• Meet Brian Said

    POSTED September 18, 2016

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to brittany.trevick@tigeroak.com.

Brian Said was recently hired as the vice president of global development for Choose Chicago. 

1. What are you looking forward to in your new role as vice president of global development with Choose Chicago? I’m looking forward to selling a top-tier international destination with a world-class product offering a city brand that is recognized worldwide with extensive global air access.

2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role? Over the past 20 years, I’ve built an in-depth knowledge of global markets, cultures, buying patterns and airlines through firsthand experience and established client relationships worldwide that creates a strong foundation adaptable to major markets and gateway cities.

3. What goals do you have in mind for the destination for this year and further down the line? I’ll listen to the stakeholders and the buyers and get a better picture of where Chicago stands now in the market place. I’ll create a priority list and re-introduce the destination to both the mature and emerging markets.

4. How did you get into the industry? I attended a five-year hotel school program in Europe and in the U.S. I worked at upscale and luxury branded, as well as independent resorts, in operational and sales capacities for 10 years. The move to destination marketing happened ten years ago and it was the natural next step.  

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry? Tourism creates unparalleled job and growth opportunities for people from any background and walks of life that are ready to work. It is a positive industry that promotes cultural understanding and peace. I enjoy doing my part to make my city more successful and its citizens proud.

With 47,000-plus square feet of meeting space, executive chef Thomas Harkins of Loews Philadelphia Hotel and its on-site restaurant Bank & Bourbon feed many groups throughout the year.


The picturesque destination is a dream locale for a meeting or event.


Location: Recognized as “the gateway to New Jersey,” Elizabeth is an ideal destination for meetings and events on a budget while boasting a New York City feel. Located 30 minutes outside New York City and 10 minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport, Elizabeth is easily accessible by plane, train, boat or major highway. With just over 132,000 residents, Elizabeth is the fourth largest city in the state of New Jersey after Newark, Jersey City and Patterson.