Leila Heller

New North American Meetings Director for VisitBritain

VisitBritain has announced four new appointments in the United States across the organization's business events, trade and communications team. Through the team in the U.S. and across the Americas, the regional priorities include revitalizing Britain’s brand, as well as building new and repeat business to the nations and regions of the UK, the organization said. 
 
Leila Heller has been appointed as meeting and incentives director for North America, based on the West Coast. Reporting directly to Executive Vice President of Americas Gavin Landry and Head of Business Events in London Kerrin MacPhie, Leila will look after leading the growth in business events for the destination in the North American market. 
 
Heller joins VisitBritain from ESA Latin America, a destination management company, where she focused on business development in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, she worked closely with multiple international CVBs, including London & Partners and VisitScotland, DMCs and hotel partners at Arena Destination Marketing.

Lisa Sjolund has been promoted to senior B2B marketing manager for the U.S., based in the Los Angeles office. Reporting directly to Sheelagh Wylie, chief marketing officer for the Americas, this new position will play an important role in developing and executing the U.S. integrated B2B marketing plan, VisitBritain said, leading on trade content and overseeing cooperative marketing partnerships across B2B and B2B2C owned, earned and paid channels. 

Sjolund joined VisitBritain in 2003 as the business development executive for the Western and Central Region. Throughout her 16-year tenure she has worked on the trade and business development side, and prior to the new role, she was the senior travel trade manager for the Western Region, responsible for key account management, travel trade training, product development, travel trade content partnerships and business events.  Prior to joining VisitBritain, Lisa held business tourism, sales and marketing roles with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Park Lane Hotels International and Radisson Hotels International.

Jonathan Heasman has been appointed as travel trade manager, Western Region. Based in the Los Angeles office and reporting to Carl Walsh, director of travel trade North America, Jonathan will be leading bespoke key account management and analysis of key online and offline product distribution intermediaries in the region, as well as delivery of the B2B virtual and live events and missions in market.

Prior to joining VisitBritain, Heasman worked with the tour operator Trafalgar in the customer contact center, where he was responsible for closing sales on inbound leads, as well as the tours and museum assistant manager and tour guide for the Chelsea Football Club in London.

Julia Gordin has been promoted to senior communications manager for the U.S. Based out of New York, and reporting to Sheelagh Wylie, chief marketing officer for the Americas, Julia will develop and implement the annual integrated communications plan for VisitBritain U.S. Looking after consumer, trade and corporate press, she will assist with enabling the delivery of VisitBritain’s strategic PR and communications objectives.

Gordin joined VisitBritain in April 2019 as the communications manager before transitioning into the new role. Prior to that, she was a senior account executive at PR agency Bullfrog + Baum, where she represented DMOs, tourism boards, hotel groups and restaurants.

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