Figuring out how to best recover and rebuild in Oakland, California, following the pandemic is how Peter Gamez, Visit Oakland’s new president and CEO, will be spending his first 100 days.

“This city has so much to offer visitors—vibrant arts, culture, museums, sports, recreation, beautiful hotels, dynamic meeting facilities and a mind-blowing culinary scene—but it’s about more than just things on a map,” Gamez said in a press release. “Through our diverse cultures, people and thinking, Oakland can inspire, challenge and change the way people see things.”

Gamez will also aim to align the city’s and his staff’s demographic makeup; to do this, he will make a concerted effort to expand the DMO’s diversity. “Using the census as a guideline, I will make sure that our board of directors and staff reflect our community, including Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and female leadership,” he said.

Through partnering with Visit California and nearby DMOs, such as San Francisco Travel Association, Gamez also plans to expand the city’s reach to the community at large. Gamez served as a board member for SF Travel and was chairman in 2018 and 2019, so this partnership looks like one of promise.

In 2019, he started Hunter Hospitality Consultants, where he worked with hospitality developers, owners and hotel management organizations. Gamez has worked in leading sales positions with Two Roads Hospitality, Commune Hotels + Resorts, Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts, and Kimpton Hotels and Resorts.

“I want to be more than a DMO president. I want to make Visit Oakland the best organization of its kind to work for in the country. I believe that all of us have a higher purpose or calling to impact others positively,” Gamez said. “I want to lead our staff to help them find that higher purpose, which will in turn create a greater positive impact for the community.”

Gamez continued: “One of the first places I worked had a mission statement that simply said, ‘Create joy.’ Sometimes the simplest goals have the greatest impact.”