Home » VisitLEX hires new staff, announces promotions

VisitLEX hires new staff, announces promotions

LEXINGTON, Ky. — VisitLEX today announced five new hires and several promotions:

  • Martina Barksdale is the director of communications. She oversees all communications on behalf of the organization. Her primary focus is attracting media professionals to Lexington to facilitate positive media coverage (including travel articles and features) on the destination. Barksdale comes to VisitLEX from broadcast TV, most recently hosting Everyday Kentucky at WKYT-TV.
  • Jenna Erickson is the destination services manager. She serves as the primary point of contact for planners of all large conventions, meetings and events booked in Lexington. Erickson is responsible for providing and delivering information and services to meeting planners about the resources available before, during and after their event. She previously served as associate director of sales for Marriott International.
  • Leslie Miller is the vice president of marketing, overseeing advertising, branding, marketing, public relations, social media, visitor services and web strategies. She was formerly vice president of Brand Strategy at Cornett, where she was a member of the executive leadership team and served as a brand strategist for a portfolio of businesses with an emphasis on travel and tourism, including VisitLEX, Keeneland, Lane’s End and Horse Country. She also has worked with Busch Light, Gannett Today, P&G and served on the new business team.
  • Mary Jane Speer is the marketing content manager, facilitating the execution of website content and day-to-day social media initiatives. As the front-line brand manager, Speer generates and shares engaging content daily and interacts with customers and fans on various web and social media applications. Speer’s previous tourism experience includes serving as director of brand management for Origin Hotel and digital content manager for Kentucky Venues.
  • Sarah Ritter is the executive assistant, and she serves on the administrative team. Ritter formerly worked as an administrative assistant in the office of Gov. Andy Beshear. In her role, Ritter provides direct support to the executive team and assists with a wide range of administrative duties.

In addition, VisitLEX announced two promotions on the marketing team:

  • Erin Hilton has been promoted to director of tourism. Hilton, who has been with VisitLEX for seven years, now serves as the VisitLEX liaison to stakeholders across all brand pillars. She will be working on new tourism-aligned opportunities for collaboration to develop our product further. Hilton previously served as marketing project manager, overseeing projects such as Beyond Grits, the Brewgrass Trail and the Jefferson Street Soiree.
  • Julie Schickel has been promoted to Director of Visitors Services. She is responsible for coordinating and managing marketing materials, data collection and visitor analytics. She manages the operations and retail aspects of the Lexington Visitors Center, focused on guiding visitors to explore Lexington and the Bluegrass Region. Schickel previously was the manager for the Visitors Center, which serves as a one-stop shop for visitors to the city.

VisitLEX also announced four promotions on the sales team: Stephen Barnett, Sandy Johnson, Roseanne Mingo and Becca Rogers have all been promoted to Directors of Destination Sales. As directors, Barnett, Johnson, Mingo and Rogers’ primary responsibility is to sell Lexington as a premier destination for group and convention business. They are responsible for lead generation and room night bookings. Each director is responsible for key market segments. Before being named directors, Barnett, Johnson, Mingo and Rogers all spent time supporting the efforts of the VisitLEX sales department.

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