Visit Sacramento announced President and CEO Steve Hammond will retire from the region’s destination marketing organization on June 30, 2017, at the end of the organization’s fiscal year.
Hammond joined Visit Sacramento in 1999 after serving in leadership roles at the Long Beach and San Jose’s CVBs, as well as several major airlines. Throughout his 18 years in Sacramento, Hammond significantly expanded the organization’s economic impact and scope. During his tenure, Visit Sacramento secured major, multi-year convention and sports business such as the Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Juice Plus, the USA Track & Field Outdoor National Championships and the Junior Olympics.
“Steve has played a pivotal role in putting Sacramento on the map within the tourism industry,” said Visit Sacramento Board Chairman Brian Larson of Halo Hospitality. “Thanks to his leadership, he has created a sense of place that has laid a solid foundation to propel our [business] to the next level.”
Just before Hammond was hired, tourism sales and marketing for the city had been privatized under Visit Sacramento. Throughout his tenure with the organization, Visit Sacramento’s operating budget has grown from $2.2 million to more than $11 million, and the staff has doubled in size to more than 40 sales and marketing professionals. In addition, Visit Sacramento has taken over management of the Sacramento Sports Commission and launched the region’s well-known America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital program, drawing additional tourism impact, national media recognition and visitor spending.
Hammond was asked by the Visit Sacramento board in 2014 to extend his contract through 2017 to maintain continuity through the opening of Golden 1 Center and the initial phases of the community center theater and convention center expansion projects, which he will continue through June.
Hammond’s successor will be selected through a national search process conducted by a special committee of Visit Sacramento’s Board members and other leaders in the Sacramento community. The Board hopes to confirm the name of Hammond’s successor by the spring of 2017.