Gillian Smith, an award-winning marketing executive whose innovative and engaging campaigns have touched consumers around the globe, has joined LEGOLAND® Florida Resort as its vice president of marketing and sales, replacing Rex Jackson, who was promoted to the resort’s general manager in July.
Smith joined the resort in late November, where she leads marketing and sales efforts for its iconic theme park, water park and on-site accommodations. Under Jackson’s direction, Smith serves as a member of the resort’s senior leadership team, developing strategies to ensure its continued growth and position as the world’s premier vacation destination for children 2-12.
“I’m delighted to welcome Gillian to our team,” Jackson said. “Her experience and insights as a marketer, storyteller, traveler and parent will be invaluable as we communicate what makes LEGOLAND Florida Resort such a fun and unparalleled destination for kids.”
Since 2011, Smith served as chief marketing officer of City Year, one of the country’s largest education and national service nonprofit organizations. As its first CMO, she directed an award-winning campaign that more than doubled awareness of City Year among U.S. college students, while leading efforts to refresh its website and further the organization’s recruitment and development efforts.
Previously, Smith spent four years as CMO of the nonprofit Teach for America, which recruits top college graduates in the U.S. to work as teachers in low-income communities.
“My family and I have been frequent visitors to LEGOLAND Florida Resort since it opened,” Smith said, “so I’m excited to join such an awesome team. I look forward to leveraging my experience to drive the resort’s marketing and sales efforts to new heights.”
From 2000-2007, Smith served in a variety of roles at Burger King, including senior director of media and interactive, which produced the pop culture phenomenon subservientchicken.com, a Golden Lion winner for best viral marketing campaign at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France, and a “top campaign of the 21st century” according to Advertising Age.
Her early experience included stints as product manager for Sunbeam and brand manager for Coca-Cola in Germany, where she oversaw a $20 million marketing budget for Fanta, the country’s No. 2 soft drink.
A graduate of Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXI, Smith was named a “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age and an Online All-Star by Media Post magazine in 2006.
Smith graduated magna cum laude from Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., where she received a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in German. She is in the process of relocating to Central Florida from Coral Gables, Fla.