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Melissa Yao Hille promoted to CMO of the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah

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By: Calli Arnold

Click to View April 10, 2012 SAVANNAH, GA -- The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah are pleased to announce that Melissa Yao Hille has been promoted to Chief Marketing Officer.

Yao Hille joined the Savannah Area Chamber and Convention & Visitors Bureau (now known as Visit Savannah) in May 2000 when she came on as Director of Communications. In May 2002, she was promoted to Vice President of Communications.

In her career at the Chamber and Visit Savannah, Yao Hille has formed a communications team who effectively and efficiently market Savannah as a premier destination and helps foster local business growth through promotions of legislative issues and membership events. Yao Hille and her team, which has grown from four to eight as Savannah tourism has increased, have drawn national recognition from the destination marketing industry for being on the forefront of social media and interactive marketing.

“Melissa been extremely successful in leading many aspects of the Chamber and Visit Savannah’s ongoing communications, branding and marketing over the past 10+ years,” said Bill Hubbard, Chief Executive Officer, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Savannah. “Her experience and creativity expands into all that we do and benefits our programs, 2,200+ Chamber member firms, as well at the community of Coastal Georgia that we serve.”

Some significant Savannah events that Yao Hille played a major marketing/public relations role in are: G8 Summit, Presidential visits, Savannah Craft Brew Fest, Savannah River Bridge Run, Savannah Holly Days, Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.

“This is a well-deserved opportunity for Melissa,” said Joseph Marinelli, President of Visit Savannah. Under her direction, Visit Savannah has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to innovative tourism marketing and communications strategies that continue to put our organization and destination at the forefront. She has guided us through brand development, the launch of three new websites, as well as a new mobile site and has established us as a social media leader in the tourism marketing industry.”

As CMO for the Chamber and Visit Savannah, Yao Hille will manage a staff of eight and is responsible for all aspects of strategic planning and execution of advertising, interactive marketing, public relations and special events.

Yao Hille is a proud graduate of St. James School and St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, and graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in Advertising and Marketing. Before starting with the Chamber and Visit Savannah, Yao Hille worked as the Director of Fund Development and Marketing for the Girl Scout Council of Savannah, Ga.

“Melissa is extremely well-known and respected throughout the community and among the top tourism marketing professionals in the country today,” said Marinelli.


The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce is a business organization managed by a volunteer board of directors. The Chamber encompasses Visit Savannah, Ambassadors Council, the CEO Council, Communities in Schools, Drug-Free Workplace, Greater Savannah Sports Council, Governmental Affairs Council, Leadership Savannah, Legends of Golf, Manufacturers and Distributors Council, Military Affairs.

Visit Savannah serves as the official destination marketing organization for the Savannah area tourism industry and is committed to driving economic prosperity in the greater Savannah community through increased overall visitation and related spending while continuing to build upon Savannah’s image as a world-class destination.

Phone: 912.644.6429

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