ATLANTA (July 21, 2015) – Georgia Aquarium announces several changes to its marketing and finance departments. Martin Gray joins as chief marketing officer. Scott Higley, formerly vice president of communications and external affairs, has transitioned to the newly created role of vice president of external affairs and government relations. Debbie Campbell comes to the organization as vice president of marketing and communications. Christina Robinson has been promoted from revenue and marketing analytics manager to the role of vice president, controller.
The changes are congruent with the vision set forth by the Aquarium’s chief executive officer Mike Leven as he returned to run the organization last November. “We’ve committed to growing attendance by 15 percent each year, an effort that will position us to continue our contributions toward research and conservation programs and to maintain this facility as a top driver for Atlanta’s hospitality industry,” said Leven. “We need the right people in the right positions to help us reach those milestones and ensure that Georgia Aquarium remains a leader in the Atlanta community and in the fields of research and conservation.”
Martin Gray assumes the role of CMO after serving as a consultant for Georgia Aquarium since January through his boutique consulting practice, which focused on sales, marketing and development support to hospitality, gaming, timeshare, television and advanced digital technology companies. Prior to his 14 years as a consultant, Gray’s career included the launch of Carnival Resorts and Casinos, a joint venture between Carnival Cruise Lines and The Continental Companies, as senior vice president of sales and marketing. He also launched The Television Games Network, a legal, online gaming company focused on in home wagering on thoroughbred horse racing, where he built the customer marketing and sales operations and was responsible for all network distribution including Direct TV, Comcast, Time Warner and Dish TV. The TVG network was later purchased by Rupert Murdoch and rolled into Fox Sports. Prior to that, Martin was the senior vice president of marketing for Holiday Inn Worldwide, the Americas, where he also supervised ResWorld Access, the technology subsidiary of Holiday Inn Worldwide that developed the hospitality industry’s first internet booking engine. Previous roles also included president of Forte Hotels, North America, Ltd, and senior vice president of sales and marketing, Forte Hotels, the Americas and the Caribbean where Gray built the company’s first worldwide-computerized reservation system and was responsible for all sales and marketing operations.
Scott Higley transitions to the newly-created role of vice president of external affairs and government relations where he will lead all activities with elected officials on the local, state and federal level and interface with influential civic organizations and community groups. Higley will serve as the Georgia Aquarium liaison for accrediting organizations and partner facilities within the zoological community and will work with various conservation organizations and regulatory agencies to ensure alignment of Georgia Aquarium initiatives. Higley moves into his new role from the position of VP of marketing, communications and external affairs. Prior to Georgia Aquarium, Higley specialized in retail marketing, sponsorship sales and public relations with global corporations such as Simon Property Group, Jones Lang LeSalle and Ben Carter Properties.
Debbie Campbell joins Georgia Aquarium as vice president of marketing and communications, where she will focus on driving attendance as well as creating and expanding the revenue streams that enable the Aquarium to contribute to research and conservation efforts for animals. Campbell’s career in senior marketing spans more than 30 years. Prior to Georgia Aquarium, Campbell was vice president of marketing and branding for Foot Solutions, Inc., an Atlanta-based retail health and wellness comfort footwear franchise with stores worldwide. She created an updated retail experience to strengthen the brand’s foundation and clearly communicate the brand’s offers and benefits to its customers. Previously, Campbell served as senior vice president, marketing for Atlanta-based US Franchise Systems, Inc. (USFS), franchisor of two international hotel chains - Microtel Inns & Suites and Hawthorn Suites, a Global Hyatt Affiliate – which became a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide. During her time with USFS she served as a member of the USFS Operating Committee, USFS Executive Committee, key liaison to two Franchise Advisory Councils, and liaison to advertising and marketing agencies. With Campbell at the helm, Microtel was the recipient of an unprecedented seven consecutive J.D. Power and Associates awards. Campbell has also served as vice president of marketing for Cendant, formerly Hospitality Franchise Systems (HFS), the hotel industry’s largest franchisor. She began her career with Days Inn of America.
Christina Robinson, CPA, has been promoted to the role of vice president, controller where she will oversee all aspects accounting, finance and ticketing for Georgia Aquarium. Robinson joined Georgia Aquarium in 2014 as revenue and marketing analytics manager. She started her career with Ernst & Young in Richmond, Va. as an external auditor before joining Cox Communications as an internal auditor. Robinson also served as an internet business manager in Charlotte, N.C., regional business manager in Washington, D.C., and accounting manager and Director of Financial Planning and Analysis in Phoenix, Ariz., with Cox Communications. She then went to work with Comcast and served as the senior director of business operations in Nashville, Tenn., and the senior regional director of finance of the Big South region in Atlanta, Ga.
Full bios and headshots for each Georgia Aquarium executive are available at news.georgiaaquarium.org/bios.
ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Georgia Aquarium, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that encompasses Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, and Marineland Dolphin Adventure and Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station in Marineland, Fla. The mission of Georgia Aquarium, Inc. is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific organization featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offering engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org or www.marineland.net