Camille Zess [Social Media Case Studies]

Episode 31: The Building Blocks of Social Media, with Camille Zess

In this episode, you will learn about how social media helped Casa Larga Vineyards have a great 2016 from Camille Zess, consultant at Break the Ice Media.

By the time Camille left college she was already an accomplished writer. As a writing minor, she took many classes in different types of writing including memoir, which involves real storytelling. And storytelling is key in marketing communications, advertising and public relations. She also trained intensively in grammar and in teaching the subject of writing where she learned to strengthen others' writing while preserving their style. An early adopter in social media, she has long experienced using Facebook, Facebook advertising, Linkedin, and Twitter. As someone particular adept at working in the digital media space, Camille focused on social media when she first joined Break the Ice. She's able to sense changes in social media as they begin and to view its future. This ability gives our clients the help and advantage they need in social media marketing. Now Camille uses her creative magic with words to write content for social media, websites, blogs, and advertising that Break the Ice provides for our clients. That isn't all. She's also able to act as a journalist or write a case study or capture the voice of brands we work with, and she produces high quality, creative online and email marketing campaigns for our clients.

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Rose Hapanowich

Episode 30: Using Partnerships to Increase Customer Purchases, with Rose Hapanowich

In this episode, you will learn about generating return visits from customers who stop at a stopover destination from Rose Hapanowich, director of travel and tourism for Destiny USA.

Rose has an extensive background in retail as a result of working in department store, specialty shop and outlet shopping venues prior to joining the management team of Carousel Center, initially as Assistant Marketing Director and later as Director of Marketing, where she successfully assisted in the transformation of the property into Destiny USA. She initiated tourism outreach efforts to expand Destiny USA’s presence internationally, resulting in her promotion to Director of Travel and Tourism for Destiny USA. Rose continually attends travel trade and consumer-focused shows all over the world resulting in high visibility for Destiny USA as a tourist destination. The property has received a great response from both the group and FIT markets as a result of her efforts.

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Drew Broderick

Episode 29: How to Manage a Destination in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, with Drew Broderick

In this episode, you will learn about managing a destination through all four season from Drew Broderick.

No day is ever the same for Drew Broderick, director of sales and marketing for Bristol Mountain and Roseland Adventure Attractions, which is comprised of Bristol Mountain Ski Area and Fall Sky Rides, Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures and Zip Line Canopy Tours, Roseland Waterpark, and Roseland Wake Park.

Her enthusiasm for tourism and attractions began with a summer college internship at Walt Disney World. She spent ten years in upper management in the hotel industry and later as the owner of a successful meeting planning and consulting firm, On-Site Meeting Solutions in Dallas, Texas, before relocating to Upstate New York. One of Drew’s most memorable events was supervising the VIP hospitality venues for Anheuser-Busch during the 1994 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. She also traveled the globe as a consultant for an international training company. Some of those places included: Dubai, Singapore, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Bermuda, Spain, and Poland to name a few. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management with a Minor in Marketing from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma.

Drew has been with Bristol Mountain and Roseland Adventure Attractions for eight years and serves as the media liaison as well as handles all advertising, marketing initiatives, photography and video assets, social media for multiple attractions, and oversees the group sales efforts. Currently, Bristol Mountain has six former Freestyle athletes competing on the US Ski Team and with the next winter Olympics taking place in February of 2018, Bristol Mountain hopes to see one or more of these athletes competing for Team USA.

One of Drew’s passions is getting people involved in outdoor activities such as skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding, zip lining, and climbing the courses in the aerial adventure park. Drew says, “There is so much to do right here that we’ve adopted the tagline of Adventure Capital of the Finger Lakes.”

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Sarah Blackwell [Program Case Studies]

Episode 28: Collaborative Programs Bring Regions Together, with Sarah Blackwell

In this episode, you will learn about programs that bring together counties, hotels, amusement parks, and more from Sarah Blackwell.

