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.

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.

 

Sarah Kruer
Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Sarah Kruer brings more than two decades of experience working with some of the best brands in hospitality to her role as VP, Marketing with Newport Beach & co. As Director of Tourism Development at South Coast Plaza, Kruer was responsible for branding the renowned center as a must-visit destination, as well as increasing overall shopper visitation through a variety of tourism channels.

Previously as VP, Marketing for Preferred Hotel Group, Kruer was responsible for global brand strategy, creative and communications. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Kruer is fluent in French and passionate about travel, having visited more than 20 countries. She possesses an enthusiastic appreciation for great food and wine, interesting people, and memorable music.

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.