About Us Page

Convention Sales & Services

 
Mike Testa Chief Operating Officer mtesta@visitsacramento.com
916.808.7479
Sarah Atilano Director of Convention Sales satilano@visitsacramento.com
916-808-8988
Susan Babich Director of National Accounts sbabich@visitsacramento.com
916.919.3428
Mike Sophia Sacramento Sports Commission Director msophia@visitsacramento.com
916.808.7780
Brad Hillard, CSEE Community Sports Development Manager bhillard@visitsacramento.com
916.808.7786
Betsy Longmire Director of National Accounts Blongmire@visitsacramento.com
916.808.7275
Jeff Dougherty Manager - California State Association Sales
jdougherty@visitsacramento.com
916.808.8140
Sandy Young Convention Sales Coordinator syoung@visitsacramento.com
916.808.8992
Lisa Nottingham Sports Development Coordinator lnottingham@visitsacramento.com
916.808.8986
Joline Pudoff Convention Services & Housing Coordinator   jpudoff@visitsacramento.com
916.808.6715

 

Staff Bios

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Mike Testa
(mtesta@visitsacramento.com)
Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer Mike Testa is responsible for managing organizational and department growth, creating comprehensive internal communication mechanisms, and monitoring departments for business and employee overlap within Visit Sacramento. He oversees seven departments within the organization including Convention Sales & Services, Farm to Fork, Travel Media, Community Relations, Multicultural Affairs, Partner Marketing and the Sacramento Film Commission. Mike also manages Visit Sacramento's local marketing and advertising campaigns, acts as the organization's PIO, manages local media and stakeholder relations and a variety of cooperative marketing and special event programs.

Hired as the Director of Public Relations in 2001, Mike has served as a leader at Visit Sacramento for more than 16 years, having also performed the functions of Director of Consumer Marketing, Director of Community Relations, Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs and, most recently, the Senior Vice President of Convention Sales & Business Development.

Mike joined Visit Sacramento from the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, where he first worked as Director of Special Events and was later promoted to Director of Public Relations & Marketing. With the DSP, Testa acted as the organization's media spokesman, purchased all advertising, directed the Downtown Image and Marketing Campaign and oversaw the Thursday Night Market, the Friday Night Concert Series and the Downtown Ice Rink.

Mike is a graduate of St. Mary's College and sits on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Zoo, the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency and The Midtown Business Association. 

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Sarah-Atilano.jpg

Sarah Atilano
(satilano@visitsacramento.com)
Director of Convention Sales

As Director of Convention Sales, Sarah's focus is to lead the convention sales team in their efforts to strengthen positive awareness of Sacramento as a convention and visitors destination. She comes to Visit Sacramento with extensive experience in hotel sales. Sarah has held positions as Director of Sales & Marketing, Regional Senior Sales Manager, and Director of Operations. She has a passion for sales and was awarded Director of Sales of the Year and eCommerce Sales Team of the Year from the Embassy Suites brand. Sarah also received recognition from Hilton Hotels Worldwide when she was inducted into Hilton's Circle of Excellence and was a two-time winner of the annual ROVER Sales award.

Sarah is a Sacramento native; she loves meeting new people and is excited about sharing everything that Sacramento has to offer! In her free time Sarah enjoys going to see local bands perform, visiting venues that are supporting local artists, and going out to eat! She loves painting and practicing yoga and most of all spending time with her husband Mike and her two children.

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Susan Babich
(sbabich@visitsacramento.com)
Director of National Accounts

As Director of National Accounts, Susan Babich handles all accounts from the eastern seaboard as well as faith-based religious organizations and federal government accounts throughout the country. She's a 10-year Visit Sacramento veteran, and was most recently Director of Convention Sales. Babich previously served as an Account Executive at the Baltimore Convention Center and holds a degree in the criminal justice field. She's a member of ASAE, IAEM, RCMA, and PCMA.

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Mike Sophia Web

Mike Sophia
(msophia@visitsacramento.com)
Sacramento Sports Commission Director

On Jan. 1, 2013, at the request of the Sacramento City Council and County Board of Supervisors, Visit Sacramento took over the responsibilities of the Sacramento Sports Commission. To help lead this All-Star team, Visit Sacramento has hired Mike Sophia as the Sacramento Sports Commission Director. Mike comes to us most recently from Baton Rouge where he served as the CEO of the National Senior Games. Prior to that, Mike was the Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Sports Commission for eight years, which he built from the ground up. Earlier in his career, Mike was the Marketing Director for the U.S. Track Coaches Association and Assistant Competition Manager for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

This new Sacramento Sports Commission, a division of Visit Sacramento, will be responsible for fostering economic development of the region by securing, promoting and sustaining highly visible sporting events, tournaments and conventions. "I am thrilled to be working with a great team in a community that has such a long tradition of supporting a variety of sporting events," Mike said. "We are going to have some fun growing our reputation as a great sports town."

