POIMIROO & PARTNERS John Poimiroo Credits

John Poimiroo, APR

John Poimiroo, APR
Poimiroo & Partners, 1448 Crocker Drive, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Tel: (916) 933-8860  Fax: (916) 933-5406
[email protected]

John Poimiroo is a 30-year career professional in marketing and public relations. During the 1990s, he was a Deputy Secretary for the California Trade and Commerce Agency. In this capacity, he worked closely with California’s Secretary of Trade and Commerce and Governor, in changing how California defended and promoted its economy.

In this capacity, he helped turn around many years of declining international tourism, reestablishing California as the most visited state in the nation by both national and international tourists. Upon completion of his term as Director of Tourism in 1999, California tourism was producing over $65 billion in sales, generating $8 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues, employing 700,000 Californians, and tourism had increased to 260 million annual trips taken within California.

When he took office, Poimiroo changed California’s approach to tourism advertising. For years preceding, California had been promoting 12 different destinations within the state, called “The Californias.” He moved California Tourism away from promoting the state's geography, to promoting its experiences, introducing the highly effective "California, Find Yourself Here" campaign that continues today. This approach generated substantial gains in travel to California.

Call volume increased by over 100% and as much as 42% in a single year, despite the state’s advertising budget having declined from $3 million to $2.2 million. The advertising program he directed was measured as generating 785,000 “incremental” visitors, $729 million in “new” travel spending, $27.7 million in additional state taxes, $13.3 million in additional local taxes and directly supported the establishment of 8,700 jobs. This was a return on investment of 327 to one in increased spending within California and 12 to 1 in increased tax revenues. California overtook Florida as the most visited state by international visitors and increased its lead over Florida in visitation by Americans. Today, travel spending in California is 150% larger than in Florida.

In association with Senator Herschel Rosenthal, John Poimiroo conceived a new method of financing and operating, Welcome Centers using private investment for their construction and operation. Prior to 1995, California had no Welcome Centers, but since the act was established, a dozen California Welcome Centers have opened and are operating, without a cent of cost to California taxpayers.

A hallmark of his leadership as State Tourism Director was conceiving and establishing the California Tourism Marketing Act a method of financing state tourism marketing that privatized state tourism marketing and doubled the state’s tourism budget.

In recognition of these accomplishments, Poimiroo was honored by the Travel Industry Association of America in 1998 when the National Council of State Tourism Directors elected him to be the United States’ “State Tourism Director of the Year,” the highest honor presented to a governmental tourism officer. Additionally, that year, he was the first alumnus of the University of Colorado to receive the Chancellor’s Tourism Award and was inducted into the California Tourism Hall of Fame.

John Poimiroo’s career began in 1973 at the Eldora Ski Area in Nederland, Colorado where he was a ski patroller. He got on a chair lift with the ski area owner one day, made a few suggestions, and by the top of the lift was named the area's director of marketing. From Colorado, John and his wife, Joan, moved back to their native California where John directed public relations and marketing at Squaw Valley USA. John was part of the Marriott team that opened the Great America theme park in Santa Clara in 1976. He continued with Great America as the park's public relations manager, was Marriott’s first Theme Park Group Travel and Tourism Director participating in Pacific Rim tour group development and was park general sales manager before entering the public relations agency field in 1981.

At Hoefer-Amidei Public Relations and later at Ketchum Public Relations in San Francisco (and briefly as director of Ketchum’s Houston office), he directed campaigns for numerous national accounts including: the California Raisin Advisory Board, Levi Strauss, Paul Masson, the California Brandy Advisory Board, Norway Sardines, the California Prune Advisory Board, Rockwell International Semiconductors, Yosemite Park and Curry Co., Ski Lake Tahoe, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Marriott Hotels, Cushman Wakefield, the RREEF Funds, California First Bank, Gulf Oil and Spoons Restaurants.

