meet our destination experts


Save yourself the legwork and the guesswork and call on our Destination Experts for your planning support. Think of them as your very own complimentary concierges...and by complimentary we mean FREE. No catch. FREE. Our Experts are here to help with issuing RFPs, organizing site visits, introducing you to vendors and more.

Alex Hurd CMP, HMCC

A second generation Rhode Islander, Alex has lived and worked in Newport his whole life, so representing our region is second nature. Alex joined Discover Newport in 2011 as Tourism Sales Manager and was appointed a Destination Expert in 2015. Alex was recently promoted to Director of Sales in 2022.

Market Summary: MA, DC, VA, MD, VT, NH, ME

Patricia Smurro CMP, HMCC

A native New Yorker, Patricia has immersed herself into Newport life as a Destination Expert. Part of the Discover Newport sales team since 2006 and in hospitality for 20+ years, Patricia is an active member of Meeting Professionals International. She is also a member, and former President, of Northeast Convention and Visitor Bureau Representatives.

Market Summary: NY, NJ, PA, south of DC, west to the Mississippi, and international

Susan Carlson

A local Newporter with vast experience in destination sales, Susan joins the Discover Newport team as the newest Destination Expert. With a background in the Newport hotel community and previous Convention and Visitors Bureau experience, she adds a wealth of destination knowledge and sales skills to the Discover Newport team.

Market Summary: RI, CT, IL and west of the Mississippi

Pam Blauvelt

A native New Englander, Pam moved to Newport in 2017 to pursue her passion in the tourism & hospitality industry. Pam joined Discover Newport in 2019, having spent over 15 years in hospitality.

Market Summary: Motorcoach/Tour Operator and S.M.E.R.F. (Social, Military, Educational, Religious, Fraternal)

Meeting Newport Castle Hill

meeting planners guide

View an online copy of our Meeting Planner's Guide. You'll discover our Destination Expert's complimentary services, destination overview, travel information and hotel specs.

Castle Hill Lighthouse

media gallery

Curated collection of images intended for non-commercial use by media, authorized meeting planners and tour operators to promote our nine coastal communities as a destination for tourism.

Meeting at Rosecliff Mansion

Local Speakers Bureau

Finding the right speaker or local expert for your meeting or event is a snap with our new Local Speakers Bureau.

Clam Lobster Bake

Event Services

Here’s a list of helpful resources and services to make your event a seamless, sensational affair to remember.

Meetings 41 North

planner resources

Your success is our success so take advantage of these resources and our FREE Destination Expert services and let’s give them something to talk about.

Easton's Beach

CSR opportunities

When you meet in our destination…You CAN change the world! Hosting your meeting in our destination and looking for a way to give back to the local community? Our Destination Experts have suggestions.

A Planner's Perspective