• Brenda Bazan Confirmed as President & CEO of Houston First

     
    POSTED April 10, 2018
     

Houston City Council approved the appointment of Brenda Bazan as the new president and CEO of the Houston First Corporation (HFC).

“It’s an honor to be selected by Mayor Turner and confirmed by the city council,” said Bazan.

“I look forward to the opportunity to lead this amazing organization and to build on the incredible momentum Houston is enjoying in the travel and tourism industry,” continued Bazan. “I am committed to working with my talented team to position Houston as a premier, global tourism destination that also boasts amazing quality of life.”

Bazan is no stranger to Houston First, having been with the organization since its inception in 2011, serving as the chief financial officer where she oversaw finance, human resources and purchasing functions of the organization.

“Having served as CFO, I am familiar with the organization’s broad and unique range of responsibilities, projects, initiatives as well as our various funding sources and opportunities,” said Bazan. “I know my team, have relationships with board members and many key stakeholders, and I understand many of the challenges and opportunities facing Houston First.”

Bazan also recognizes that while she has a financial background, she is committed to get beyond the numbers. “This is how I will move strategically and creatively to better position Houston as one of the world’s premier destinations.”

David Mincberg, Chair of the Houston First board of directors, noted Bazan’s impressive track record of accomplishments.

“With her valuable financial experience, cooperative nature, and energetic spirit, Brenda will build on our momentum of success. I am confident she will take Houston First and the city to the next level of growth in tourism and travel, which will pump more dollars and jobs into our economy. Houston is poised for greatness as a premier destination and Brenda will provide the strategic leadership to help us get there,” said Mincberg.

Bazan’s career with the city began in 1993 where she held several positions in the Controller’s Office including director of finance and accounting and also with the Convention & Entertainment Facilities department where she served as deputy director.

“The early part of my career was in public accounting, but for family reasons moved to private industry,” said Bazan. “I remember learning the foundations of convention, hospitality and tourism at the Controller’s Office.”

Bazan took what she learned and worked on citywide endeavors such as property insurance, energy procurement and management, and debt-related issues using the Houston First model.

According to Bazan, “The model is the first of its kind in the destination marketing industry and has achieved record successes across the organization, including sales, tourism, marketing and public relations.”

To this day, Bazan said she is fortunate to have an awesome team of professionals at Houston First. “Together, I know we will continue transforming our big dreams into big successes for our beloved city. The future of Houston is bright and I am committed to making sure HFC serves as a beacon of light.”

Leo Hamel has been named the director of events and events services for The Post Oak, a new mixed-use tower, when it opens in early 2018. With over 30 years of industry experience, Hamel brings a strong background in event sales and operations. His impressive resume includes years as the director of events and event services for numerous Hyatt Regency locations across the country as well as Banquet Manager at the Marriott. From business to pleasure, Hamel will oversee all events at the stylish 10-acre property.

 

Thomas J.W. Voss has just been appointed managing director of the 1,048-room-Fairmont Austin, opening the summer of next year. He will be responsible for overall operations, performance and strategic direction for the newest and largest Fairmont hotel in the U.S.

With more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Voss has held a number of positions, including executive roles with Starwood Hotels.

 

It was announced in late February that during the month of March uber-restaurateur Stephen Starr would be introducing a unique "Support our Schools" program in his 20 Philadelphia restaurants.

Philadelphia schools have long been a subject of discontent and Starr’s plans to raise $100,000 during the one-month period would help support multimedia labs, elementary school playgrounds and six-week summer internships. Starr’s restaurants average 40,000 customers per week and diners would be encouraged to add a donation when paying their bill.

 
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