Meet our Sales & Services Team
Let Us Help you Plan the Perfect Meeting
The Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) sales and services staff will help you book and plan the perfect meeting, and find the best places for everything from meeting, eating, and sleeping to plugging in, working out and logging on.
John W. Sneed II, CHSP VP of Sales & Services
John Sneed has been in the hospitality industry since 1993 including working for several restaurants, hotels and convention and visitors bureaus (CVB). He joined the Wilmington and Beaches CVB team in 2009. As parents of four children, John, and wife Kristy, love outings to the natural and historic areas Wilmington and the surrounding beaches have to offer. John's father was one of the schoolchildren that contributed coins to the "Save Our Ship" campaign to buy the USS North Carolina and his favorite memory is visiting the ship in Wilmington as a child on numerous family vacations. John has traveled extensively and the USS North Carolina remains one of his favorite attractions.
Molly Johnson, CMP-Fellow Director of Convention Sales
Molly Johnson has been in the hospitality industry since 1991 with experience ranging from operations to sales. After moving multiple times to six different states, Molly finally felt at home when she moved to Wilmington. She started at the Wilmington and Beaches CVB in 2015. She is currently serving as President of the Southeast Chapter of the Professional Conference Management Association. Recent awards include Meeting Professionals International Carolinas Chapter 2017 President's Award, 2018 Hall of Fame Award, 2019 Corey D. Bizzell Award of Excellence and 2022 AENC Outstanding Affiliate Member Award. Molly spends her free time serving on the board of directors for A Safe Place, a local non-profit.
Joel Smith, MPRTSM Sales Manager
Joel Smith has held various management roles within the recreation and leisure industry, and completed his Master’s degree in Parks, Recreation, Sports and Tourism Management, at North Carolina State University. Joel joined the Wilmington and Beaches CVB in 2017. He is currently serving as the Second Vice President for the North Carolina Society of Government Meeting Professionals, was named NC SGMP Supplier of the Year for 2020-2021 and a National SGMP Top Young Professional for 2022. He and his wife Hilary have three children, and thoroughly enjoy the local eateries and attractions in Wilmington. Joel spends his free time fishing, sunset chasing with his family and supporting his community.
Karen Warren Visitor Services
Karen Warren has been employed with the Wilmington and Beaches CVB since 1998. In her role, she provides support services for individuals, organizations, meeting planners and group tour operators. She spends as much time at the beach as possible and enjoys the theater, art and restaurant scene. Karen caught the archaeology bug at an early age, courtesy of Howard Carter and King Tut, and received a degree in anthropology with a focus on Meso-American archaeology with a side bar in Egyptian hieroglyphs. She loves to travel and one of her most memorable trips was to the ethereal Incan site of Machu Picchu.
Ashley Ackary Sales Assistant & Visitor Information Specialist
Ashley Ackary joined the Wilmington and Beaches CVB in 2021 after graduating from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. with her BSBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management. In her role, Ashley greets visitors at the CVB’s front desk, answers phone and email inquiries and assists the sales team with pre-event planning in the SMERF market. During her free time, Ashley enjoys hiking, yoga, pottery, crafting, listening to live music and playing with her two kittens, Pluto and Venus.
- Information regarding meeting hotels, off-site event facilities, exhibit space, attractions, recreation and entertainment
- Prepare a formal bid proposal including assistance in securing competitive guest room rates and arrangements for site inspections
- Assist with presentations and provides marketing assets to aid planners in presenting our proposal to board or site selection committee
- Assist in locating resources regarding local caterers, florists, photographers, office equipment, promotional materials, souvenir ideas, security, tradeshow and exhibit needs, speakers, musicians, entertainers and off-site activities
- Provide information for planning spouse programs, children's activities and tours. Step-on guides are available for a fee.
- Arrange a welcome address or letter from area dignitaries
- Develop a customized online meetings landing page for groups of 250 people or more featuring destination and travel information, pre- and post- vacation ideas and dining options
- Complimentary Visitors Guides, Guide and Attraction Maps and complimentary bags for registration are available for your convention or event attendees based on hotel room usage. Additional quantities are available for a nominal fee.
- Delegate video to encourage meeting registration and attendance
- SkyNav™ 3D Interactive Virtual Tour
- Complimentary registration and visitor information assistance is available. The Convention and Visitors Bureau will supply, free of charge, one registrar for four consecutive hours based on a minimum of 50 room nights. Thereafter, there will be a charge per hour per person.
Just as voluntourism – incorporating volunteering into leisure travel – continues to increase in popularity, so too does including a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project in meeting and event agendas. Integrating CSR components into events can have far reaching benefits for event attendees, the charity or organization on the receiving end, the host company and host destination. Meeting planners hosting events in Wilmington and our beaches have the option to incorporate several unique off-site CSR projects into their agendas, including:
- Vigilant Hope – A faith-based charity, Vigilant Hope is dedicated to fighting poverty in low-income communities, homeless camps and shelters. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available for groups. The organization also has a coffee business, Vigilant Hope Roasting, dedicated to selling coffee to help fund parts of its ministry. Products are available for purchase by groups.
- Cape Fear Volunteer Center (CFVC) – The CFVC matches volunteers with meaningful service opportunities in the surrounding areas. The organization works closely with event planners to match groups up with timely and appropriate volunteer opportunities and needs.
Meeting and event attendees looking to extend their trip before or after their event and volunteer while they’re in town can check out these organizations located in Wilmington and our beaches:
- Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity
- Cape Fear Volunteer Center
- North Carolina Coastal Federation
- Keep It Clean
- Ocean Cure
- Support the Port
- WARM (Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry)