Tom has dedicated his life to destination marketing and is one of the most well respected members of the travel industry. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and partner-focused approach to marketing destinations, and has been a key driver of the strategies Brand USA has put in place since he joined the organization in March 2013.
He was the impetus for the production of our giant-screen film, National Parks Adventure, which was our first major initiative behind the great outdoors and supports each of our strategic foundational elements to create innovative marketing, market the welcome, build trusted relationships, add & create value, and drive results. And he was an integral part of the leadership team that has driven our storytelling, content-driven platforms, as well as our increased focus on digital marketing.
As Chief Marketing Officer, Tom’s direct reports include Karyn Gruenberg, SVP, Partner Programs & Strategic Alliances; Cathy Domanico, VP, Global Trade Development; Tracy Lanza, VP, Integrated Marketing; and Carroll Rheem, VP, Research & Analytics—each of whom brings incredible creativity and vision to our marketing efforts. Together they are a formidable team and one of the finest I’ve worked with over the course of my career. You’ll hear much more about the current programs and initiatives they have in place to market the USA, as well as their strategies for continuing to grow the United States’ share of the global travel market and support our partners.
Tom’s 35-year track record in the travel industry is impressive. Prior to joining Brand USA in March 2013, Tom was managing partner of Custom Marketing Group (CMG), an award-winning destination, marketing and custom publishing company he co-founded in 1992. Under his leadership, CMG developed hundreds of successful integrated / cooperative marketing programs for leading destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), including Visit Florida, Visit California, Wyoming Tourism, Colorado Tourism, NYC & Company, and Destination DC, as well as leading organizations such as American Express and AT&T. CMG also implemented effective international marketing campaigns targeting the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Latin America, and Canada. CMG’s custom publishing partners included the prestigious American Express group of publications, which includes the iconic Travel + Leisure magazine. In addition, working with digital publishing and tech companies Texterity, Sojern and Vertical Acuity, CMG developed and implemented a number of “first to market” solutions for destination marketers. These programs raised in excess of $250 million in partnership funding for leading destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia. CMG maintained offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles until the company was sold in October 2012.
He first worked in his family’s wholesale travel business, Flyfaire Vacations based in New York, from 1978 to 1989. While at Flyfaire, Tom developed cooperative marketing programs with Eastern Airlines, Walt Disney World, and key destinations in the USA, Mexico, and the Caribbean. He subsequently joined senior management with American Express Vacations where he successfully managed an international marketing and sales team, developed a global travel products line, and implemented cooperatively funded marketing campaigns in partnership with various divisions of the company and global destinations. As part of his leadership responsibilities, Tom also managed American Express Vacation’s national trade show strategies and created a variety of training programs and seminars for retail travel agents and internal customers.
Tom earned his BBA in marketing from Pace University, Lubin School of Business. He and his wife, Natalie, have three children—Tom, Cristina, and Annalee.