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San Francisco Travel Association Names Jon Ballesteros
to New Vice President, Public Policy Position

Jan. 26, 2012
– The San Francisco Travel Association has named Jon Ballesteros to the newly-created position of Vice President, Public Policy.

Beginning his new role on Feb. 6, 2012, Ballesteros will be the "voice" of the 16 million visitors the city receives each year.  He will help to create, direct and implement public policy decisions and priorities, with a seat at the table in discussions impacting the future of San Francisco as a destination.

Ballesteros will work closely with representatives of all levels of government, potential developers, neighborhood and business groups, and various public and private agencies to ensure the enhancement of the visitor experience in San Francisco.  He will also be involved with projects such as the expansion of the Moscone Center and promote other travel and tourism infrastructure projects that are identified as industry priorities.

“This new position is crucial for the success of our organization, our industry and our city,” said Joe D’Alessandro, San Francisco president and CEO.  “Tourism fuels San Francisco’s economy, generating over 67,000 jobs and contributing $485 million to the City and County, including the General Fund.   To keep that economic engine running, the visitor experience needs to be considered in every decision affecting the city.”

“Jon Ballesteros is a perfect match for our needs,” D’Alessandro said.   “With his experience on the local, state and national levels, he will be a vigilant and productive voice for the association and San Francisco’s tourism industry.  He will be our liaison to all aspects of the public and private sectors on policies that could impact our mission.”

Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generates in excess of $8.3 billion annually for the local economy.

Ballesteros’ background in governmental and external affairs includes positions with the Port of Oakland, LS9, Inc. (a biotechnology company developing renewable fuels and sustainable chemicals), Wells Fargo & Company and Golden Eagle Refinery (directing government relations and public affairs in California for Tesoro Corporation and Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corporation).

In the Bay Area, Ballesteros has held positions with San Francisco International Airport, the City and County of San Francisco and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Public Transportation Commission, Equality California and Project Open Hand.

“These are very exciting times because the travel and tourism sector will play a critical role in our region’s economic recovery.  I look forward to working with City leaders in both the public and private sectors to strengthen San Francisco’s reputation as a global business center and tourist destination,” Ballesteros said.

Ballesteros completed coursework for a Masters of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, and graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Economics from Claremont McKenna College.

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  With more than 1,500 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country.

The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103.  San Francisco Travel also operates the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets.  For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit www.sanfrancisco.travel.
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Contact: 

Laurie Armstrong 
Director, Media Relations-US & Canada
201 Third Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA  94103-3185
T  415.227.2615
larmstrong@sanfrancisco.travel


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Also See: Meeting Professionals International Selects San Francisco for 2015 World Education Congress Bringing 3,200 Convention and Meeting Planners to the City in July 2015 / August 2011

San Francisco Travel Association Releases Economic Impact Figures for 2010 and Results of Year-long Visitor Profile Research; Visitors Up 3.1% and Visitor Spending Up 6.2% from 2009 / March 2011

San Francisco CVB Releases 2009 Tourism Figures; Visitors to San Francisco Down 5.8%, Visitor Spending Down 7.8% from 2008 / March 2010

San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau Reports Visitor Spending Up 3.3% for 2008 / May 2009
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