While serving as Vice President/Group Manager at Ketchum Public Relations in San Francisco, John's first assignment for the Yosemite Park and Curry Company, was to help coordinate press details for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to The Ahwahnee. He later established the Yosemite Chefs Holidays (one of the nation’s first and longest running culinary series).

In 1984, he left Ketchum to become Vice President of Marketing for Roaring Camp Inc., a historic tourist railroad in the Santa Cruz mountains and with the railroad’s owner successfully negotiated purchase of a short line from the Southern Pacific RR, which now profitably operates commercial freight and tourist excursions along its track. In 1986, John joined the Curry Company as its Vice President of Communications. John spent the next six years coordinating marketing and public relations programs in Yosemite National Park and was part of a team that received two “Take Pride in California” and two “Take Pride in America” environmental awards.

John left Yosemite in March 1992 when he became California's state tourism director. During his years as Deputy Secretary for Tourism of the California Trade and Commerce Agency, California Tourism won awards for innovative advertising, fulfillment, radio production, scenic byway promotion, public relations, video and film production, handicapped accessibility and international marketing, and participated in winning two national Travel Industry Association of America Odyssey Awards, the highest tourism marketing awards presented in the United States. John was a leader in developing heritage and cultural tourism programs with the California Arts Council and State Office of Historic Preservation.

Following his term as California’s state tourism director, John assisted California’s Secretary of State with sponsor development for California’s 150th anniversary before returning to private practice. In 1999, he established Poimiroo & Partners, a communications consultancy that specializes in public relations, advertising, marketing, photography and strategic planning. His clientele include the California Parks Company, a major state and national park concessioner (Lassen Volcanic National Park, Angel Island State Park, Big Basin State Park); Dyer Mountain Associates, LLC, a winter resort development based in Westwood, CA; Intel Museum in Santa Clara, CA; the Folsom Tourism Bureau; Yosemite Resorts a major hotelier providing gateway services at Yosemite National Park, the Redding C&VB, North American Journeys of San Francisco, the California Cultural and Heritage Tourism Council and the Folsom Tourism Bureau. He additionally advises communities on tourism funding solutions and, in partnership with Downtown Resources, provides guidance on establishing Tourism Business Improvement Districts.

Throughout his career, he has gained particular expertise in crisis communications management, handling public relations and communications response on over 30 disasters and communications crises. Within weeks following 9/11, the State of New York sought John Poimiroo’s counsel regarding crisis response and image recovery. This is one of several tourism topics that he has presented before state and regional tourism conferences.

He is Travel Editor of California magazine, and has written for Sunset magazine, the Food & Beverage Journal and Country Inns magazine. John has received numerous awards in journalism, public relations and photography. He is the only person to have ever won both the Society of American Travel Writers Western Chapter Photo Shootout Gold Prize and its prestigious Frank Riley Award for travel writing.

Additionally, John is on the executive committee of the California Roundtable on Recreation, Parks and Tourism and is a member of the California Travel Industry Association, the Outdoor Writers Association of California, the Society of American Travel Writers and is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America.

He was past president of the California Travel Industry Association, founder and chair of the Western States Tourism Policy Council, head of the California delegation to the White House Conference on Travel and Tourism, Vice Chair of the California Tourism Commission, a board member of the National Council of State Tourism Directors, a board member of Watchable Wildlife, Inc., a Commissioner of the California Sesquicentennial Commission and the sole tourism advisor to the Outdoor Recreation Plan for California.

John received a Bachelor’s degree in public relations from San Jose State University in 1969 and a Master’s degree in journalism, with honors, from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1973. He retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1996 at the rank of Captain (O-6), following 30 years service. John and Joan Poimiroo live in El Dorado Hills, Calif. Joan is Executive Vice President of Asset Preservation, Inc. in Granite Bay. Their eldest daughter, Nicole, is a public policy analyst in San Jose, their son, Louis, is senior financial analyst at Fox Entertainment in Los Angeles and their youngest daughter, Aimee, is a sales manager for The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. John is an avid sailor who races sailboats.



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