Senior Executives

Gary C. Sherwin, CDME
President & CEO

A 33-year hospitality industry veteran, Gary C. Sherwin, CDME, APR has served as President & CEO of Newport Beach and Company since 2013 and its tourism business unit, Visit Newport Beach Inc. since 2006.   Sherwin is responsible for overseeing the community marketing organization promoting Newport Beach, California as a premiere luxury destination.

Sherwin also served as the Chairman of the Washington DC-based Destinations International, the trade association for global destination marketing organizations. Sherwin is past chairman of the Orange County Visitor Association and is also the past chairman of the California Travel Association, the state’s leading umbrella tourism advocacy organization. He also sits on the Board of Directors for the US Travel Association. He previously also worked for the destination marketing organizations in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

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.

Ashley Johnson, CDME
Senior Vice President & CMO

Ashley Johnson is an award-winning executive, industry veteran and top businesswoman in Orange County.

Johnson joins Newport Beach & Company with sixteen years of marketing and communications experience in the hospitality industry, having spent the lion’s share of her career in a variety of leadership roles at local DMO, Visit Laguna Beach. Most recently, Johnson headed up the organization as President & CEO, where she oversaw operations, marketing, media relations, community relations, advocacy, staff management/administration and the official visitors center.

Erin Rose
Senior Director of Media Relations

Erin Rose is responsible for driving strategic communications across media relations, social media and corporate communications for Newport Beach & Company and its five business units. Rose has worked in the hospitality industry for over 10 years and in the DMO world for nearly a decade. Rose has a B.A. in Hospitality, Tourism and Events from Metropolitan State University of Denver.