Senior Executives

Gary C. Sherwin, CDME
President & CEO

A 25-year hospitality industry veteran, Gary C. Sherwin, CDME, APR has served as President  & CEO of Visit Newport Beach Inc since 2006. Sherwin is responsible for overseeing the destination marketing organization promoting Newport Beach, California as a premiere luxury conference and leisure destination with offices in Newport Beach, Sacramento, London, and Sydney.

Sherwin is also the Chairman of the Orange County Visitors Association and the past chairman of the board for the California Travel Association, the state’s leading umbrella tourism advocacy organization. Prior to joining Newport Beach, Sherwin served as the Vice President of Market Development for the Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention & Visitors Authority, the Vice President of Marketing for the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Director of Media Relations for the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau.

He has been married for the last 25 years to Liz, a television talent agent. They have two daughters, Lauren, who graduated from Arizona State University and Allyson,  who is currently attending University of Missouri- Columbia

Lily Pearson
Vice President of Finance

Lily Pearson is the Vice President of Finance for Newport Beach & Company.  She brings to the team more than 30 years of accounting experience in financial management and accounting.  She has held executive level positions in both privately-held and non-profit companies with a focus in the banking, technology and service sectors.

Lily graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Accounting and obtained her CPA license in 1984.  She loves cooking, reading and laughing.  She and her husband have four children.

Michelle Donahue, CDME
Senior Vice President of Sales

Michelle Donahue, Senior Vice President of Group Sales for Visit Newport Beach, Inc. has spent more than a decade working alongside a sales team who is dedicated to promoting Newport Beach as the destination of choice for groups.
Donahue’s hospitality background began with hotel property sales for Hilton and Wyndham brands. She later joined the destination marketing industry at Austin Convention and Visitor Bureau prior to settling in Newport Beach.

A graduate from California State University, Chico, with a degree in communications and marketing, Donahue is originally from the Midwest. She loves old homes and found her perfect neighborhood in Floral Park, one of the county’s original neighborhoods in Orange County. She and her husband, who also works in the industry, have three children.

Doug McClain, CDME
Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Doug McClain currently serves as the Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Newport Beach & Company and oversees a diverse portfolio of responsibilities in marketing the city of Newport Beach, California. He is the chief strategist, brand architect and integrated marketing leader for the umbrella organization and business units that include Visit Newport Beach Inc., Dine Newport Beach, Newport Beach TV, Celebrate Newport Beach and Enterprise Newport Beach.

McClain has 25 years of marketing expertise in hospitality, tourism and publishing industries. McClain has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


Katy Dennis
Senior Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships

Katy Dennis joins Newport Beach & Company as the Sr. Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. She brings more than 20 years of media experience in a variety of roles including planning, buying and account management.  Prior to joining Newport Beach & Company, Katy was a cast member with The Walt Disney Company where she led the development of media plans for Disneyland Resorts, Disney Cruise Lines and Adventures by Disney.

Katy holds a BA in Communication Studies from Lynchburg College in Virginia.   She lives in Orange County and spends her time entertaining her three children and paddle boarding with friends.

Sara Gorgon
Senior Director Destination Storytelling

Sara Gorgon has been named Senior Director of Destination Storytelling for Newport Beach & Company. She has a diversified professional background in public relations and marketing communications having worked with some of the world’s leading hospitality companies, including Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts International; on behalf of fabulous Las Vegas as part of the award-winning Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority team at R&R Partners; The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, one of the country’s premier performing arts organizations; and most recently, Lee Business School at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Originally from Michigan, Sara graduated from University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Communications. She also earned an MBA from Lee Business School. In her spare time, Sara enjoys reading interior design blogs, hanging out with her husband, dogs (two twin Pekingese named Rosie and Sophia – aka The Gorgon Girls – after The Golden Girls) and friends, and trying new restaurants.