New Chief Executive Officer for Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - October 1, 2013

Above: Jeff Vasser

By Alexander Britell

MIAMI — Atlantic City tourism official Jeff Vasser will be the next CEO of the Miami-based Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, Caribbean Journal has learned.

Vasser has served since 2002 as president of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority. His decision to accept the CHTA post was also announced by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity,” Vasser told Caribbean Journal. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be back in a region that I love.”

Vasser told CJ that he had a long connection with the region, dating back to work in Venezuela and Margarita Island during graduate school.

His previous projects in the Caribbean have also included consulting on Puerto Rico’s convention centre project and stints as an international election observer in Venezuela and Jamaica for the Carter Center. He even met his wife in Cancun on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, he said.

“I’ve been in the hotel industry all my life and just what I love about my current job is the advocacy and the member services that we do,” he said. “This brings everything I’ve done in the past together, and working with a great group of people and Miami is absolutely a great city, so I couldn’t be happier.”

The move ends months of speculation over who would succeed former CHTA CEO Alec Sanguinetti, who retired at the end of 2012.

“Well, there’s certainly a lot to learn, and to get to know the staff and see how they’re structured and get to know the stakeholders,” Vasser said. “I think that will keep me busy for a while.”

Vasser’s hospitality career has included posts at Choice Hotels International, Laventhol & Horwath and Four Seasons Hotels. He has also served as CFO for Cipriani International in New York and as a senior consultant for the public sector/gaming entertainment group at Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group. He will remain in his position at the ACCVA until Oct. 18. He will start as CEO of the CHTA Nov. 18.

“Jeff Vasser has served this destination well and accomplished many firsts for the Convention Center Division,” said CRDA Executive Director John Palmieri in a release. “We are sincerely thankful for Jeff’s commitment to Atlantic City over the past 11 years and we wish him well in his new professional endeavor.”

Vasser will also be the Director General at the CHTA, which is the region’s leading private-sector tourism trade association.

“We have only had two CEO’s in our 51-year history, so obviously the selection process was very important,” said CHTA President Richard Doumeng. “Jeff brings a wealth of experience, energy, enthusiasm and optimism to our association and we are all delighted that he is joining us. We are eager to get to work on the future of this organization as it plays such a vital role in the region.”

Sources told CJ that the CHTA Board voted to approve Vasser’s appointment on Monday evening.

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