• Discover Lehigh Valley Names New President

    POSTED August 8, 2018

The Discover Lehigh Valley board of directors voted to appoint Alex Michaels as its next president. Michaels, a former Lehigh Valley resident and 1987 Whitehall High School graduate, will bring more than 25 years of executive sales and management experience within the hospitality and tourism, and sports council industries to his position. In March, Discover Lehigh Valley’s current and long-time president, Michael Stershic, announced he would retire at the end of 2018. Michaels will start on October 1, 2018 to overlap with the end of Stershic’s tenure to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. 

Most recently, Michaels served as vice president of sales and services for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge and as chief operating officer for Virginia’s Blue Ridge Sports Council. Prior to that, he held positions as director of national accounts and director of sales at Visit Jacksonville Convention and Visitors Bureau—where he was named top producer for eight consecutive years and honored with the Rising Star Award by Meeting Professionals International. He also held the role of senior sales manager at Daytona Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additionally, he served in the United States Navy, enlisting as a medical specialist before taking on roles of purchasing manager and hospital corpsman. He earned nine awards and five medals from 2001 to 2005, including the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal for service above and beyond the call of duty.

“After an extensive search process, we are pleased to welcome Alex to our organization—and back to Lehigh Valley,” said Kassie Hilgert, president and chief executive officer of ArtsQuest and chair of Discover Lehigh Valley’s board of directors. “We are confident that Alex’s leadership and experience within the tourism industry are a natural fit and will propel our efforts forward, helping build on the continued success that Michael Stershic has helped our organization accomplish over the last 14 years.” 

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has announced the appointment of Matthew Hurlburt as the new area director of operations for New York and Pennsylvania and the new general manager of Kimpton Muse Hotel in Manhattan. In his new role, Hurlburt will oversee six Kimpton properties in both states—Kimpton Hotel Eventi, Kimpton Ink48 Hotel, Kimpton Muse Hotel, Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia and Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh.


This November, Brent Howard was appointed the new director of The Towers at Lotte New York Palace. Howard has been in the hospitality industry for close to eight years and has spent the last three years with Lotte New York Palace. In his new role, Howard will ensure guests have an experience that goes far beyond expectations in The Towers' accommodations, which occupy the top 14 floors of the hotel. 

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  


Discover Lehigh Valley, the destination marketing organization that promotes tourism in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh and Northampton counties, announced President Michael Stershic will retire at the end of 2018.

“I’ve been fortunate to live and work in Lehigh Valley for more than 35 years, and it’s been a true honor to serve in this role for 14 of those years,” said Stershic.