Warwick native Lara Salamano has been hired as the state’s new chief marketing officer
Salamano graduated from URI in 1992. According to her LinkedIn profile, Salamano has worked in marketing for MTV Networks and Viacom, among other companies. Her profile said she has worked since August 2013 as vice president/partner marketing for for the Pop/CBS/Lionsgate partnership.
During a mid-day news conference at the office of the state Commerce Corporation, Salamano, 45, said she brings 20 years of marketing experience to the job, although she acknowledged not having a background in tourism.
Asked for a Rhode Island elevator pitch for an of state potential tourist, Salamano said, "I think it's unique. I think we offer everything. Granted, our summers are beautiful, Newport beaches -- it's amazing. But we're also becoming so contemporary. Our restaurants are incredible."
She'll be paid $135,000 a year. Salamano said she moved back to Rhode Island four years ago to raise her family, and that she lives in East Greenwich. She had worked from RI most recently for the New York media firm Pop.
Commerce officials went out of their way to note that Salamano is well acquainted with Gaspee Days, and to note that regional tourism officials were part of the interviewing process.
The state’s former chief marketing officer, Betsy Wall, resigned in April after the disastrous rollout of Rhode Island’s new tourism campaign. During a radio interview, Wall was stumped when she was asked if she knew about Gaspee Days. At the same time, regional tourism officials complained about not being more closely involved in the initial tourism rollout under Wall.
Governor Gina Raimondo has pushed for the state to spend more money promoting tourism. She said that will help to grow one of the state’s largest industries.
This post has been updated.