Visit Jacksonville adds new Members to Board of Directors

Community & Tourism Leaders Oversee Efforts to Promote & Sell Jacksonville to the World

Jacksonville, FL February 5, 2021-- Visit Jacksonville, the City’s non-profit Destination Marketing Organization, announced today three new members of their Board of Directors. The Board provides oversight to the organization’s efforts as it promotes and sells Jacksonville as a top destination for leisure and business travel.

New members include:

  • Captain Sandy Yawn, Maritime Captain, BravoTV Personality, Restauranteur
  • Sheriff Mike Williams, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Alex Alston, FIS - Managing Director, Corporate Markets

The Visit Jacksonville Board of Directors Elected Officials includes:

  • Board Chair: Ken Babby, President & CEO, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
  • Chair Elect: Tony Vecchio, Executive Director, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
  • Treasurer: Patrick Krechowski, Attorney, Balch & Bingham, LLP

Visit Jacksonville is also very excited to welcome the rest of the Board of Directors for 2021:

  • Bill Prescott, CPA/Principal, Heritage Capital
  • Brian London, President & CEO, London Tourism Publications
  • David Mariotti, General Manager, One Ocean Resort Hotel & Spa
  • Josh Harrison, Vice President, Murphco of Florida
  • Warren Jones, School Board Member District 5, Realtor

“This group of dedicated Jacksonville business and community leaders are helping us make tourism a priority for our city and guiding our efforts as we strive to make Jacksonville one of the top visited destinations in Florida as we emerge from the global pandemic,” said Michael Corrigan, President and CEO of Visit Jacksonville. “We thank each of them for their passion and commitment to tourism in our city, and for being involved and truly engaged. Their ideas and leadership are taking our organization into new territory by forcing us to think even bigger while we promote Jacksonville to the world.”

Further information about the new board members:

Captain Sandy Yawn
Captain Sandy Yawn continually uses her experience and life’s trials and tribulations to educate and help others. She survived a life-threatening motorcycle accident, a fire onboard a super yacht in the Red Sea, pirate invasion, and cancer. You may know her from her numerous television appearances including The Steve Harvey Show, and the Emmy Award winning talk show The Doctors. Yawn’s current role is as Captain on the hit reality show Below Deck Mediterranean, on the wildly successful Bravo Network.
Captain Sandy’s resilience and drive has not only propelled her to the top of the super yacht industry allowing her to focus on philanthropic causes including ocean advocacy and projects near to her heart like children’s education, and programs for children with learning disabilities. Fifty percent of all sales from the Captain Sandy merchandise line is donated to The Jacksonville School for Autism, a non-profit organization. Captain Sandy is building a new restaurant in Downtown Jacksonville, Maritime 618, with a nautical theme featuring yacht-style cuisine and intercontinental seafood and cultural fare.

Sheriff Mike Williams
Sheriff Mike Williams was born and raised in Jacksonville. He served in the Air National Guard and began his successful career at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 1991.

As a young patrol officer, he rode “a beat” in downtown Jacksonville, where he developed relationships with citizens and business leaders, believing early in his professional life that connecting with citizens was very important to the success of what the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was trying to accomplish – reducing and solving crime together with citizens who are engaged with their officers. He quickly developed a reputation as a police officer who cares about people and who likes to work with citizens to solve their public safety issues.

Sheriff Williams worked his way up the ranks and was appointed Director of Investigations and Homeland Security. He retired from service in July 2014 as the appointed Director of Patrol and Enforcement, and in 2015, Mike Williams was elected as Sheriff of Jacksonville.

Alex Alston
Alex is a Jacksonville native, with over 15 years of experience in sports, entertainment and destination marketing. He began his career in Gainesville, FL at the Gainesville Sports Commission working to secure sporting events to drive economic impact. He moved on to run the Tulsa Sports Commission as their Executive Director. A desire to be closer to family led him to ASM Global (formerly SMG), to serve as the Director of Sales and Marketing for the City-owned sports and entertainment facilities here in Jacksonville, which he did for 7 years before he recently accepted a new role at locally headquartered fintech leader, FIS, as Managing Director, Corporate Markets with a focus in Sports and Entertainment. Alex lives in Atlantic Beach with his wife Rachel, and 3 boys (Theo, Eli, and Grady).

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About Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville is a Destinations International accredited Destination Marketing Organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Jacksonville. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to www.VisitJacksonville.com or contact 800-733-2668.