Anaheim is ready for business. A fully-staffed team of destination experts at Visit Anaheim is experts ready to help source your perfect venue. And, you can find us nationwide.
Read on to learn about our team and who your go-to contact is for all things Anaheim and Orange County.

  • Lora Stanley

    Lora Stanley, CTA Vice President of Convention Sales

    How do the verticals in this market benefit by meeting in Anaheim and Orange County?

    All of our customers who select Anaheim for their events benefit from the “Campus Environment” The Grand Plaza makes it easy for their attendees to network and enjoy the benefits of returning to in-person events. Also, the walkability allows them to save on costly transportation.

    Why should the Midwest or any market meet in Anaheim/bring their meeting to Anaheim?

    Anaheim has so much to offer the meeting attendee including our Convention Center which is easy to navigate from an attendee standpoint, full and limited service hotels representing all major brands within walking distance, the Grand Plaza which allows their attendees to network and offers opportunities for creative events outdoors taking advantage of the weather and California sunshine as well as a wide variety of things for attendees to do.

    What’s your favorite local gem in Orange County?

    Poppy and Seed in the Packing District

    Kimberly Mladenik

    Kimberly Mladenik, CTA Director, Convention Sales, Mid-Atlantic Region

    What do you like about your market? 

    I love how tight our industry is in the DC/MD/VA area.  All planners are welcoming, friendly, and excited to discuss their event needs.  Gracious with their time to allow you to educate on all the fabulous benefits of Anaheim as a Convention, Trade Show and Meetings destination.

    How do the verticals in this market benefit by meeting in Anaheim and Orange County?

    Aside from being a very clean and safe destination, there is something here for everyone: great restaurants, an intense craft brewery scene, major sporting events with the Anaheim Ducks (NHL) and Angels of Anaheim (MLB), famous Orange County beaches within 20 minutes, world renowned theme parks and of course, shopping!

    What’s your favorite client interaction/moment in your years working at Visit Anaheim?

    My favorite moments are bringing customers in for a destination site visit when they are considering Anaheim to host their event.  Whether it has been many years since their last visit or their very FIRST visit, the moment they realize what a great destination Anaheim is and why didn’t they consider it sooner? Also, taking customers to Puesto for a tequila flight, classic!

    Julie Rice

    Julie Rice, CMP, HMCC, CTA Director, Convention Sales, Northeastern Region

    What do you like about your market? 

    Most people are surprised to know that I live on the east coast and represent a west coast city/destination as my job.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region? 

    The city is clean and walkable;  the campus layout is key which also reduces the need for shuttles; the “city park” like feel when walking to and from the center; exemplary customer service; the ability to have the focus be on the content of the meeting rather than the overhype of the destination.  

    What’s a local restaurant or dish that ALL visitors must try at least once? 

    La Casa Garcia – family owned and operated. Great food and service!

    Visit Anaheim palm tree

    Karna Zelidon, CTA Convention Sales Director, Northwest Region

    How do the verticals in this market benefit by meeting in Anaheim and Orange County?

    Our experienced and innovative team is here to support the planners in bringing their event vision to life and making the convention or meeting hugely successful. Anaheim's Convention Center has a robust sustainability program in place to assist in offsetting the group's carbon footprint. Thoughtful local community engagement initiatives allow groups to make a positive impact through unique and enriching volunteer projects.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region?

    Flexible and accessible airlift, incredible meeting space flow at the ACC, multiple hotel options within walking distance of the Center, an abundance of activities in the surrounding area for off-site events and team building, and great year-round weather!

    What’s a local restaurant or dish that ALL visitors must try at least once?

    Puesto at The Westin Anaheim Resort, the food and ambiance are amazing; please make sure to ask for their secret taco menu.

    james robinson

    James Robinson, DES, CTA Convention Sales Director, Southwest Region

    Why should the Southwest market meet in Anaheim/bring their meeting to Anaheim?

