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Visit Sacramento names veteran staff member as CEO

Incoming CEO Mike Testa will oversee Visit Sacramento’s role in booking conventions, meetings and trade shows for the Sacramento Convention Center, pictured here in 2013, among other duties.
Incoming CEO Mike Testa will oversee Visit Sacramento’s role in booking conventions, meetings and trade shows for the Sacramento Convention Center, pictured here in 2013, among other duties.

After a nationwide search for a new chief executive officer, Visit Sacramento decided the best candidate was already on staff.

Mike Testa, chief operating officer, will become president and CEO July 1. He will succeed Steve Hammond, who is retiring after leading the organization since 1999, according to a Visit Sacramento news release.

Testa has worked for Visit Sacramento, Sacramento’s convention and visitors bureau, since 2001. He was hired as director of public relations and promoted to leadership roles in consumer marketing, convention sales and business development. Testa previously worked for the Downtown Sacramento Partnership from 1998 to 2001, directing public relations and marketing activities.

“Over the past decade Visit Sacramento has achieved record bookings in convention and sports events and recognition as America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” said Brian Larson, Visit Sacramento’s board chairman and principal of Halo Hospitality, in a written statement. “Mike Testa possesses the vision, skills and passion to build on these accomplishments.”

Testa will oversee Visit Sacramento’s role in booking conventions, meetings and trade shows for the Sacramento Convention Center and local hotels, promoting Sacramento nationally to consumers as a “farm-to-fork” center and charting the course for the Sacramento Sports Commission, the news release said.

Visit Sacramento is a private, nonprofit marketing organization funded primarily by assessments paid by hotels.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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