2020 TTMA Board of  Directors

Pictured above is our 2020 Board of Directors


First Row: Sarah McCann, Trevor McGaughey, Diana Elmore, Micha Boxer 

Second Row: Serj Abnoosi, Chelsea Benitez, Jerri Harris, Tricia Halsema,

Third Row: Jennifer Greenebaum, Dan Lipton, Kevin Lorton, Carlos Montenegro,

Fourth Row: Elizabeth King, Lauren Schlau, Maritza Cerrato

MICHA BOXER, Administrator TTMA

Born & raised in the Greater Los Angeles area, Micha has a heart for SoCal. She is experienced in event planning, promotions and digital marketing, and has demonstrated a history of working in the entertainment, holistic, outdoors, and travel & tourism industries.


Her career started in the education sector doing PR for Los Angeles Valley College and has taken her to companies all across Los Angeles including: Hard Rock Cafe, Allied Integrated Marketing and the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. Micha founded Micha Boxer Marketing Services in 2016.

She believes that everyone should find a positive way to unwind, which is why you can usually find her out in the forest rock climbing, or on a hike or backpacking trip, participating in some good old nature therapy.

KEVIN LORTON, VP and General Manager of Hornblower Cruises LA

Kevin Lorton began his career with Hornblower in 1993, holding several management titles before being named Director of Sales in 2000. Now, as the Vice President and General Manager of the greater Los Angeles area, he is responsible for port relations, financial oversight and management of a fleet of twelve modern and historic yachts and a crew of 100 – 150 employees.  He provides strategic guidance on sales & marketing and the growth of the port’s charter yacht and public cruise sales. Kevin received his BA in Business Management from Bethel College in South Bend, IN.  Kevin sits on the Board of Directors for the Marina del Rey CVB Board and Chairs the Visit Newport Marketing Committee.

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SARAH McCANN, Regional Director, The Leisure Pass Group Ltd.

Sarah “Smalls” McCann brings years of experience in sales, marketing, tourism, events, and education. Originally from Los Angeles, she moved to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC. Two years later, she found herself unstimulated and lacking possible opportunities, so she moved to San Francisco to pursue the entertainment industry. During her time in the Bay Area, she produced many events spanning from music/dance oriented events to fundraisers.  After graduating from SF State University with a BA in Liberal Studies, she focused all of her time the artist collective that she founded and from there co-founded a hip hop education program that served 3,000 youth a year in six counties of the Bay Area.

In December of 2006, Sarah decided to make the transition to Los Angeles beginning her events industry experience as a Special Event Sales Manager at the Legendary House of Blues.  Since then, she was also a Special Event Sales Manager at Jillian’s Universal CityWalk, the Senior Marketing Sales Manager at Pacific Park at the World Famous Santa Monica Pier, as well as Director of Sales & Marketing for iFLY Universal CityWalk.  She is currently a Regional Director for Leisure Pass Group  overseeing Los Angeles, San Diego, and Washington D.C. with a focus in the tour and travel industry. Alongside of her full-time job, she has served on the Board of Directors for the Tour & Travel Marketing Association of Southern California (TTMA) while chairing their Annual Awards Luncheon for 4 years in a row and is currently serving as their President. They call her Sarah Smalls for a reason.

ELIZABETH KING, Assistant Marketing Director, Hornblower Cruises and Events

Elizabeth King is the Director, Global Tourism Marketing for Simon Shopping Destinations.  She was previously the West Coast Tourism Marketing Manager for Macerich Shopping Centers & Fashion Outlets based at Santa Monica Place.  Prior she was the Southwest Regional Tourism Marketing Manager for Macy’s. Since 2012, she has helped promote premiere shopping destinations for those visiting the West Coast. Before Macy’s, she began her tourism career at Catalina Express as a Sales/Marketing Representative for two years. Currently she serves on the Travel & Tourism Marketing Association Board as Communications Chair. She graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications Studies and a Leadership Minor.

MARITZA CERRATO, Marketing and Tourism Specialist, The Original Farmers Market

An LA native, Maritza began her career in marketing in 2002 conducting market research for Universal Studios Hollywood.   In 2004, immediately after graduating from Cal State LA, she was hired to work in the Marketing Department for The Original Farmers Market, LA’s premiere shopping and dining destination.  She has performed all aspects of marketing and is now the Marketing and Tourism Specialist where she oversees the Market’s tourism initiatives and handles other Marketing-related promotions, special events, and departmental projects.  Maritza is proud of her 15 years working for such an iconic and historic landmark and joins us as a new TTMA Board member for 2019. 

TRICIA HALSEMA, Marketing Account Executive, SeaWorld San Diego

As an account executive for SeaWorld San Diego’s marketing team, Tricia Halsema strives to increase revenue and sales growth by managing the travel industry sales market, with special focus on China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. She also oversees the park’s domestic ticket resellers, AAA account, military market, and alliance partners.  Her core strengths include relationship building, communication, tradeshow presentation and management, strategic account development and sales-plan development.

Halsema has been with SeaWorld for more than 30 years. She held various positions in the park operations, education and accounting departments before joining the marketing team in 2004 as a sales coordinator. 

In 2015, Halsema was named sales associate of the month for SeaWorld San Diego and top sales producer for SeaWorld Park & Entertainment.

Halsema holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management/business marketing and a certification in human resources from the University of Phoenix and is currently serving as TTMA Secretary. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, the beach and cheering on the USC Trojans baseball team, where her son Trevor plays in the outfield.

