Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 8:30am
(Baltimore, MD) – Visit Baltimore, the official destination sales and marketing organization for Baltimore, today announced the hiring of Sarah L. Schaffer to fill the position of chief marketing officer.
As chief marketing officer, Schaffer will lead the destination’s domestic and international marketing and communications initiatives targeting leisure visitors, meeting professionals and the travel trade to position Baltimore as a world-class meetings and leisure destination. Managing a team of 14, Schaffer will also work with national, regional and local tourism partners to find collaborative opportunities to elevate Baltimore’s brand and deliver value to the tourism industry stakeholders.
Schaffer is a seasoned marketing and communications executive with a diverse background that includes corporate, government and nonprofit experience. She most recently served as managing director for HZDG, Inc., a Maryland-based integrated creative agency with offices in four U.S. cities. In 2015, Schaffer founded HZDG’s content studio and led a 25-person team servicing clients’ digital, publishing, content marketing, social media and brand messaging needs. Clients included Hilton Worldwide, the Washington Redskins, Rockefeller Center and The District Wharf.
“Sarah has a reputation for bold innovation, thoughtful and collaborative leadership and positive change management,” said Al Hutchinson, president and CEO, Visit Baltimore. “I look forward to her contributions in the coming years as we continue to elevate Baltimore’s brand as a top meetings and leisure destination.”
Schaffer began her career in journalism reporting for newspapers including The Baltimore Sun, where she revamped the weekly entertainment tabloid, Live! and contributed to the Sunday arts section. She served as executive editor for numerous glossy lifestyle publications, and as president and publisher for Niche Media’s Capitol File magazine before serving as the chief of marketing and communications for the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. While at the Phillips, she rebranded the museum and reinvigorated its digital presence, while also serving on Destination D.C.’s marketing committee to cultivate and maintain local and national travel and tourism partnerships for the District.
She is the recipient of the 2004 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, known in press circles as the Pulitzer for coverage of the poor; the 2003 Society of Professional Journalists’ National Mark of Excellence Award; and two gold ADDYs for print and social media campaigns in 2016.
“As a lifelong advocate of Baltimore, this new role allows me to shine a positive light on the people, places and experiences that make Baltimore compelling to both locals and visitors alike,” said Schaffer. “I’m honored by the opportunity to lead a talented and committed team in driving integrated marketing and communications initiatives aimed at increasing visitation and spending.”
Schaffer is a two-time graduate of the University of Maryland College Park, earning her master’s degree from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she is also an adjunct professor. She currently resides in Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband, Todd, and two rescue beagles.
Visit Baltimore is the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, please visit www.baltimore.org.