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Brad Hillard Web

Brad Hillard, CSEE
(bhillard@visitsacramento.com)
Community Sports Development Manager

Hillard was formerly the Director of Housing and Transportation for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Track & Field and the Director of Sales for Frontier Tours and the Gray Line of Sacramento

Known as "The Sports Guy"; Brad is a dead ringer for Seattle Sea Hawks coach Mike Holmgren. His duties at the Bureau include reaching out to bring new sports events and conventions to the City and County. From existing bowling, NCAA Basketball, track and field, soccer, and other traditional sports... to fencing, juggling, triathlon, Special Olympics and more, Brad helps keep Sacramento's sports facilities active. 

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Betsy Longmire
(Blongmire@visitsacramento.com)
Director of National Accounts

Betsy comes to Visit Sacramento with extensive experience in the hospitality industry. Betsy began her career in San Francisco, where she worked in the hotel industry for ten years before returning home to Sacramento. After a successful career in hotel sales at various properties in the Sacramento market, Betsy joined Visit Sacramento as Sales Manager and is responsible for booking meetings and conventions related to state government, SMERF groups (social, military, educational, reunions and fraternal) as well as western U.S. corporations and western regional associations.

Betsy is a member of the Society of Government Meeting Planners and past member of Meeting Planners International and Religious Conference Meetings Association. She was awarded the Sacramento SGMP Chapter Supplier of the Year in 2009.

A Sacramento native, Betsy loves meeting new people and introducing them to all that her hometown has to offer. In her free time she enjoys tent camping and cooking up delicious meals. 

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Jeff-Dougherty.jpg

Jeff Dougherty
(jdougherty@visitsacramento.com)
Manager - California State Association Sales

No one ever forgets Jeff. Steve Hammond, President and CEO of Visit Sacramento says it best, "Jeff's personality and his enthusiasm for what he does is electric." Jeff's abundance of energy is why he is a perfect fit for Visit Sacramento. His enthusiasm and energy are infectious - all necessary to take on the California State Association market.

Jeff joins Visit Sacramento with five years of Sacramento hotel sales experience; most recently with the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza. Jeff served three terms as a Board Member for the SGMP Sacramento Chapter. He was awarded the SGMP Sacramento Chapter Supplier of the Year in 2008 and Co-Presidents Award in 2009. Jeff currently sits on the Board of Directors for the local chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is a Capital Region Council member for the California Society of Association Executives.

Jeff moved to Sacramento for college where he graduated from Sacramento State with a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration. He lives in Folsom with his wife Natalie, two children, and the dogs Tia and Zoe. In his free time, you will find Jeff exploring Sacramento's endless entertainment options from 2nd Saturday to cool galleries and museums and hot, new restaurants and nightlife. 

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Sandy Young
(syoung@visitsacramento.com)
Convention Sales Coordinator

Sandy Young is the Convention Sales Coordinator for Visit Sacramento. She was with Pacific Bell for 21 years after attending CSUS. There her responsibilities included internal quality control reporting to the PUC, administration of a computer system that secured results and statistical forecasting for Northern California. After retiring from Pac Bell she worked in the private sector and raised her son Nathan (now 26) for 10 years before going back to college. After five years with the Hyatt Regency Sacramento she came to work for the bureau in 2002.

Now as Convention Sales Coordinator for Visit Sacramento all these skills garnered over the years have been put to good use maintaining the integrity of the database for convention sales; compiling results, economic impact, TAP data, processing of leads, and lost and booked business. She is also considered "major amenity queen".

Sandy has a small eatery inside a mid-town Tavern with her son Nathan that keeps her busy in her spare time. She's also involved with an internet-based handcrafted soap, lotions and cream business. And last but not least, she is a Red Hat Lady!! 

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Lisa Nottingham
(lnottingham@visitsacramento.com)
Sports Development Coordinator

Lisa changed her career path in 2006; coming to the Visit Sacramento Convention Sales Team from her position as Northern California Division Customer Service Coordinator for a major grocery chain. Lisa spent 11 years in customer service and her experience is a big asset to our customer relations. Lisa is a native to Northern California and has been in the Sacramento region for over 20 years. She attended California State University, Sacramento with a major in Music Business and currently resides in Citrus Heights with her family. 

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Joline-Pudoff

Joline Pudoff
(jpudoff@visitsacramento.com)
Convention Services & Housing Coordinator

As the Convention Housing & Services Coordinator, Joline proudly provides convention and event planners with products and services needed to host outstanding events. Prior to this position, Joline welcomed guests and answered a wide variety of questions from visitors to the Sacramento area as an Information Specialists for Visit Sacramento.

Joline comes to the Bureau with extensive experience in Customer Service. In the past she worked for the Sacramento Bee's Circulation Department and in Human Resources & Information Technologies for a small computer technology firm. Joline is an avid cake baker/decorator and amateur home chef, and the Bureau staff members are often the recipients of weekend baking leftovers. As her co-workers often say, "Where's the cake?!" 

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