    The Southwest region of the US has some of the best airports in the country, if not the world which makes getting to Anaheim/ Orange County so easy and convenient. Direct flights are offered to John Wayne Airport from several Southwestern locations. Your attendees will love the ease of getting to Anaheim and will find that it's incredibly cost effective as well with three airports within 30 miles.

    What do you like about your market?

    The Southwest region brings together an incredibly diverse range of groups and clients. My favorite part is showing my clients that there is something for everyone in Anaheim and Orange County. Local restaurants from street tacos to fine dining. From world class shopping to local corner shops. It’s truly an experiential destination with many Instagrammable moments!

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?

    There is so much to see and do here! The best beaches in the world, amazing theme parks, incredible shops and restaurants. I guarantee you won’t be bored, and you’ll want to come back!

    david dew

    David Dew, CTA Director, Convention Sales Midwest Region

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region?

    Anaheim is the perfect place to host conventions for many reasons. Anaheim is accessible by 4 airports including John Wayne airport which is about 15 minutes away. Anaheim is home to the largest convention center on the West coast and has the hotel package to back it up, including 2500 rooms just steps away between two hotels. Attendees and exhibitors will have restaurants and attractions available that are walkable or a short ride away. When you add all that to the Southern California weather, well, it’s hard to beat.

    What do you like about your market?

    I love the Midwest market.  There are great people and organizations within the Midwest that I get to talk to on a regular basis.

    What's your favorite thing to do in Anaheim with a group of friends or family?

    As a new member to the Visit Anaheim team, I saw that there is hot air ballooning in the area.
    When I do get to bring my family to Anaheim that will be on our list of things to do.

    Visit Anaheim palm tree

    Tom Michalisko, CTA Convention Sales Director, Mid-Atlantic Region

    What do you like about your market?

     I love the diversity in this market; they say there is an association for everything, which is true.  While that, in itself, is interesting, I thrive on learning the special interests and concerns of the members, how that informs the strategic plan of the organization and drives the content and format of the resulting events.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region? 

    Many organizations like to meet where their industry is well-represented.  Of course, Anaheim is world-renowned for being the home of Disneyland; it’s a great asset, but there is so much more.   Healthcare and Social Assistance is Orange County's largest industry sector employing nearly 200,000 people among nearly 17,500 establishments. This is followed by Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Information Technology and Digital Media, Advanced Transportation and Renewable Energy.  Combine that with the largest convention center on the west coast, a wide variety of activities for pre- and post- event experiences, and the beautiful California sunshine for outdoor networking and the exchange of ideas….what else is there to say?

    What’s your favorite local gem in Orange County?

    I love good food and drink, and still have a lot to explore in Anaheim. Spending time at the Anaheim Packing House, browsing, sampling, pre-gaming it at BXCR Wine Bar and then sneaking into the Blind Rabbit speakeasy for a classic cocktail, followed by a “no traffic”  al fresco dinner at Poppy and Seed. That was a good day!

  • Mariles Krok

    Mariles Krok, CMM, CMP, CTA Vice President, Meeting & Partnership Sales

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals across the nation?

    Anaheim is the perfect place to meet for business verticals across the nation because we are perfectly situated between Los Angeles & San Diego, thus being able to draw attendance as a central Southern California destination, easily accessible from John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, LAX, or Ontario.

    Why should any market meet in Anaheim/bring their meeting to Anaheim?

    We have hotels throughout Orange County with ample meeting space for every budget in mind, we have great weather year round thus a draw for attendance, and we have plenty of things to do in our surrounding area which also contributes to growing attendance.

    What’s your favorite client interaction/moment in your years working at Visit Anaheim?

    IPW closing reception at Disneyland, we shut down the newest Star Wars Attraction for IPW attendees and IPW event at Huntington Beach with Snoop Dogg

    Kerensa Summers

    Kerensa Summers, CTA Manager, Meeting Sales, Southwest Region

    What do you like about your market?

