BrandUSA finds CMO

Steve’s breakdown: We hope you were listening when we reported “Nationwide search for Brand USA CMO” back in February because you’d be 4 months ahead of everyone else. But if you weren’t, here’s the deal with the new CMO, Yvonne La Penotiere.

WASHINGTON, DC: Brand USA, the public-private partnership responsible for launching the United States’ first-ever nationally coordinated tourism marketing effort, today announced the appointment of Yvonne La Penotiere as chief marketing officer.

La Penotiere will lead the overall marketing efforts to promote the United States as a premier travel destination. In this key leadership role, she will develop the strategies and direct the implementation of Brand USA’s strategic marketing plan and programs including oversight for global partnership development, marketing and services, global research and analytics, and consumer marketing.

“A highly regarded marketing executive, Yvonne brings with her a wealth of experience in marketing travel and consumer goods for world renowned brands,” Chris Thompson, Brand USA CEO. ” Her extensive resume and well documented rise at the Carlson Companies, examples her ability to deliver solid results for our stakeholders.”

La Penotiere has represented such brands as Lipton, Nabisco, Pillsbury, Schwan and The Carlson Companies (now Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group), one of the world’s largest hotel companies. During La Penotiere’s nine years with Carlson, she received several promotions–expanding her responsibilities from vice president, sales and marketing for Country Inns & Suites, to executive vice president of brand marketing, to president of the Americas, to chief branding officer for Carlson Hotels Worldwide. While at Carlson, La Penotiere also gained extensive international experience–managing the company’s relationship with Brussels-based master franchisee Rezidor and leading the company’s global branding efforts across 994 hotels in 70 countries.

Prior to Brand USA, La Penotiere was chief strategy and marketing officer for Comuniquest, a communications consulting company that works with organizations, including leading Fortune 500 companies seeking to increase sales, reduce costs and build brand image.

“I believe in the power of building enduring brands by creating strong, high performance teams. My passion for people is equaled only by my passion for travel and tourism,” La Penotiere noted. “I am proud to have visited all 50 of our United States, as well as 60 other countries spanning all seven continents and I believe that travel is the catalyst for all human understanding and empathy.”

La Penotiere earned a bachelor’s degree from Salisbury University and an MBA from Rutgers University.

For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit For information about travel to and around the United States, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website at

About Brand USA

Brand USA is the public-private partnership responsible for promoting the United States as a premier travel destination and communicating U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures. Established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010, the organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the United States while working in partnership with the travel industry to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel. These benefits include creating jobs essential to the economy and fostering understanding between people and cultures.


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