Napa Valley, July 27, 2021—Visit Napa Valley, the official destination management organization for Napa County, is ramping up for tourism’s rebound by welcoming five new staff members.
“With Napa Valley reopened for tourism, visitors are increasingly turning to Visit Napa Valley for important travel information about what’s changed and how to make the most of their experience in Napa Valley,” said Linsey Gallagher, president and CEO of Visit Napa Valley. “With a vibrant tourism industry once again contributing to our community’s financial stability and residents’ quality of life, we are looking forward to continuing our long-term economic development strategies. I am confident we have a strong and enthusiastic team in place to accomplish our near and long-term goals.”
In 2018, visitors spent $2.2 billion in Napa Valley. That spending supported 16,000 jobs throughout the valley and $85 million in tax revenue for essential services like public safety, infrastructure, development, and more. With virtually no restrictions on tourism remaining, travel in Napa Valley will safely rebound and the economic impact of tourism will continue to trend upwards.
Joining the Visit Napa Valley team are:
Brice Gosnell, Director of Marketing
Brice Gosnell has been named Director of Marketing and will lead Visit Napa Valley’s paid, owned, and earned marketing efforts, including the rollout of Visit Napa Valley’s new brand campaign in the Fall of 2021. With over 20 years of experience managing consumer-facing travel brands, Gosnell brings extensive branding and strategic marketing expertise to Visit Napa Valley. Most recently, Gosnell was head of the Americas at Australian-based Luxury Escapes where he led initiatives to scale the Americas business. He previously served as vice president of brand marketing at Travana, a startup focused on sustainable travel, and spent almost nine years at Lonely Planet as head of global content, digital publishing, and brand marketing. Brice is an alumnus of St. Louis University.
Rebecca Merry-Barrango, Business Development and Sales Manager
A Napa Valley native with more than 25 years in travel and tourism sales, Merry-Barrango returns to Visit Napa Valley in the role of business development and sales manager. In her new position, she will help promote Napa Valley’s premier wine, food, arts, and wellness attractions to leisure and group markets worldwide. Prior to the pandemic, Merry-Barrango was a member of the Visit Napa Valley staff team for eight years, holding roles at the Napa Valley Welcome Center and with the VNV sales team, focusing on the luxury leisure travel market. Merry-Barrango’s prior experience also includes sales positions with San Diego Tourism Authority and United Airlines. She is a graduate of Chico State University.
Jackie Simion, Executive Office Manager
Jackie Simion has been named executive office manager and will provide CEO administrative support and oversee daily office operations, including coordinating Visit Napa Valley’s board of directors and governance. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Simion most recently served as a special project advisor for Chahil Global Marketing and Innovations Advisory where she gained experience in administrative operations by supporting a global team and multiple clients. Prior, she was a legal intern in global legal shared services for NetApp.Inc. She was also an engineering intern at NASA Ames Research Center.
Lily Shindle, Guest Experience Associate
As guest experience associate for the Napa Valley Welcome Center, Lily Shindle will assist visitors with travel information and insider tips while also providing retail support for the Napa Valley Welcome Center’s Mercantile shop. Shindle joins Visit Napa Valley from Four Sisters Inn where she served as a front desk and concierge associate. Her experience also includes wedding and event coordination for Cass Vineyard and Winery, as well as serving on the grand-opening task force for Pacific Hospitality Group, which operates Meritage Resort & Spa and Vista Collina Resort & Spa. Shindle is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.
Lauren Turigliatto, Guest Experience Associate
Lauren Turigliatto also joins the Visit Napa Valley team as guest experience associate at the Napa Valley Welcome Center. Based in Napa since 2009, Turigliatto most recently honed her hospitality skills as an assistant manager for Magic Memories. She looks forward to tapping into her background in storytelling as a film editor to help inspire visitors on their discovery of Napa Valley. Turigliatto is a graduate of San Francisco State and Bournemouth University.
For more information on Visit Napa Valley visit www.visitnapavalley.com.
About Visit Napa Valley
Visit Napa Valley is the official destination management organization for Napa County with a mission to promote, protect and enhance the region’s position as an attractive travel destination and enhance its public image as a dynamic place to visit, live and work. The Napa Valley, conveniently located just an hour from the San Francisco Bay Area, consists of distinctive towns, from north to south, Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford/Oakville, Yountville, the city of Napa, American Canyon, and the outdoor recreation area of Lake Berryessa.
Prior to the pandemic, the Napa Valley welcomed 3.85 million visitors, who spent $2.23 billion and provided $85.1 million in tax relief to residents. The tourism industry remains the second largest employer in Napa County, after the wine industry, supporting the livelihood of 16,000 people in the community, with a combined payroll of nearly $500 million.