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Tourism Marketing District announces new board of directors candidates

Of existing members, only C. Terry Brown seeks re-election

The San Diego Tourism Marketing District, catching headlines of late due to its clash with Mayor Bob Filner over his insistence on revising an operating agreement negotiated but not signed by the outgoing Jerry Sanders, is due for a nearly complete revamp of its board of directors.

Of the nine current board members, only Chairman C. Terry Brown, who has chaired the board since its inception in 2008, is seeking re-election. A slate of 13 self-nominated candidates, ranging from local industry big shots to individual owners of small bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental operations, will also be presented to membership for selection to the board.

Other candidates include:

Jim Durbin, general manager of the 306-room San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Durbin, active in the local hotel industry for four decades, has previously served as president of the San Diego Hotel Motel association, worked as a director at the San Diego Convention Center, and served on a Governor’s tourism task force.

John Pani, owner of the 23-room Hotel Vyvant in Little Italy, previously worked as an executive with former Padres owner John Moores’s JMI Realty, developing projects such as the Omni San Diego hotel attached to PETCO Park and Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp.

Juergen Oswald, general manager of a 245-room Courtyard by Marriott. Oswald previously sat on the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce board, where he supported development of a tourism maintenance district.

Matt Greene of Evolution Hospitality, which operates the 349-room Hilton Mission Valley and 420-room Hard Rock Hotel. The Hilton has been targeted by labor activists repeatedly in recent months over decisions regarding employee layoffs and allegations of wage theft. Greene is a current member of the San Diego Lodging Industry Association board of directors as well as the Comic Con Advisory Board.

Tom Voss, whose most recent stint in San Diego began as general manager of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in 2004, has served as president of UT San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester’s Grand Del Mar since 2005. The hotel has also been a source of controversy, having been fined multiple times for unauthorized construction, including an illegal helipad.

Gernot Trolf, owner of the Seashore B&B in Mission Beach, Jody Blackinton, general manager of a 245-room Courtyard by Marriott location downtown, Joshua Murphy, general manager of the 40-room Vagabond Inn in Point Loma, Linda York, owner of the Beach Hut Bed & Breakfast on Mission Bay, and vacation rental property owners Isabelle Piccini, Mike Blythewood, Sophie S. Analaei, and Vincent Adamo have also declared their candidacy.

The candidates are set to be certified at a board meeting taking place this morning (April 17), and on Friday ballots will be mailed to paying members of the TMD, who will have until May 31 to vote. Election results are expected to be announced June 14.

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The San Diego Tourism Marketing District, catching headlines of late due to its clash with Mayor Bob Filner over his insistence on revising an operating agreement negotiated but not signed by the outgoing Jerry Sanders, is due for a nearly complete revamp of its board of directors.

Of the nine current board members, only Chairman C. Terry Brown, who has chaired the board since its inception in 2008, is seeking re-election. A slate of 13 self-nominated candidates, ranging from local industry big shots to individual owners of small bed-and-breakfast or vacation rental operations, will also be presented to membership for selection to the board.

Other candidates include:

Jim Durbin, general manager of the 306-room San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Durbin, active in the local hotel industry for four decades, has previously served as president of the San Diego Hotel Motel association, worked as a director at the San Diego Convention Center, and served on a Governor’s tourism task force.

John Pani, owner of the 23-room Hotel Vyvant in Little Italy, previously worked as an executive with former Padres owner John Moores’s JMI Realty, developing projects such as the Omni San Diego hotel attached to PETCO Park and Hotel Solamar in the Gaslamp.

Juergen Oswald, general manager of a 245-room Courtyard by Marriott. Oswald previously sat on the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce board, where he supported development of a tourism maintenance district.

Matt Greene of Evolution Hospitality, which operates the 349-room Hilton Mission Valley and 420-room Hard Rock Hotel. The Hilton has been targeted by labor activists repeatedly in recent months over decisions regarding employee layoffs and allegations of wage theft. Greene is a current member of the San Diego Lodging Industry Association board of directors as well as the Comic Con Advisory Board.

Tom Voss, whose most recent stint in San Diego began as general manager of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in 2004, has served as president of UT San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester’s Grand Del Mar since 2005. The hotel has also been a source of controversy, having been fined multiple times for unauthorized construction, including an illegal helipad.

Gernot Trolf, owner of the Seashore B&B in Mission Beach, Jody Blackinton, general manager of a 245-room Courtyard by Marriott location downtown, Joshua Murphy, general manager of the 40-room Vagabond Inn in Point Loma, Linda York, owner of the Beach Hut Bed & Breakfast on Mission Bay, and vacation rental property owners Isabelle Piccini, Mike Blythewood, Sophie S. Analaei, and Vincent Adamo have also declared their candidacy.

The candidates are set to be certified at a board meeting taking place this morning (April 17), and on Friday ballots will be mailed to paying members of the TMD, who will have until May 31 to vote. Election results are expected to be announced June 14.

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