‘Powerhouse duo’ join Hunden Partners ranks


Hunden partners leadership team expanded Image: Hunden Partners & Newswire

Hunden Partners (Hunden) (US), a full-service, real estate development and tourism consulting firm known for its expertise in placemaking, recently announced that two internationally respected destination leaders have been hired as the Executive Vice-Presidents (EVPs).

‘NEWSWIRE’ stated that Jay Burress joins as the Executive Vice-President of Tourism and Bethanie DeRose, Certified Destination Management Executive CDME, joins as the Executive Vice-President of Consulting, both bringing extensive destination planning and development experience to the firm.

Chicago (US)-based the Hunden Partners is the leading global advisor in destination real estate development. The firm offers a full range of project advisory and execution services including market and financial feasibility, economic and impact analyses, tourism planning and strategy, and development implementation for specialty destination assets such as sports facilities, mixed-use and entertainment districts, convention and expo centers, hotels, entertainment venues, recreation facilities, and other catalytic development projects.

Hunden assists clients to move projects from concept to funding to execution. The company’s clients include Cities, States, universities, destination management organizations (DMOs), authorities, and private developers. Hunden has conducted more than 1,000 studies and has had a hand in the development of over $25 billion in projects around the world.

Remarked Rob Hunden, Hunden head honcho and founder, “We are thrilled to welcome Jay and Bethanie to the team. The number of clients requesting placemaking plans, tourism strategies and feasibility studies for catalytic destination assets continues to grow, so we are expanding our expertise and capacity with top industry leaders to meet the industry’s needs. Nobody is better equipped to advise our DMO clients of all budget sizes to lead the charge in tourism and placemaking in the way that Jay can because he’s been in their shoes. Bethanie’s data-driven approach to consulting on tourism plans, convention center strategies and destination organization advisory has delivered gamechanging results. I can’t wait to create more impact in the communities we serve with the addition of this powerhouse duo.”

Rob Hunden, President, Hunden Strategic Partners, US, is a Member of Coliseum Global Sports Venue Alliance.

‘NEWSWIRE’ further stated that Burress, most recently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Visit Anaheim for 11 years, is a Destination Management Organization (DMO) leader who has transformed destinations like Anaheim in California, Dallas in Texas and Arlington in Texas through placemaking and tourism efforts while furthering the quality-of-life assets for the residents for over 35 years.

He has hosted mega events including the Super Bowl (the annual league championship game of the National Football League [NFL]), the World Cup and the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Games (a basketball exhibition game showcasing 24 of the league’s star players), played a pivotal role in the expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California, and collaborated on the development of the 80,000-capacity AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the evolution of Disneyland.

As the EVP of Tourism at Hunden Partners, his primary focus will be on the development of placemaking plans as he bolsters Hunden’s tourism and DMO services. This includes oversight of the destination development studies and implementation efforts for the clients’ major tourism assets such as the convention centers, sports facilities, destination districts, and major events.

Shared Burress, “I’ve always enjoyed placemaking as a DMO leader and I truly believe that it’s the next evolution in our industry. For the next phase of my career, I intentionally sought an entrepreneurially minded firm with an international reach and an impressive track record, and I am delighted to find all of that in Hunden. My goal is to make Hunden the go-to-resource for placemaking planning and execution.”

DeRose is a highly regarded advisor to tourism, hospitality and convention industry leaders with expertise on both the operations side and the planning side, building strategies for destinations across the United States and internationally. She is known as a research-driven, evidence-based strategist and decision maker with ability to vision with practicality in mind. Currently, DeRose is part of spearheading the largest DMO-led Statewide tourism strategic plan in the United States for Visit California.

Her previous work as the EVP at JLL, co-leading the Global Tourism and Destination Advisory Practice in hundreds of destinations, informs her role at Hunden in overseeing the development and delivery of studies, master plans, strategic plans, and advisory work. Under DeRose’s leadership, that practice has increased five-fold over an eight-year period.

Maintained DeRose, “Many of my projects start as ideas on paper and turn into literal, and philosophical, shovels in the ground. That only happens when good process drives and leads to solutions. I’m excited to support more clients at Hunden as they look to grow their destinations while simultaneously improving the quality of place.”

In addition to her responsibilities at Hunden, DeRose will continue to consult for Visit California’s project, which aims to craft 12 regional tourism strategic plans to assist the tourism stakeholders, the local communities and the civic collaborators in planning for the future of their destinations over the next 10 years.

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