Nancy Helman has taken over as director of the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, the top position at the organization.
The first woman to lead the city's tourism program, Helman was appointed as interim director in November 2020. Before that, she was director of the VBCVB's sports marketing program, which she helped launch in 1999. In that position, she managed the planning and development of the Virginia Beach Sports Center and secured the venue as the host site for four NCAA men's and women's indoor track and field championship events, which will take place in 2023-26. Helman received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina and also is a certified sports event executive professional, a designation she earned from the Sports Events and Tourism Association.
The bureau also has named Lauren Townsend as vice president of marketing and communications. Townsend has been the director of marketing and teh interim vice president of marketing communications at the VBCVB for nearly five years. She was previously the marketing manager at VisitNorfolk and the account manager for the Virginia Tourism Corp. at the BCF agency.
"Nancy and Lauren both offer a wealth of talent, experience and Virginia Beach expertise to administer our multifaceted destination marketing efforts," said Taylor Adams, deputy city manager of Virginia Beach. "They have proven their ability to lead and skillfully position the city as a desirable destination for year-round visitors. Under their guidance, Virginia Beach tourism successfully weathered a challenging year."