Sarah Blackwell joined BTI in 2013, bringing a fresh perspective, creativity and attention to detail to every client project she works on. A highly talented writer, she becomes the "voice" of many diverse clients for their stories and blogs -- no easy trick. It takes tremendous imagination to write about winter attractions when it's eighty degrees and summer outside. Or to write as the "voice" of a season. There's also the constant need to come up with new angles and pitch stories for clients, and Sarah hits the mark each time. She also finds, researches and implements new media. All this to help get our clients great exposure and effectively connect with their target audiences.

There's nothing like working with travel and tourism giants Southwest Airlines and Disney to put real-world, "icing on the cake" experience on top of an education in journalism and public relations. Sarah had -- and continues to have -- a passion for PR, writing and storytelling. And because she worked with the best in the business in media relations, she knows just how to cultivate relationships with journalists full of mutual respect and benefit.

Sarah sums it up: "Pitching story ideas is about knowing who you're talking to -- knowing your client's audience and finding compelling subjects."

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Laury Poland

Episode 27: A Collaborative Region is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts, with Laury Poland

In this episode, you will learn about how regions can collaborate together and pool resources to do things together that they could not do alone from Laury Poland.

As president of Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association (FLWCTMA), Laury Poland is responsible for creation, coordination, administration and implementation of all FLWCTMA programs and initiatives to promote economic development in the Finger Lakes region of the state of New York. A native of Rockville, Maryland, Laury began her employment at the Corning, New York-based tourism marketing association on September 30, 2013.

Before coming to the Finger Lakes, Laury was responsible for all advertising and promotions initiatives of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s (PLCB) Bureau of Marketing Communications, Branding & Design. During this time, Laury developed a keen interest in the wine and spirits industry, completing significant coursework in wine education. In her professional role with the PLCB, Laury constructed full-scale traditional and new media campaigns, including website development, digital advertising, and a social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as part of a $6M annual advertising budget. Laury also determined new areas of media to include in marketing and public relations efforts based on trends and technology. Laury wrote, produced and edited video projects for the PLCB’s 608 retail stores, Fine Wine & Good Spirits, and oversaw all print, web, radio, television and digital material, ensuring consistency of corporate brand image and messaging.

Prior to her time at the PLCB, Laury represented New York-based Church Pension Group Services Corporation (CPG) as vice president of Church Publishing Incorporated, from 2006-2011. Laury joined Continuum International Publishing Group in 2004, as director of Morehouse Church Supplies – a position she held until late 2005 when CPG acquired the book publishing, curriculum and church resource divisions of Morehouse Publishing. Laury was also a business owner, managing her own public relations, marketing and advertising firm, In-House Agency, from 1998-2004, serving as the communications specialist for numerous successful media initiatives. Laury holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism/Public Relations from the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV.

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David Stern

Episode 26: Build Relationships with People that Bring Customers in Your Door, with David Stern

In this episode, you will learn about how to get 50% of all your customers from referrals.

Driven by a conviction that the business of selling creates freedom, David brings an exceptional 40-year career as a salesperson, speaker, coach, and author of “Are you for real?!” (Aviva, 2015), an inspiring sales-career survival guide. He empowers all types of individuals to new heights thanks to his time-tested methodologies, an ability to motivate others beyond their expectations, and his genuine joy in seeing others succeed.

David’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited early in life from parents who owned an Oriental rug company. At 15, he launched a business brokering the sale of used appliances, earning the princely sum of $200 per month in the 1970s. Upon graduating high school, he secured an entry-level job at a bank and quickly rose to managerial roles, becoming vice president six years later. David’s warmth, sincerity, and passion for person-to-person business would become an asset throughout his sales career, spanning many industries.

The roots of his coaching career go back 30 years when he overcame his wall in sales through an intensive personal growth process that led to exponential increases in his revenues. Today, David shares his secrets with others, using a coaching methodology based on the value of work and self. He imparts in his clients the belief that a willingness to change and become a better person will drive sales and business success.

According to David, success comes down to awareness, self-acceptance, self-development, communication, change, belief in yourself and the service you provide, and, most importantly, being honest and caring.

He resides in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York with his wife.

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Erika Sangar

Episode 25: Attracting Visitors to All of the Wonderful Museums in New York State, with Erika Sangar

In this episode, you will learn about how the Museum Association of New York (MANY) is consistently growing their tourism efforts from Erika Sangar.

