Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR), the region’s destination marketing organization, is pleased to announce Ray Ezelle as the Vice President of Sales & Services. Ezelle has spent more than 25 years in the hospitality industry with the majority of his time as a senior hospitality executive with an emphasis on sales, marketing and business development. His hire continues the strategic growth of Visit VBR’s sales management team.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated hospitality professional to lead our sales and services efforts,” said Visit VBR President, Landon Howard. “I am confident that Ray’s leadership experience will strengthen Virginia’s Blue Ridge as a meetings and sports destination that is well-known both nationally and internationally.”
Ray has been a Director of Sales and Marketing for a number of hotels, both independent and branded properties. He has opened four diamond properties and lead hotels through major renovations. Ray was also Executive Vice President with Connections Housing, a full service sourcing, housing and event management company that generated over $125M in hotel room contracts last year. As Vice President for Connect Meetings, Ray was a leader in connecting planners and suppliers through media and tradeshows. Under his leadership, revenue grew by more than 400% in five years. He was also instrumental in the development of Connect Sports and the Diversity Marketplace.
Ray will lead the VBR Sales Department having managed a variety of hospitality teams in his career focusing on providing solutions for clients and customers. Those customers included meeting planners, third party planners, major hotel brands, individual hotels, and hospitality industry partners and conventions & visitors bureaus. Ray will be a strong asset to the Visit VBR team.
About Visit VBR– Visit VBR is the official destination marketing organization for the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke. Visit VBR is a non-profit organization contributing to the economy through marketing, sales and services of meetings and sports groups. Visit VBR supports a vital and growing component of the local economy generating 7,945 jobs and $850 million in direct economic impact annually. For more information, go to the About US section of www.VisitVBR.com.