meeting tomorrow, tourists from North America make up 60 percent of Hawaii's visitors, and they come from both emerging and traditional markets that the HVCB says it cannot neglect.

Along with Preece's appointment, the HVCB today announced a new marketing structure of five business divisions, each headed by a vice president who reports to Tony Vericella, president and chief executive officer. The arrangement consists of:

Bullet North American lei-sure travel under Preece, a 16-year veteran of marketing and business strategy planning who has been working with the HVCB as a private consultant for several months through his business, Pacific Marketing Group.

Bullet The Japanese market, headed by Tokyo-based Kiyoshi Mukumoto, who has been vice president for Japan since April 1997 and has reported directly to Vericella since mid-1998.

Bullet Developing international markets, to be headed by a vice president yet to be chosen.

Bullet The meetings, conventions and incentives market, with worldwide responsibility for booking the Hawaii Convention Center and promoting Hawaii as a business destination. Sandra Moreno remains vice president for that responsibility.

Bullet Marketing services, a creative and support role helping to develop and execute marketing programs for the four divisions. Gail Ann Chew, promoted from communications director to vice president, heads that department. The HVCB has not had an overall vice president for marketing since Roberta Rinker-Ludloff's departure last June for a top job at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. That post has been dropped, replaced by regional and business-sector-specific marketing operations reporting to Vericella.

Vericella today described Preece as a respected business strategist with a creative approach to the tourist industry's marketing challenges. Preece came to Hawaii in mid-1995 as senior vice president of marketing and sales for the Polynesian Cultural Center. Before that he ran a marketing consultancy in Georgia and earlier worked for consumer goods firms marketing such products as M&Ms, Mars candy bars and Gerber foods.

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