Erika Sangar joined MANY (Museum Assoc. Of New York) after serving twelve years as the Director of Education at the Albany Institute of History and Art. There she provided vision for the development of programs for adults, children, schools, and families, focusing on object-based learning and digital initiatives. She had led the institute's digital renaissance, most notably with the launch of a new website and creation of interpretative strategies around hand-held digital devices and interactive media.

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Valerie Knoblauch

Episode 24: Tourism Professionals as Lifestyle Developers, with Valerie Knoblauch

In this episode, you will learn about why collaboration makes such a huge difference at the county level from Valerie Knoblauch.

Valerie is President and CEO of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection where she has worked since 1984 when she was hired as the organization’s first employee. In her role, she is responsible for guiding a team of tourism marketing professionals who are charged with promoting all of the fun experiences offered in Ontario County and the Finger Lakes region. Valerie thrives on the challenge of figuring out people’s motivations to travel and translating that into marketing programs that inspire travel to the destination where she lives, works and plays. Prior to beginning with the Finger Lakes Visitors connection, Valerie worked as a Tour Guide and Public Relations Manager for Gold Seal Vineyards in Hammondsport, NY after a career as a High School English teacher at Red Jacket Central High School.

Valerie loves to travel - imagine that. She also enjoys bicycling, wine, gardening, photography, and cooking. She loves the theatre, especially live theatre and musicals, and likes history – especially as it is interpreted to put into place “where we are today …”

Valerie is blessed with a very large family, many of whom have settled in the area. She has been married to her husband Kurt since 1982. They have three sons and three wonderfully diverse daughters-in-law and three grandsons. Valerie has friends across the world, because of her career in travel and tourism and because of her multicultural family. She loves learning every day from all of the characters in her life.

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Brittany Gibson

Episode 23: Get Locals Engaged in Tourism, with Brittany Gibson

In this episode, you will learn about how leveraging your social media in the tourism industry can help you to bring in more visitors from Brittany Gibson.

In her capacity at the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, Brittany is responsible for promoting Schuyler County’s tourism industry by creating and implementing tourism marketing and public relations programs. She is also responsible for developing and implementing programs to increase the visibility and credibility of the Chamber. Brittany serves on the Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council Board of Directors, the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance Marketing Committee, the Schuyler County Planning Board, and the Community Development Corporation Board of Directors. She volunteers her time serving as the coordinator of her family's charity organization, Team Charlie.

Brittany’s areas of expertise include marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, and event planning. She is passionate about the Finger Lakes and is eager to see Schuyler County continue to grow - both in business and tourism.

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Ramjee Chandran

Episode 22: Content is King, with Ramjee Chandran

In this episode, you will learn from Ramjee Chandran about the evolution of tourism publishing, and why creative content is as important now as it was in 1989.

Ramjee Chandran is an entrepreneur, writer, publisher, and musician with 27 years of publishing experience. As a journalist, his articles have been published in India and other countries. Most of Chandran's publishing career involved magazines related to the tourism industry including city guides and business travel magazines - both print and online.

The first city guide he launched was on March 31, 1989, for his hometown of Bangalore, India. In the years following, he launched the "Explocity Guide" series of city guide magazines in several destinations including New York City, Dubai and several major metros in India. Other magazines included Executive Traveller and other city-based lifestyle magazines.

Ramjee Chandran received investment from a US-based venture capital fund in 2000, and a few years later, a meeting with publishing mogul Rupert Murdoch led to Murdoch picking up a 25% stake in Chandran's publishing enterprise, Explocity.

Chandran was awarded the prestigious "Chanakya Award" for Innovative Leadership by the Indian Council for Public Relations and was named one of 10 best entrepreneurs from the state of Karnataka, India by online giant, Rediff.com (REDF - NASDAQ).

Recently, Ramjee launched a website for New York State: www.DestinationsOfNewYorkState.com and runs this in an exclusive strategic alliance with the experienced tourism company, Destinations Of NYS, based in Saugerties, NY.

Chandran is also a jazz guitarist and has performed on stage with internationally acclaimed jazz musicians and at international jazz festivals. He believes that the one thing he does with more mediocrity than playing jazz is his other distraction, playing chess.

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