November 30, 2021

Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau Names New Director and VP: Marketing & Communications

Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (VBCVB), the official destination marketing organization (DMO) for Virginia Beach, Virginia, is pleased to announce its selections for two premier leadership positions. Effective Nov. 29, Nancy Helman officially takes the helm as Director, and Lauren Townsend is named Vice-President of Marketing and Communications.

"Nancy and Lauren both offer a wealth of talent, experience and Virginia Beach expertise to administer our multi-faceted destination marketing efforts," says Taylor Adams, Virginia Beach deputy city manager. "They have repeatedly proven their ability to lead and skillfully position the city as a desirable destination for year-round visitors. Under their guidance, Virginia Beach tourism successfully weathered a challenging year and led the nation in rebounding from the disastrous impacts of the pandemic. We are privileged to have them on our team."

Nancy Helman, the first female to lead the City's tourism program since its inception, was tapped as the interim VBCVB director in November 2020 and is responsible for driving demand for the city as a leisure, meeting and sports event destination. Following a nearly three-decade career managing sports tourism efforts from Florida to Virginia Beach, her most recent role was Director of the Sports Marketing Program for VBCVB after helping to launch the division in 1999. She managed the planning and development of the new Virginia Beach Sports Center, ultimately securing it as the host site for four NCAA Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship events planned for 2023 – 2026. Helman earned her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sports Administration from the University of South Carolina and also has obtained the Certified Sports Event Executive professional designation from the Sports Events and Tourism Association.

Lauren Townsend has served as Director of Marketing and Interim VP of Marketing Communications at the VBCVB for nearly five years leading the planning, direction and successful execution of strategic destination marketing programs focused on driving demand and visitation. Previously, she led the advertising and brand direction efforts as the in-house Marketing Manager at VisitNorfolk, and also served as the agency-side account manager for the Virginia Tourism Corporation account at BCF agency. Townsend is a graduate of the University of Virginia, has received an advanced diploma in Cities and Urban Economic Development from New York University, and recently was admitted into the Economic Development Institute at Oklahoma University.

About Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau
Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization for the City of Virginia Beach, is a municipal organization whose mission is to promote the coastal city as a year-round destination for domestic and international leisure travel, business travel, conventions, sports and special events. Virginia Beach, one of Virginia's most populous cities, resides where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean and is comprised of seven unique districts: Sandbridge, Chesapeake Bay, Town Center, Pungo, Oceanfront, ViBe Creative District and Inland. For all there is to see and do in Virginia Beach, follow Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau on Facebook and Instagram @VisitVaBeach and on Twitter @VisitVaBch, or go to

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