    The best part about my market is being able to sell in my “backyard”. Being based in Southern California I love knowing that my clients can count on me to be a true Destination expert.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region?

    Anaheim is the perfect place for clients in my market because we’re in the heart of Southern California. There’s a ton of great products in Southern California and having Anaheim being at the center of it all helps my clients avoid any possible “FOMO” when planning their events.

    What’s your favorite client interaction/moment in your years working at Visit Anaheim?

    I hosted an event at the Disneyland Resort in April of 2022. During that event we had a special viewing of World of Color. Seeing the awe on my client’s faces while some of them sang along to the songs made the moment so special – you could really feel the Disney magic.

     

    Isaac Gutierrez

    Isaac Gutierrez, CTA Manager, Meeting Sales, Northwest Region

    What do you like about your market?

    Being in the Northwest Market, I love how varied my client base is. I have everything from State Business and Association to some of the largest tech companies in the world.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region?

    Anaheim is the perfect place for an event because of the variety of hotels we have in Anaheim and how many sleeping rooms we have in close proximity to each other. We have large Luxury products and smaller cost effective hotels. Also two Disneyland property hotels! We also are a great price point, falling not only geographically but financially between San Diego and Los Angeles, providing our destination as a great option for groups across all verticals

    What’s your favorite local gem in Orange County?

    While not quite in Anaheim, if you travel 30 miles outside of Anaheim and into South Laguna Beach, you’ll find the 1,000 steps beach. Compared to Huntington and Newport Beach, it feels like a private beach with how secluded it is. It has phenomenal views, tide pools and sea caves!

    Quincy Smith

    Quincy Smith, CTA Manager, Meeting Sales, Midwest Region

    What do you like about your market?

    I love the Midwest market because it really is close knit about long developed relationships.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region?

    The weather is unmatched, the best air lift in the country and add Disney and the beaches and you have an ideal destination!

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?

    The meetings team can help source meetings all though Orange County, beyond Anaheim and Orange County.

    Sue Stemley

    Sue Stemley, CTA Manager, Meeting Sales, Eastern Region

    What do you like about your market? 

    I have the privilege of working with customers who, over the years, have become friends.

    Why is Anaheim the perfect place to meet for the business verticals in your region? 

    Anaheim/Orange County is the perfect destination because our team is back!  We’re ready to work with you, to be your sounding board and assist with anything you might need to create and deliver the attendee experience you desire.

    What’s your favorite client interaction/moment in your years working at Visit Anaheim? 

    My favorite moment/s: listening to customer’s effusive comments about how our destination and partners come together to create such a collaborative and hospitable community experience.

  • Sonya Henry

    Sonya Henry, CTA Director, Destination Services & Events

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?

    Besides the beautiful sunny weather, Disneyland and the Angels Baseball Team, Anaheim, CA is one of the most popular and fastest growing cities in the country’s beer scene. Anaheim has more breweries than any city in Orange County. All breweries in Anaheim are unique and special in their own way. From Superhero themed tap rooms to mad scientists pouring fresh brews in chemistry beakers. It’s never a dull moment in this beer loving city. Visit my favorite, Golden Road Brewery and check out the expansive open floor plan, it’s the perfect place for fun, food, and great beer.

    What's your favorite thing to do in Anaheim with a group of friends or family?

    Poppy and Seed is a perfect place to brunch. Love the aesthetics, a greenhouse eatery that evolves with each harvest. Amazing dining experience serving upscale American plates & cocktails. The restaurant is located in Anaheim’s bustling Packing District where you can enjoy a stroll before or after dining at Poppy and Seed.

    Christina Domino-Philpott

    Christina Domino-Philpott, CMP, CTA Manager, Destination Events

    What is your favorite memory in Anaheim? 

    Visiting Disneyland with my grandparents as a kid. Enjoying the more subtle attractions and sights, like the railroad train and walking through New Orleans Square; enjoying the bustling excitement of the many other visitors. 

