Visit Pensacola Search Committee Selects Finalists for President/CEO Position

The Visit Pensacola President/CEO Search Committee has identified two finalists for Visit Pensacola’s permanent President/CEO position.  

Search Committee members Jay Bahkta, Shirley Cronley, Commissioner Robert Bender, David Bear, Ray Palmer, Visit Pensacola Treasurer McKenzie Nicholas, Joe McCay, Dr. Lusharon Wiley and Visit Pensacola Vice-Chair and President/CEO Search Committee chair D.C. Reeves worked alongside search firm SearchWide Global and interviewed seven candidates for the position last week.

The finalists are Lee County (Fort Myers, Fla.) Deputy Director of Economic Development Pamela Johnson and CEO of Visit Big Bear (Big Bear Lake, Calif.) Darien Schaefer.

Both candidates bring more than two decades of hospitality or destination marketing experience. Johnson has previously worked for Lee County Economic Development and the American Cancer Society, among other roles. Schaefer has also worked at Visit Lake Geneva and Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau, in addition to others.

Both finalists will be making a return trip to Pensacola for a final round of interviews before a recommendation is scheduled to be made to the board during the next Visit Pensacola board meeting on Feb. 25. Dates for the final interviews will be announced soon.