Hammond, IN (July 26, 2013) - During the recent South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority's Board of Director strategic planning retreat, the SSCVA's President & CEO Speros A. Batistatos announced an organizational restructuring plan.

"Named after Indiana's award of highest distinction, the 'Sagamore of the Wabash' restructuring plan will allow the SSCVA to look to its deep bench of extremely talented team members to fill the spot left by exiting Executive Vice President Katie Holderby," said Batistatos.

"We can't replace Katie's 20 years of talent and relationships, but we can look to the future and build on our strengths," said Batistatos.

Batistatos referred to the fact that "sagamore" was used by the Native American Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice.

"With the new restructuring, we will have four chiefs to manage their respective silos," added Batistatos. Janis Flutka will continue to manage finance as the organization's Chief Financial Officer; Heather Becerra will assume the role of Chief Marketing Officer and Luke Weinman IV will move into the role of Chief Technology Officer. Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone will take on the expanded role of Vice President & Chief Communication Officer.

"This new organizational structure allows us to utilize the exceptional talents of our team members," said Batistatos.

Becerra, Mackowski-Gladstone and Weinman bring to the table decades of experience in the destination marketing organization industry.

Becerra began with the SSCVA as an intern and has continued to work her way up within the organizational ranks to her current role of Chief Marketing Officer. Under Becerra's leadership the marketing department has led the industry in the amateur sports arena and convention services.

"As a part of this organization for the past 14 years, I'm excited that I've been given the opportunity to lead the sales and marketing department. I have learned a lot from Spero and Katie over the years and look forward to collaborating with our team to bring in new events and develop new ideas for the South Shore," said Becerra.

Under Weinman's leadership the SSCVA launched a completely redesigned, state-of-the-art website and became the first DMO to launch a mobile website using geo-centric functionality.

"I am truly excited to be working side-by-side with what I feel is the top marketing and communications professionals for destination marketing organizations," Weinman said. "I have made it a personal goal to lead the SSCVA to the top of technology trendsetters in the tourism industry."

Since joining the organization, Mackowski-Gladstone has increased the South Shore CVA's media presence by almost 500 percent, assisted with the establishment of the South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail and coordinated The John Dillinger Museum's appearance on the Travel Channel's Mysteries at the Museum, earning the Indiana Welcome Center nationwide recognition.

"I look forward to working with Heather, Luke and Janis on a new level," said Mackowski-Gladstone. "With this plan our staff can look to diverse leaders for advice and guidance, enabling us to continue to be one of the most forward-thinking bureaus in the nation."