The Focus Group, a Gulfport advertising and marketing agency, has hired Renee Areng as the new Vice President of Business Development. Areng has more than 20 years experience in the tourism sector, most recently as the Executive Director of Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Areng will be pursuing clients in the tourism sector, as well as in other key business sectors. She will also serve as a consultant on the agency’s existing tourism accounts.
Areng has been a Certified Destination Marketing Executive since 2007 and was instrumental in achieving accreditation and multiple awards, including Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Year in 2016, for Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast. She previously worked as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Visit Baton Rouge, Convention Marketing Manager for the Lafayette Convention & Visitors Bureau, Executive Director and Special Projects Manager for the State of Louisiana Department of Employment and Training, and Staff Assistant to Congressman Jimmy Hayes.
Areng serves on the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Tourism Association and the Infinity Science Center. She is a graduate of Leadership Jackson County and Leadership Hancock County. In 2017, she was selected as a participant in the Gulf Coast Business Council’s Master Class, was the recipient of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional ‘Forever Young’ award, and 2017 nominee for a ‘One Coast’ leadership award. She is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana and lives in Pass Christian with her husband, Jason, and son, Nick.