January 15, 2023
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Ventura visitor’s bureau names new executive director


After several months of searching for a new executive director, the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau named Marlyss Auster to the top post.

Auster replaces Brian Pendleton, who has been the bureau’s interim director since the beginning of October. The search for a new executive director began in July, when longtime director Jim Luttjohann resigned from the job.

Oscar Peña, chairman of the agency’s board of directors, said Auster was selected after several months of interviewing and recruiting candidates. “Auster’s vision for Ventura as a local, regional and national destination for visitors looking to experience true California culture is right in line with the board of directors’,” Peña said in a news release. “Her background in large-scale special events, hospitality and knowledge of the Central California Coast make her a perfect fit as executive director.”

Before she signed on with the city of Ventura, Auster was the assistant executive director of the Arizona State Fair. Prior to that, she managed convention sales for divisions of the Hyatt and Renaissance hotel chains. She began her career in hospitality at the Doubletree Hotel in Ventura, and according to a news release, she’s always dreamed of returning to the city.