Longtime Alabama beach sports commission director named VP of sales
15 Feb, 2021
With the news of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism's president and CEO Herb Malone retiring in 2021, and Beth Gendler, CMP, CDME being promoted to COO and then CEO once Malone's tenure ends, more moving and shaking has taken place at the tourism bureau. Michelle Russ, CSEE, former director of sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission, has been named the Vice President of Sales, Sports and Events.
"Michelle is a lifelong Gulf Coast resident, and after many years working for the Sports Commission, she is taking on a well-deserved role where she can expand her skillset and further share her passion for Gulf Shores and Orange Beach," said Gendler. "We look forward to Michelle's fresh ideas to grow sports, meetings and international business to increase the economic impact along Alabama's beaches, improving residents' quality of life and visitor experiences."
In this newly appointed role, Russ oversees sales for the meetings, sports/events and international markets. For the meetings sector, the bureau works with association, corporate and SMERF (social, military, educational, religious and fraternal) meeting planners to host meetings in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The Sports Commission works with sports and event planners to bring athletic and leisure events to the destination that generate overnight stays and showcase Alabama's beaches to groups that may not experience the area otherwise. For the international market, the sales team works with the Alabama Tourism Department and international tour operators to promote the area to the operators' potential clients around the globe.
"It is one of the greatest honors of my career to become the VP of sales alongside a stellar team to promote our beautiful beach communities," said Russ. "I look forward to learning and growing both professionally and personally as I embrace this new journey. Like Herb always says, I am ready to 'make a positive difference in others' lives'"