Organization also announces Executive Committee
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism (SMTT) recently announced the appointment of its two newest board members: Karen Ginsberg and Kera Blades-Snell.
The appointment was announced on September 21 by SMTT, a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures, tourism revenues and local employment opportunities through the promotion of Santa Monica as a travel destination.
“We are pleased to welcome Karen and Kera at such an important time in our recovery. Their strong, community-centered backgrounds and extensive knowledge of Santa Monica will be fundamental in driving SMTT toward its strategic goals,” said Misti Kerns, President and CEO of SMTT.
With a background in city planning, Ginsberg has served in a number of capacities with the City of Santa Monica in both Planning & Development and the Community & Cultural Services. Prior to her retirement in July 2020, she was Santa Monica’s Director of Community and Cultural Services, where she led 190 employees in delivering recreational programs at City parks, beaches, recreation centers and schools. From 1998-2011, Ginsberg was the Assistant Director of Community & Cultural Services where she designed and implemented multiple community outreach initiatives, resulting in significant enhancements to the park and beach systems. Ginsberg holds a bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and a masters from Columbia University. She and her husband have two sons and have resided in Santa Monica for the past 24 years.
Blades-Snell, a native of Belize moved to Santa Monica in 2017 after marrying husband Barry Snell and has been an active community member ever since. She is Member Services Director of the Santa Monica Rotary Club, board member and Gala Chair for the Santa Monica History Museum, board member for Santa Monica College Association and co-founder and Executive Director for Santa Monica Black Lives Association. In addition, Blades-Snell is founder of a full-service marketing agency, Blades & Associates, which is 100 percent minority and women owned business. She is also co-founder and managing partner of Jahvy International, an import/export and investment management company, focused on marketing opportunities available in Belize to create international awareness of products made in country. She is also a certified business coach and enjoys working with startups as well as established business owners.
SMTT also announced the installment of its 22/23 executive committee. It is comprised of: Chair Neil Carrey, Attorney at Law; Vice Chair, Younes Atallah, General Manager, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel; Treasurer, Charlie Lopez-Quintana, Vice President and Managing Director of ETC Hotels; and Secretary, Darlene Evans, Santa Monica resident.
“Congratulations to the new executive committee, as the backbone of the City’s tourism industry, it’s integral to keep ideas fresh and to continually incorporate diverse perspectives from our community,” Kerns said.