Personnel File


Visit Laguna Beach Hires From Within

Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson

Visit Laguna Beach’s eight-year marketing director Ashley Johnson was promoted to succeed Judith Bijlani, the president and chief executive who announced her resignation earlier this year.

Johnson’s new title of director of brand marketing and communications allows her to continue to lead destination marketing efforts and oversee day-to-day operations, Karyn Philippsen, Visit Laguna Beach’s chair said in a statement this week.

Johnson was selected as one of “30 Emerging Leaders Under 30” by the California Travel Association in 2012.

The former visitor’s bureau, which was established in 1986 to promote the town, is 80 percent underwritten by a business improvement district bed tax, paid by overnight visitors. In the year beginning July 1, the organization will receive $885,000 for its operations, a 3 percent increase over the previous year, according to the city budget. Visit Laguna Beach’s staff of seven generated publicity valued at $4.9 million in media coverage, claims the organization’s annual report.

To cater to the needs of locals and visitors alike, Visit Laguna Beach will open an interactive kiosk in its Forest Avenue visitor’s center within Laguna Wine and Coffee and extend its hours until 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays to assist visitors with dinner reservations and hotel bookings.




VFW Names its Officers

The Laguna Beach post of Veterans of Foreign Wars announced a new commander, Frank Daniel, Sr.

Also receiving post positions are Vice Commander Ed Merrilees, Jr. Vice Commander Dick Whittaker, Quartermaster Kim Skelton, Chaplain Norman Abood, and Judge Advocate Bill Sandlin, who is also second trustee.

Sargent of Arms Bill Kremer is also the first trustee. The adjunct/officer of the day is Pete Sandro. The third trustee is Arnie Silverman.

The Auxiliary has announced their officers as well: President, Sandi Guzman, Sr. Vice President, Dorothy Twomey and Jr. Vice President is Nancy Nicely, who is also first trustee. Other officers are Treasurer Jackie Heddlesten, Secretary Toni Abood and the Chaplain Shirley Wickham, who is also second trustee. The guard is Myrna Silverman, and the conductress is Teri Mc Neil who is also third trustee.

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