Destinations International and Destinations International Foundation Announce New Board Members, Raise $180,000 USD for HBCU Hospitality Scholarship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE      

Media Contact:

Caitlyn Blizzard

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Washington, D.C. (July 20, 2022) – Destinations International today announced the new 2022-2023 association Board of Directors and foundation Board of Trustees. Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore assumed the role of Chair of Destinations International. Vail Ross, senior vice president of sales and marketing of STR assumed the role of chair of the Destinations International Foundation.

“Destinations International and the Destinations International Foundation are driven by the experienced volunteers serving on our boards and committees,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “We are truly grateful for the time, counsel and service these individuals dedicate to our industry and we look forward to their leadership during their time as a board member and beyond. It is our pleasure and honor to welcome our newest directors and trustees to the boards for 2022/2023.”

"I’m humbled and honored to assume the chair role of the Destinations International association as we enter a very important time in the history of our industry," said Al Hutchinson, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore and Chair of Destinations International. "As we look forward to the year ahead, it is critical for our industry that we focus on membership engagement, workforce development, post-pandemic marketing support, and diversity, equity and inclusion. As part of this focus, we are thrilled to announce a scholarship program to provide opportunities to hospitality students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I truly believe that together as an organization, we can make critical and lasting impact on the state of tourism as we tackle some of the most important issues facing our industry."

“The role of the Destinations International Foundation could not be more relevant in its support of the work of Destinations International and its membership,” said Vail Ross, senior vice president of sales and marketing at STR and chair of the Destinations International Foundation. “I am truly honored and look forward to leading and supporting the vision and many initiatives that will progress throughout this next year including our work with equity, diversity and inclusion and workforce development. One of our initiatives this year is the implementation of the HBCU Scholarship to help underrepresented students with barriers challenging them to enroll, attend and graduate from college. Through the Destinations International Foundation, Destinations International and industry partners are pleased to present the Destinations International Foundation HBCU and Hospitality Scholarship to attract underrepresented and ethnically diverse students who are seeking a degree in hospitality management or tourism management. We have already raised $180,000 USD. I look forward to serving my colleagues in this role as foundation chair and look forward to helping the Destinations International continue to help move our industry forward.”

For more information about the HBCU Scholarship, please click here.

The 2022-2023 Board of Directors and Board of Trustees officers are listed below.

2022/2023 Association Board of Directors Slate:

  • Sonya Bradley, Visit Sacramento
  • Bennish Brown, Destination Augusta
  • David Burgess, Miles Partnership
  • Leslie Bruce, Visit Banff & Lake Louise
  • Santiago Corrada, Visit Tampa Bay
  • Ryan George, Simpleview
  • Brett Oetting, CDME, Visit Corpus Christi
  • Lyn Lewis Smith, Business Events Sydney
  • Rose Noble, Visit Galena
  • Kristen Reynolds, CDME, Discover Long Island

2022/2023 Board Officers:

  • Chair: Al Hutchinson, Visit Baltimore
  • Chair-Elect: Fred Dixon, NYC & Company
  • Immediate Past-Chair: Butch Spyridon, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Scott White, Visit Greater Palm Springs


2022/2023 Foundation Board of Trustees Slate:

  • Renee Areng, CDME, Brookhaven Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Jayne DeLuce, CDME, Visit Champaign County
  • Amir Eylon, Longwoods International
  • Bill Geist, DMOProz
  • Kellie Henderson, SearchWide Global
  • Alex Michaels, CDME, Discover Lehigh Valley
  • Paul Nursey, Destination Greater Victoria
  • Steve Paganelli, CDME, Tripadvisor
  • Stacy Ritter, CDME, Visit Lauderdale
  • Angela Val, Visit Philadelphia

2022/2023 Board of Trustees Officers:

  • Chair: Vail Ross, STR
  • Chair-Elect: Ellie Westman Chin, CDME, Destination Madison
  • Immediate Past-Chair: John Percy, CDME, Destination Niagara USA
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Amir Eylon, Longwoods International
  • At-Large Board Position: Martha Sheridan, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau Incorporated

For more information visit www.destinationsinternational.org.

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About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards.

About the Destinations International Foundation:

The Destinations International Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering destination marketers globally by providing education, research, advocacy and leadership development. The Foundation is classified as a charitable organization, under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and all donations to the Foundation are tax-deductible. For more information visit www.destinationsinternational.org