Greater Palm Springs, CA (January 9, 2017) — The Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is pleased to announce new staff members and staff changes to meet the needs of our growing tourism industry.

Vicki Higgins has been named the new Director of Destination Development. Her notable career spans more than 20 years and includes executive marketing and business development positions with Newport Beach & Company and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. She is also a Certified Destination Management Executive, a certification held by less than 500 people worldwide. Higgins will work with both city and business partners to develop strategies and tactics that drive the CVB’s Destination Development Plan forward.

Mary Ryan has been named the new National Sales Manager, Mid-West Region for Convention Sales. Most recently, Ryan was the Business Development Manager for Visit KC where she spent the past 10 years.  Ryan brings an extensive knowledge of the Midwest meetings industry to the position. Over her 21-year-career, Ryan has worked as a sales manager for hotel brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont and InterContinental. 

Gary Orfield has been promoted to Director of Travel Industry Sales. He brings nearly 30 years of experience to the CVB’s Travel Industry Sales department, having held executive positions with The Ritz-Carlton, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels. As Director of Travel Industry Sales, Orfield oversees all sales and marketing efforts for the department while managing international accounts in Europe and the golf wholesale segment.

Robyn Gallegos has been promoted to Senior Travel Industry Sales Manager. Following eighteen years of sales for numerous hotel brands in various segments and a brief stint in radio sales, Gallegos began her career with the CVB in 2015. She manages accounts in North & South America, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Lori Gomer has been promoted to Travel Industry Sales Manager. She oversees the daily coordination of the Travel Industry Sales office and serves as the liaison for the California Desert Region Partners. Gomer also manages the CVB’s relationship with AAA and attends many consumer travel shows on the CVB’s behalf. Her experience includes working as Assistant to the Vice President of Harbaugh Hotels at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Racquet Club.

Susan Esterling, Visitor Services and Partnership Manager, has now joined the Destination Services department at the CVB. She continues to oversee the Visitor Center, as well as coordinate partner events and meet-and-sees. Prior to joining the CVB in 2007, Esterling managed operations and purchasing during her 33-year retail career.

Jan Maguire joins the marketing team as Film, Arts and Entertainment Manager. Prior to the CVB, Jan worked as a full-time freelance marketing copywriter for several clients in industries ranging from hospitality and tourism to healthcare, technology and more. In this position, Jan represents the region, in partnership with the Riverside County Film Commission and nine Coachella Valley cities, to attract film, television and all visual media projects for on-location production. She also works closely with the arts and culture community to promote cultural tourism in the destination.


About Greater Palm Springs

The Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism agency for the entire Coachella Valley, providing sales, marketing and promotional efforts targeted to potential leisure and convention group markets. The CVB serves more than 2,000 business partners throughout Riverside County’s nine-city region of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella. For more information on Greater Palm Springs, visit

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