Friday, February 20, 2004

Hotel hires sales director

Wallisa formerly worked for bureau

By Ken Alltucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati convention bureau's ousted sales director has been hired as the top sales executive for Greater Cincinnati's largest hotel complex.

Mark Wallisa starts Monday as director of sales and marketing for the 872-room Millennium Hotel and Four Points Sheraton complex between Fifth and Sixth streets. Also, the hotel promoted its sales director, Lisa Carrere, to general manager.

Carrere replaced outgoing general manager Rob Gauthier, who left to take a job as senior vice president of Valencia, Calif.-based Ocean Park Hotels.

Carrere sees as one of her top challenges attracting more trade groups and conventions over the next two years as construction starts on the $160 million Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center expansion.

"It is a difficult time now with the center closing for the expansion," Carrere said. "We've definitely lost our share of room nights and revenue as a result of that."

It was Carrere's decision to hire Wallisa as the new sales director. Last year, Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau chief executive officer Lisa Haller fired Wallisa without explanation. Haller, through a spokesperson, wished Wallisa well in his new position.

"My feeling is the CVB's loss is our gain," Carrere said.


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