Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced the appointment of Asheville native Marshall Hilliard as the organization’s new vice president of sales, a critical role in the recovery and sustainable growth of travel to Asheville.
With award-winning experience in hospitality sales and marketing spanning nearly three decades, Hilliard has held leadership positions with major hotel brands in Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans and Charlotte, including Hilton, Westin, Bissell Hotels and The Ballantyne, part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection. Most recently, he served as area director of sales and marketing for Windsor Hospitality’s Marriott brands, including Renaissance Asheville. He succeeds Dianna Pierce who retired in March after 26 years with Explore Asheville.
Hilliard will lead the team of eight sales professionals responsible for attracting group conferences, events, incentive trips and executive retreats to Asheville. As part of a newly adopted plan for Explore Asheville, proactive group sales efforts will be more closely aligned to the business sectors identified by area economic development partners: advanced manufacturing, outdoor products, climate and environment, life sciences, and office and technology.
“This position generated significant interest from Chicago to Florida and Colorado to North Carolina,” said Victoria “Vic” Isley, president and CEO of Explore Asheville. “We are eager for Marshall to join our talented team. His sales leadership experience and personal knowledge of Asheville will contribute significantly to advancing and serving this very special community.”
A graduate of Appalachian State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in hospitality management, Hilliard begins his new position with Explore Asheville on April 26.