CHELSEA BENITEZ, Manager, Tourism Insights, LA Tourism

Chelsea Benitez began her career at Los Angeles Tourism as a summer intern while attending the University of California Santa Cruz and was hired as a full-time employee after graduation in 2013.


Currently Manager of Tourism Insights, Chelsea oversees all tourism related research and data analysis enabling the organization and its members to formulate fact-based business decisions.


She is a member of the Travel and Tourism Research Association and a board member of the Greater Western Travel and Tourism Research Association.


In 2018 Chelsea was recognized as one of the 30 & under emerging leaders by the California Travel Association.


Chelsea is a third generation Angeleno and lives in Pasadena with her husband Frank and their rescue dog Ouzo.

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Jerri Harris, Senior Advertising Specialist, AAA/Westways

.Jerri has been with the Autoclub of Southern California for thirteen years as a Senior Advertising Specialist handling the Los Angeles, Orange County and Central Coast regions.  During that time, Jerri has served as Vice President and President of the Travel and Tourism Marketing Association from 2006 through 2009 and is currently serving perpetually as Treasurer.   Jerri is also a member of the Cal Travel Board of Directors serving in varied leadership capacities over the past 8 years including Chair of the Cal Travel Executive Committee. 

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DIANA ELMORE, Senior Trade Sales Manager Western Region Midway Attractions, North America Merlin Entertainments PLC

Diana Elmore is a seasoned tourism and hospitality professional with over 25+ years of experience. Her interest in hospitality, tourism, marketing, sales and events has taken her career from Hotel Sofitel, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Hard Rock Cafe, Cirque du Soleil to currently Madame Tussauds in Hollywood.  Her passion for tourism and strong commitment to sales and results as well as her love for building long lasting relationships in the tourism and hospitality industry is what drive her to succeed.

In addition to currently sitting on the board for TTMA, she also volunteers as an Ambassador for CalTravel Association.Diana was born in Lindsey, CA, raised in Westminster, CA until the age of 18 when she moved to Hollywood, CA.  Diana lives in Valencia, CA with her wife of 22 years, two dogs (Australian Cattle Dog and Boston Terrier) and two cats.

CARLOS MONTENEGRO, Co-Treasurer & Membership Chair, TTMA

Carlos has served on the TTMA Board of Directors since February 2015. Like many in the tourism industry, Carlos’ long career with Beverly Center ended in June 2020 due to the pandemic.


Carlos began his tourism career nearly 25 years ago at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in Florida, where he started as a Pirate of the Caribbean and ended as the International & Domestic Product Development Manager responsible for creating vacation packages and incentives for in-country wholesalers and RTOs. His diverse experience with Disney helped shape all of his B2B and B2C programming at Beverly Center for 12 years, earning various awards and recognition throughout the center’s $500 million renovation.


Carlos also volunteers with local charities including Kidsave, the organization featured on A&E’s daytime Emmy award winning docuseries, The Day I Picked My Parents. Kidsave’s mission is to help older children in the foster care and group home system connect with caring adults who advocate, mentor, support and help them find permanency, and to learn the skills they need to thrive and succeed.

LAUREN SCHLAU, Lauren Schlau Consulting

Lauren Schlau is founder and president of Lauren Schlau Consulting (LSC), operating since 1992, a highly respected market research consultancy focusing on travel/tourism, retail and cultural arts. 


Lauren’s research career began in consumer products, followed by research positions at the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, PKF/CBRE, and with various private, not-for profit and public entities.


Ms. Schlau is engaged professionally with CalTravel (board), Travel & Tourism Marketing Association (board & past president), Travel & Tourism Research Association, Los Angeles Central City Assn., L A Tourism & Convention Board, LA5 Rotary (board), California Downtown Assn. (past president), and L A Downtown Center BID Marketing Committee (past co-chair).


Ms. Schlau holds a Master of Public Administration (University of Southern California), and Bachelor of Science (Northwestern University). She also earned professional certificates from the UCLA Anderson School in Management Development for Entrepreneurs, and from UCLA Extension in Organizational Development and Leadership, and was a marketing instructor in the UCLA Extension Foodservice and Hospitality Program.


Mary Carley is project manager, planning the logistics,  for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Asia Trade Mission. Most recently, prior to joining the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, she was project director for Choose Chicago’s IPW conference, hosted by the US Travel Association. Carley has extensive experience producing trade missions and special events in the United States and abroad. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

DAN LIPTON, Publisher

Dan Lipton has been the Publisher of TravelHost Beach Cities Magazine for seven years. Dan’s travel and tourism background includes a degree from the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly University and nearly 15 years of designing and implementing incentive travel programs for Fortune 1000 companies.

Dan is affiliated with many local civic and philanthropic organizations including four area chambers including the Long Beach Chamber as a Board member, the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Travel and Tourism Marketing Association, the Southern California Shopping Center Association, the Rotary Club of Long Beach, the Hospitality Alliance of Long Beach, and he’s an Advisory Board member of TravelHost Incorporated and the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House.


Trevor McGaughey is the founder and CEO of T-Rev Productions, a multi-media, high-end production company. His business is concentrated in southern and northern California, as well as in Las Vegas. Trevor has produced many events for non-profits, pharmaceutical and tech companies, and large VIP corporations.


Trevor earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Production at Brooks Institute for Photography. In his spare time, he likes to play golf, go skiing and hike in the desert.

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