John brings over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to his leadership role with Visit Dana Point. Ehlenfeldt is a native of California, and a proud graduate of California State University, Fullerton, receiving a BA in Communications. Ehlenfeldt was certified in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in 2019, and holds additional certifications of Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) and Certified Meeting Professional (CMP). Always committed to the tourism and hospitality industry, John has held several positions with industry related associations serving as President of the Society of Incentive Travel Excellence, President of MPI – Southern California chapter, and currently serving on the International Board of Directors for Meeting Professionals International.
Fun Fact: When John was 17, he won a national essay contest, and represented the state of California on a visit to the White House to meet the sitting president Ronald Regan in the Oval Office.
As the Director of Sales, O’Neill-Cusey develops the destination marketing organization’s sales and marketing strategy. She creates unique programs and promotional opportunities, while serving as a liaison between stakeholders and the organization, to highlight Dana Point’s many offerings to travelers on a national level. O’Neill-Cusey has over a decade of hospitality sales experience, all of which has been in the Dana Point market. Most recently, she served as the senior sales manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Prior, O’Neill-Cusey held several sales roles at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa. O’Neill-Cusey is a California native, and holds a BA in Communications from California State University, Fullerton.
Fun Fact: Rachel organizes a 5K race every year for her birthday in Dana Point Harbor using the Turkey Trot route and calls it the “Rachella 5K”. Immediately following the race, Rachel continues the celebration at one of the wonderful restaurants in Dana Point Harbor.
Jim Samuels, Chairman
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa
Karen Chastain, Vice-Chairman
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
George Munz, Secretary
Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, Doheny Beach
Blue Lantern Inn, A Four Sisters Inn