• 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.

Andrea Hahn, general manager of Chicago’s new MB Ice Arena, knows her way around an ice rink.


Held at the United Center Sept. 21-23, 2018, the Laver Cup—a men’s tennis tournament pitting six top European players against six of their counterparts—marked the first time this major event has been held in the United States. Total event attendance was more than 93,000 people, with fans from around the world traveling to Chicago for an unforgettable experience with the game’s best players. “The Laver Cup was a huge win for Chicago,” says Kara Bachman, executive director of the Chicago Sports Commission.


Sports tourism in Illinois is much more than just a seat in the stadium.