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Visit Sarasota County Meetings and Group Sales Team Expands

29 Jan 2019 12:06 PM | Amy Treis (Administrator)

SARASOTA, Fla. (January 29, 2019) – Visit Sarasota County (VSC) has promoted Ellen Thomas to senior meeting sales manager, and appointed Amanda Walker leisure group sales manager and Allison Jones group sales coordinator. The growth of VSC’s sales department will allow the tourism bureau to better identify, attract and entertain conferences, meetings and groups, resulting in extended stays, large bookings, and an upsurge in first-time visitors to the area.

“It was important for us to grow the sales team for Visit Sarasota County so that we are able to help keep our hotels full during the midweek period,” said Kelly Defebo, VSC’s director of sales. “The business traveler becomes intrigued with all we have to offer here, and often they end up returning so that they can enjoy our amenities with their spouse or families on vacation.”

With the promotion to Senior Meeting Sales Manager, Thomas will lead a team devoted to marketing the destination to meeting professionals and leisure group planners. This will allow VSC to enhance and expand its efforts to strategically target qualified contacts who bring meetings and groups to Sarasota County.

In the newly appointed position of Leisure Group Sales Manager, Walker will work to secure accommodations and community activities for the social, military, educational, religious and fraternal (SMERF) groups market as well as for weddings and travel agents. Previously with The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota sales department, Walker has extensive knowledge of the area, and is passionate about sharing it with these groups. 

As Group Sales Coordinator, Jones assists Thomas and Walker in acquiring leads and showcasing qualities that make Sarasota the best destination for group conferences, meetings and events. A native, alumna of Riverview High School and recent graduate from the University of Florida, Jones is excited to continue to build relationships within the community to enhance her role with VSC.  

About Sarasota County

Visit Sarasota County leads and supports the tourism industry in Sarasota County by providing the highest quality, and most innovative, marketing programs and promotions to ensure the continued growth of tourism and travel from visitors around the world. It is the mission of VSC is to make Sarasota County the must experience destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast. To learn more, visit

8430 Enterprise Circle, STE 140
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

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