The Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau officially recognized its 25th anniversary with an open-house celebration Wednesday, January 9th.
The nonmember, nonprofit organization has provided service to residents and visitors of Santa Monica since 1982. In recognizing its 25th anniversary, the bureau looked back at some of its accomplishments with the two women who have served as chief executive officer (CEO) over the years.
The founding bureau executive director was Beverly Moore, who is currently president and chief executive officer of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau. In her time in Santa Monica, Moore hired a small staff of office employees and travel counselors, opened a visitor kiosk at 1400 Ocean Ave., created a Santa Monica Web site and marketed the destination to international travelers all over the world.
“It makes me really proud to think of everything that the bureau has accomplished,” said Moore. “We started 25 years ago with the idea of simply marketing Santa Monica so people would know what the city had to offer and where it was on the map. The bureau has certainly come a long way since then.”
Misti Kerns became president/ CEO of the bureau in 2001. She initially joined the bureau in 1997 as director of sales and marketing, having earned her rank in the local hospitality community in various director positions at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.
Kerns has initiated such community programs as the Beach Summit to improve and enhance the Santa Monica beach experience, and the “I am Santa Monica Program” to help the hospitality community continue to deliv- er service to residents and visitors, according to the bureau.
In addition, Kerns led bureau staff to complete the city’s Green Business Certification program on behalf of the bureau, making it one of the healthiest and most energy efficient businesses in Santa Monica, according to the bureau.
“We are constantly searching for new ways to improve the overall Santa Monica experience for both residents and visitors,” said Kerns. “With the help of our local hospitality partners, business and community supporters, Santa Monica has been able to provide amenities and services other communities simply cannot.” Kerns added that the success of the Convention and Visitors Bureau is a testament to the local hospitality community’s support in sustaining tourism.