Following a formal and thorough executive search and interview process, Michael Martelon has have been named Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Visit Santa Cruz County (VSCC).  Michael will begin his duties today, Monday, January 31, 2022.  He has extensive experience in leading a destination marketing organization, including a tenure of nearly 11 years as President and CEO of the Telluride Tourism Board. Michael’s experience in a leadership position with a destination marketing organization and his background with branding and marketing communications were salient factors for the VSCC CEO/Executive Vice President Search Committee, formed to review candidates and ultimately make a recommendation to the VSCC Board of Directors.  The Committee is made up of hoteliers, tourism-related business representatives, and the VSCC board and community members.

In his previous position in Telluride, Michael was responsible for the leadership, direction, management, and policy oversight of the destination including marketing and human and capital resources.  He led all tourism-related and other relevant economic development in the county and the business community and pioneered an analytics campaign which served as a foundation for the Telluride Tourism Board’s marketing efforts.

“Michael’s extensive experience with leading a destination marketing organization, combined with his branding and marketing communications background are vital to the continued success of Visit Santa Cruz County’s programs and initiatives,” said Darren Pound, Chairman of the VSCC Board of Directors and General Manager of the Santa Cruz Dream Inn.

Michael will work with staff to promote visitation to Santa Cruz County, with a particular focus on the shoulder season – the months between Labor Day and Memorial Day – to draw overnight travelers to the region through marketing and promotional programs and public relations efforts.

Some of Michael’s immediate duties will be to outreach to local industry leaders and stakeholders, update the VSCC three-year marketing plan, oversee the annual spring campaign, and move forward with the board’s decision with regard to the production and distribution of the 2023 Official Santa Cruz County Traveler’s Guide, which was paused for two years due to the pandemic. 

One of his priorities in this position he said, will be to elevate the Santa Cruz County brand to stay competitive with larger beach destinations. 

“I am honored to accept this position and am eager to start working with the Visit Santa Cruz County team to refine the destination’s brand,” Michael said.  “I look forward to making memories in California:  my new home state.”

Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver and is a Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive.

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