Destination Organization Leadership Award

The Destination Organization Leadership Award was created in 2017 and is amongst the association's most prestigious honors, recognizing those outstanding individuals who, through their exceptional work and achievements, have made a significant contribution to the destination marketing industry and a profound difference in the communities they serve.

Any destination organization leader who has demonstrated a significant and long-term contribution to the destination marketing industry may be nominated. Specifically, one whom has provided leadership, innovation and credibility among their colleagues and has developed a reputation for excellence through the management of their organization and the use of best practices, cutting-edge technology and strategy.

Up to four Destination Organization Leadership Awardees may be honored each year representing destinations in four different budget categories. This year’s awardees include:

•   Mary Hammond, CDME, Former Executive Director, Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau

•   Wes Rhea, CDME, CEO, Visit Stockton

•   Lisa Bethea, Director of Destination Services, Visit Frisco

•   Leonard Hoops, President & CEO, Visit Indy

2024 Honorees

Lisa Bethea

Director of Destination Services, Visit Frisco

Past Honorees

2023 Awardees

  • Melyssa Reeves, CDME, president & CEO, Visit Vacaville
  • Alana Cooper, president and CEO, Discover Monroe-West Monroe
  • Kyle Edmiston, CDME, president and CEO, Visit Lake Charles
  • Jorge Pesquera, CDME, president and CEO, Discover The Palm Beaches

2022 Awardees

  • Marc Garcia, CATP, President & CEO, Visit Mesa
  • Bonnie Quill, CDME, President & CEO, Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Martha Sheridan, President & CEO, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

2021 Awardee

  • Elliott L. Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC

2020 Awardee

  • Joe D'Alessandro, President & CEO of San Francisco Travel Association

2019 Awardee

  • Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico

2018 Awardee

  • Caroline Beteta, President & CEO, Visit California

2017 Awardee

  • Rossi Ralenkotter, President & CEO, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority

Contact Us

Chelsea Dunlop Welter

Senior Vice President of Governance & Administration
Destinations International

Chelsea Dunlop Welter is the organization's Senior Vice President of Governance & Administration and is directly responsible for managing and supporting all administration and operations for the organization including human resource functions and directly supports the executive office. Additionally, she also manages all board governance and supervision for the Destinations International Association Board of Directors, The Destinations International Foundations Board of Trustees, and their respective committees and task forces.

Chelsea joined Destinations International (DMAI) in 2016 after leaving Choose Chicago where she worked as Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. Prior to her career in travel and tourism, she worked in commercial property management working in both Chicago and New York City for a large international real estate management company and also a regional firm in Chicago.

Chelsea is a graduate of Michigan State University (BA) and Florida State University (MA) with a major in History and American Dance Studies respectively and lives with her family in Detroit Metro area, Michigan.

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