    What’s a local restaurant or dish that ALL visitors must try at least once? 

    The Blind Rabbit at The Packing District. If you enjoy a good speakeasy living room atmosphere and talented mixology, this is the place for you! They serve a full menu. Be sure to make reservations.

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?  

    We extend hearty hospitality and are central to everywhere! You can visit all the major attractions from Los Angeles to San Diego, the beaches, the mountains, and the multi-cultures of the people all from the hub of Anaheim. Not to mention, the sun is always shining

    Melanie Pollak

    Melanie Pollak, CTA Manager, Destination Events & Services

    What’s your favorite client interaction/moment in your years working at Visit Anaheim?

    My favorite client moment happens during the course of the site visits when I get the chance to sit down with them at lunch or during a coffee break and find out about them, personally. Having the opportunity to get to know planners and finding out what we have in common, whether it’s music or places that we’ve traveled to or the fact that we have kids around the same age, is just nice for that connection. I also like to find out what the goals are for their event, so that I can figure out, from a Services standpoint, what we can do to make it as successful as possible, and utilize our Anaheim resources and partners to do it.

    What is your favorite memory in Anaheim?

    There are so many; my husband taking me on Space Mountain when we were engaged just to see how I would do on rollercoasters, taking my daughters to Disneyland for the first time when they were little, the Ducks winning the Stanley Cup in 2007, fun date nights at the Packing House, our 15 year anniversary dinner at Anaheim White House. We have many great memories in Anaheim.

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?

    There are so many great things to do in Anaheim! From Disney to professional sports to an award-winning microbrewing scene, if you’re a foodie, there are really fantastic culinary experiences, if you like day trips we are in proximity to beaches, mountains, wine country, we also have world class touring entertainment and some fantastic shopping, and all of what Anaheim and Orange County has to offer is within a reasonable distance and easily accessible.

    Tracy Tsang

    Tracy Tsang Manager, Destination Services & Events

    What is your favorite memory in Anaheim?

    My favorite memory in Anaheim is purchasing my first home with my husband in 2018. Our townhouse is a brand new development in Platinum Triangle and it was very special to see our home built from the ground up.

    What’s your favorite local gem in Orange County?

    My favorite local gem in Orange County is the speakeasy bar located inside of the Anaheim Packing House called The Blind Rabbit. Their handcrafted cocktails are truly one of a kind and their duck confit mac & cheese is a must try! Be sure to make reservations early and look for the black rabbit door handle.

    What's your favorite thing to do in Anaheim with a group of friends or family?

    My favorite thing to do with friends or family in Anaheim is to attend a concert or comedy show at the House of Blues or Honda Center. We also enjoy trying local restaurants and my absolute favorite is Lola’s by MFK for an authentic Filipino brunch. My go-to items are the ube pancakes, tocino (sweetened pork) breakfast bowl, and ube horchata beverage.

    Jackie Mayeda

    Jackie Mayeda, CTA Specialist, Destination Services & Events

    What’s your favorite local gem in Orange County?

    Anaheim Packing House

    What’s a local restaurant or dish that ALL visitors must try at least once?

    Los Sanchez Mexican Restaurant

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?

    We are a vibrant welcoming community!

    Visit Anaheim palm tree

    Carmen Mercado, CTA Coordinator, Destination Services & Events

    What’s a local restaurant or dish that ALL visitors must try at least once?

    A local restaurant that all visitors must try at least once is Porto’s! Their Cheese Rolls are so addictive.

    What's something you want clients to know about Anaheim/Orange County?

    Something I want Clients to know about Anaheim and all of Orange County is that there is so much to do! From Disneyland to the Packing House, to the beaches, there is so much fun to be had.

    What's your favorite thing to do in Anaheim with a group of friends or family?

    My favorite thing to do in Anaheim with my friends and family is to spend the day in Disneyland! A close second would be to attend a concert at the Honda Center.