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OCCC Hires 3 for Marketing & Communications Dept.

Pictured L-R: Nadia Vanderhoof, OCCC marketing and communications manager, Katarina Dos Santos, OCCC marketing and communications assistant manager and Lynsey Schionning, OCCC marketing and communications coordinator

The Orange County Convention Center continues the strategic growth of its organizational structure by announcing Nadia Vanderhoof as its marketing and communications manager, Katarina Dos Santos as its new marketing and communications assistant manager and Lynsey Schionning as its new marketing and communications coordinator.

Vanderhoof will work with the OCCC executive team on strategies to enhance marketing initiatives at The Center of Hospitality, the second largest convention center in the U.S. She has an extensive background in public relations, marketing and brand innovation. Her career has been enriched with a diverse range of skills and extensive knowledge of the Central Florida region in her prior role as the assistant manager of communications and digital marketing for Orange County Government.

Vanderhoof previously led a team to win numerous state and national industry awards for citizen outreach, community engagement and crisis communications from the Orlando Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, the Public Relations Society of America-Sunshine District, the National Association of Counties, PR Daily-Ragan Communications, the Center for Digital Government and the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In her new role, Vanderhoof will lead marketing, advertising, media relations, and branding strategies to carry out the OCCC’s core mission of economic development. For more than a decade and prior to joining Orange County, Vanderhoof was a multimedia business reporter for the E.W. Scripps Co. in South Florida and a writer for the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times.

“Nadia’s diverse background offers a wide breadth of experience,” says OCCC Deputy Director Yulita Osuba. “Her high-impact collaborative approach will maintain proactive communications with guests, partners and stakeholders and propel our marketing strategies well into the future.”

Dos Santos will be responsible for developing strategic marketing and communications plans for The Center of Hospitality, as well as implementing the Convention Center’s public relations and digital communications strategies to align with the OCCC’s core mission of economic development. She started her career at Orange County Government, where she managed the County’s social media and digital communications initiatives. During her time there, she won numerous local, state and national awards from the Orlando Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, Public Relations Society of America Sunshine District, the National Association of Counties, PR Daily-Ragan Communications and the Center for Digital Government.

“We are excited to welcome Katarina to the Orange County Convention Center,” says OCCC Deputy Director Yulita Osuba. “Her diverse communications background will be an asset to our team as we continue to strategically grow our marketing efforts.”

Schionning will be responsible for developing and coordinating programs to enhance marketing and communications for the Convention Center and its employees. She will support the development of strategic marketing and communications plans for the OCCC to assist in achieving its mission of economic development.

Schionning previously specialized in internal communications at aerospace and defense company Thales Group UK, where she spearheaded a range of employee engagement initiatives. Schionning was responsible for the creation and implementation of a series of strategic internal communications plans. Schionning gained experience in the hospitality industry and served as a Cultural Representative at Walt Disney World. At the United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot, Schionning represented her home country of Northern Ireland through authentic knowledge sharing and interaction with guests.

“We are excited to welcome Lynsey to The Center of Hospitality,” says OCCC Deputy Director Yulita Osuba. “Her diverse background and skillset will benefit our marketing and communications team as we continue to build for the future.”

Vanderhoof graduated from Lakeland-based Florida Southern College with a bachelor’s degree and received her master’s degree in strategic communications from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Dos Santos is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Advertising/Public Relations program. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Mass Communication and has a Certificate in Corporate Communications from UCF. Her experience spans the non-profit, agency, government and corporate sectors with a focus on public relations, digital marketing, social media and brand management.

Schionning obtained her master’s in marketing (MSc) from Queen’s University Belfast and her bachelor’s of science (BSc) in communications, advertising and marketing from the University of Ulster. She also achieved a diploma in International Studies after studying business administration at Spalding University, Louisville, Ky.

The Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention facility in North America and provides approximately $3 billion in economic impact to Central Florida annually. In recent years, the Convention Center has averaged nearly 200 events, including 115 conventions and tradeshows that attract more than 1.4 million attendees to the region each year. For more information about the Orange County Convention Center, visit www.occc.net.

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