Visit Laguna Beach, Southern California’s premier coastal destination, announced the appointment of Rachel O’Neill-Cusey as CEO, effective November 14, 2022. Additionally, longtime employee Anne-Marie Schiefer was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Sales.
O’Neill-Cusey is joining the Orange County beach destination from neighboring beach destination organization, Visit Dana Point, where she served as Director of Sales & Marketing, overseeing all group sales, leisure sales, marketing, and public relations efforts for the organization. Prior to Visit Dana Point, O’Neill-Cusey maintained several sales roles within the Orange County hospitality community including The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel and Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point.
“Laguna Beach is a year-round destination, offering so many things to so many people,” said Karyn Philippsen, Visit Laguna Beach’s Board of Directors, Founding Chair. “As a retreat for art lovers, outdoor adventurers, beachgoers, families, and people searching for romance, Rachel as our new CEO will help inspire a new crop of visitors searching to fulfill their wildest vacation dreams in Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach is already one of the top domestic destinations in the U.S. and under Rachel’s leadership, that position will continue to grow and flourish shining a light on all we have to offer for new and returning visitors.”
Laguna Beach will continue to develop impacting programs under O’Neill-Cusey’s leadership including the developing partnership with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics exploring a comprehensive stewardship initiative that protects Laguna Beach’s natural resources by educating and empowering visitors, residents, and a network of local partners. The Leave No Trace program is the most widely recognized and accepted stewardship education program on public lands in the United States and provides a proactive method for minimizing impacts that would otherwise lead to environmental degradation.
As Visit Laguna Beach’s newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Sales, Schiefer will continue amplifying Laguna Beach’s destination attributes through creatively concepted and executed, award-winning marketing programs. The destination’s Board of Directors will continue to oversee the destination’s plans and is composed of representatives from lodging businesses, a city representative, and independent professionals with an interest in the visitor industry, all who support the efforts of telling the Laguna Beach story.