Categorized | After Hours, Breaking News

Visit Jacksonville Welcomes New Board Members

Three New Members Bring Years of Management Experience to City’s Destination Marketing Organization.

vist jacksonvilleVisit Jacksonville, the city’s Destination Marketing Office, has appointed three distinguished industry professionals to its board of directors for 2014.

The new appointees are: Odette Struys, Communications and Public Relations Manager for the Blood Alliance; Michelle Leak, Community Engagement and Longitudinal Care at the Mayo Clinic; and Shannon Dearin, General Manager of the Courtyard by Marriott at Butler Boulevard.

“Visit Jacksonville could not be happier with the new additions to the board,” said Visit Jacksonville President and CEO Paul Astleford. “They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prove invaluable to the board of directors, Visit Jacksonville and the entire Jacksonville community, as they will help shape the way we promote our destination to the world.”

The new board members bring a combined 57 years of experience in their respective fields to Visit Jacksonville. Struys joins the organization’s board with 20 years of experience in the public relations and broadcasting field. Dearin has 20 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry and Leak has 17 years of experience in the healthcare administration field.

The newly appointed board members are very active in the Jacksonville community, as all of them have served on the board of directors of multiple organizations. Struys served on the board for GlobalJax. Leak has served on the board for the Museum of Science and History, the Child Guidance Center and Elder Source. Meanwhile, Dearin currently serves on the board of the North Florida Hotel and Lodging Association as the Vice President of External Affairs.

The Visit Jacksonville bylaws allow board members to serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. Struys and Dearin began their first three-year term as board members in March 2014, while Leak started her first three year term in June 2014.

The Visit Jacksonville board of directors consists of 22 voting members and 12 ex officio members, all industry professionals in the Jacksonville area. The chair of the board is Bill Prescott, principal at Heritage Capital. For a complete list of all 32 members of the Visit Jacksonville board of directors Click Here.


About Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville is a nonprofit marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. Along with its nearly 400 tourism partners, Visit Jacksonville supports a vital and growing component of the local economy – with tourism generating $2.2 billion in direct and indirect economy impact annually and supporting 22,000 jobs that span every sector of the economy.  For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to or contact 800-733-2668.

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