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Industry Briefs
CVB Fills Three Positions Dedicated to Diversity Sales and Inclusion Initiatives

Accomplished broadcast journalist and communicator Jenell Walton has been named Vice President, Communications and Strategic Development at the Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Jenell has a deep understanding of how communications informs and motivates people to take action," Julie Calvert, President and CEO said.  "She also has built strong relationships with community leaders and organizations across the region who can work with us to spark economic vitality and build our region's reputation as a world-class destination."

Walton is a respected news anchor and reporter, enterprising and sharing stories with the Cincinnati region for more than 16 years at WCPO-TV (ABC) and WLWT-TV (NBC).  She also has led strategic communications for civic and not-for-profit organizations, including Cincinnati Metro and the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. 

At the CVB, Walton will work across the organization to guide internal and external communications, lead stakeholder outreach, and facilitate community relations, organizational development and issues management. 

CVB Completes Diversity & Inclusion Team

In addition to Walton's new role, the CVB has filled three open positions to strengthen its initiative to welcome diverse visitors and build stronger community-based career training efforts.

  • Portia Alyce Lawrence has been named National Manager of Diversity Sales, responsible for developing convention and meeting business among corporations, associations and not-for-profit organizations. Portia has nearly 20 years of planning and management experience in hotel and destination sales for properties across the country, including Westin, Sheraton and Interstate Hotels & Resorts.
  • Nyirah Jackson's role has been expanded to Diversity Sales & Inclusion Program Specialist, assisting in managing the partnership between the Dan Lincoln Institute for Hospitality Leadership and Cincinnati Public Schools, as well as supporting diversity sales. Nyirah joined the CVB in early 2018 in a part-time role, and now, is full time.
  • Chaka Buraimoh has been named Diversity Sales & Inclusion Department Coordinator, supporting a range of sales, community and event initiatives. Chaka most recently worked with I Hear Music and staffed several election campaigns. She is a board member of Strategies to End Homelessness.

Latest Steps Cap Strategic Reorganization

Walton's hire completes the new leadership team at the CVB, part of a significant reorganization announced last fall to better align the staff with the changing visitor market and to renew its focus on building strong working partnerships with its members, customers and the community.

"These positions are essential to increase our capacity and drive growth," Calvert said. "Along with the recent hire of Andy Conklin as EVP, Sales and Marketing; Jason Dunn's promotion to lead Diversity Sales & Inclusion; Randie Adam leading Marketing, Membership and Visitor Experience and Cindi Flick leading Finance and Operations, our CVB is well positioned to help the Cincinnati region become a magnet destination for the future."