Senior Leadership

David Gilbert,
President & CEO

David Gilbert took over the top spot at Destination Cleveland, the region’s convention and visitors bureau, in 2011. He simultaneously serves as president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, which pursues amateur athletic events.

Gilbert earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from The Ohio State University and an M.B.A. from Cleveland State University.

Earlier in his career, Gilbert helped plan and market Cleveland’s lakefront district as executive director of North Coast Harbor, Inc. He also worked as director of corporate development for The Cleveland Play House. During an earlier stint at the visitors bureau, Gilbert developed two new, full-service visitor information centers and a nationally recognized welfare-to-work, hospitality career training program.

He serves on numerous boards, including for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

When not busy extolling the virtues of Cleveland, Gilbert likes to travel, train for marathons and hang out with his family.

Hannah Belsito,
Vice President of Destination Development & Community Affairs

Hannah Belsito leads a team focused on improving visitors’ experiences through wayfinding and connectivity efforts, programs that engage the hospitality community and residents and a variety of other development initiatives.

Belsito holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning, Design & Development with a specialization in historic preservation from Cleveland State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from John Carroll University. Belsito has over 10 years of experience in civic engagement. Prior to joining Destination Cleveland, she was Program Director of The Cleveland Leadership Center’s Cleveland Bridge Builders program and worked for two programs of The Cleveland Foundation.

She’s lived in the Cleveland area for nearly 15 years and is a member of Lakewood’s Planning Commission.

Michael Burns,
Senior Vice President of Convention Sales & Services

Michael Burns oversees a sales team charged with bringing meetings and conventions to Cleveland.

Even though he joined Destination Cleveland in March 2012, Burns comes to the organization with three decades of experience. He’s got guru status when it comes to the hospitality industry.

Burns spent 22 years with Conferon (now Experient), a nationally known meeting planning company, as well as several years as executive vice president with DMI Hotels.

Born in Chicago, Burns moved to the Cleveland area in 1984. He’s an active member of the Professional Convention Management Association.

Leslie Graf,
Vice President of Finance & Administration

Leslie Graf is responsible for keeping tabs on all financial aspects of the organization. She also oversees Destination Cleveland’s finance, human resources and information technology staff, and oversees the administration of a 30-member board of trustees.

Before joining Destination Cleveland in 2007, Graf worked as an audit manager, specializing in the not-for-profit industry, and as a litigation consultant for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Cohen and Company and Deloitte and Touche.

A lifelong Clevelander, except for a period when she lived in Atlanta and Roanoke, Graf earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Cleveland State University.

Colette Jones,
Vice President of Marketing

What makes Cleveland special? And how can the Destination Cleveland best spread the word? Colette Jones thinks about these things on a daily basis.

She came to Destination Cleveland after working as a marketing consultant for small, local businesses, and in sales and brand management for large corporations such as KeyBank, ConAgra Foods and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

Born in Shaker Heights, Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and an M.B.A. in Marketing from The Ohio State University. She’s an active member of The Historic Gateway Board and the Advisory Board for Campus International School, a Cleveland Metropolitan School District Innovative School.

Jennifer Valencic,
Director of Partnerships

Jennifer Valencic joined Destination Cleveland in 2013 and is charged with overseeing a team in charge of recruiting partners and spotting synergistic opportunities.

Before joining the organization, she was a Program Manager for Junior Achievement of Greater Cleveland for over 5 years.

Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications from Ohio University.

Board of Trustees

Teri Agosta
General Manager
Hilton Downtown Cleveland-Convention Center Hotel

Bruce Akers
Former Mayor
City of Pepper Pike

Justin Bibb
Managing Principal
Morris Strategy Group

Julie Boland
Managing Partner
Ernst & Young

Campbell Black

Micki Byrnes
General Manager

Art Falco
President and CEO

Robert Falls
President and CEO
Falls Communications

Adam Fishman
Managing Partner
Fairmount Properties

Karen Gahl-Mills
Executive Director
Cuyahoga Arts and Culture

Fred Geis
Geis Companies

Greg Harris
President and CEO
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Jamie Hill
General Manager
Marriott Hotel-Downtown Cleveland

Nathan Kelly
Director of Innovation & Strategic Initiatives
Office of the County Executive Armond Budish

Jerry Kelsheimer
President and CEO
Fifth Third Northeastern Ohio

Len Komoroski
Cleveland Cavaliers

Joe Kubic
The Adcom Group

Mark Leahy
General Manager
FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland &
Global Center for Health Innovation

Paul Matsen
Chief Marketing Officer
Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Valarie McCall
Chief of Government Affairs
City of Cleveland

Bob Megazzini
General Manager
Westin Cleveland

Bernie Moreno
Bernie Moreno Companies

Jon Pinney
Managing Partner
Kohrman, Jackson and Krantz

Chris Ronayne
University Circle Incorporated

Baiju Shah
BioMotiv LLC

William (Bill) Summers
Director and Advisor

Rachel Talton
Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research

Jason Therrien

Daniel Walsh
Citymark Capital

Brian Zimmerman
Executive Director
Cleveland MetroParks

Ann Zoller
Executive Director
LAND studio

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Destination Cleveland
334 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
800. 321. 1001
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