Destinations International Foundation Announces the 2021 30 Under 30 Class


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Caitlyn Blizzard
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Destinations International Foundation Announces the 2021 30 Under 30 Class

Washington, D.C. (April 14, 2021) – The Destinations International Foundation and Destinations International, the global trade association for official convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards, today announced the 2021 30 Under 30 class, which is a group of highly talented young professionals in the destination organization industry. Learn more about the honorees here.

Destinations International is committed to investing and preparing the leaders of tomorrow and developing future industry leaders that represent a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives. Each year, 30 individuals under the age of 30, are selected to gain valuable industry networking opportunities and increased thought leadership throughout the year. The honorees originate from a variety of destination organizations of all sizes and countries.

A diverse and inclusive workplace is central to our industry’s ability to attract, develop, and retain the talent it needs to remain competitive, drive innovation and maintain relevance. Studies on equity, diversity and inclusion show that there is an opportunity for training and education for entry and midlevel employees that would have a long-term impact to implement equity, diversity and inclusion practices and be deliberate on succession planning.

“The 30 Under 30 program remains critical to our organization’s vision and mission,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “As our industry moves toward recovery, we are especially excited to announce these young professionals as they are the future of the travel and tourism industry.”

“The Destinations International Foundation believes in building up the leaders of tomorrow, said John Lambeth, president of Civitas and Destinations International Foundation chair. “We are proud of our 30 Under 30 Program and for the foundation donors who make programs like these possible for our industry. We look forward to engaging with them through professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year and in the years to come.”

“We are so proud to honor this year’s class in light of the tremendous challenges our industry has experienced,” said Mike Gamble, President and CEO of SearchWide Global. “As we work collectively to rebuild and re-energize, this diverse group of rising leaders will remain essential to the future of destination marketing and management.”

The 2021 30 Under 30 Class Includes:

  • Imran, Ansari, Vice President, Discover Long Island
  • Jasmine Armstrong, Hotel Relations Manager, Visit Philadelphia
  • Derek Byrne, Social Media Manager, Visit KC
  • Rodrigo Carreon, Visitor Services & Marketing Coordinator, Visit Lake Norman
  • Emily Deckert, Sales & Marketing Manager, Explore Waterloo Region
  • Colleen Dorney, Director of Outreach & Operations, Dutchess Tourism, Inc.
  • Zane Harrington, Communications Manager, VisitDallas
  • DeShawn Hewgley, Visitor Services Manager, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
  • Mariah Hickman, Marketing Manager, New Orleans & Co.
  • Lauren Huffer, Partnership Services Manager, VISIT DENVER
  • Alicia Leamer, Visitor Information Services Manager, Travel Juneau
  • Jason Letwin, Research and Performance Manager, Explore Edmonton
  • Silei Li Manager, Advertising, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Shannon Lowery, Content & Social Media Manager, Visit Savannah
  • Bree Nidds, Vice President of Sales, Discover Lehigh Valley
  • Manuel Pimentel, Multimedia Coordinator, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Zeke Ramsell, Manager, Convention Sales, SF Travel
  • Mara Rodas, Sales Coordinator, Destination Toronto
  • Lacee Rudd, Public Relations Manager, Visit Panama City Beach
  • Jé-Vonna Sampson, Manager, Borough Relations & Member Programs, NYC & Company
  • Maria Santos, Manager, Global Marketing Programs, Brand USA
  • Mary Sayewich, Manager, Project Services, Ottawa Tourism
  • Elizabeth Shanaman, VP Research & Market Analysis, Visit York County
  • Caleb Sullivan, Sales and Marketing Manager, Jackson County Tourism Development Authority
  • Nate Swick, Communications Manager, Visit Indy
  • Chase  Wharton, Business Development Manager, Visit Tri-Cities
  • Chelsea Whitman, Meeting Sales Manager, Visit Anaheim
  • Leonard Williams, Experience Satisfaction Coordinator, Bermuda Tourism Authority
  • Jeffrey Yau, Senior International Tourism Sales Manager, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Emily Zertuche, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Corpus Christi

Now in its 11th year, the 30 Under 30 program is supported by founding program partner, SearchWide Global and sponsored by Fired Up! Culture, MMGY Global, Northstar Meetings Group and Pandora. For more information on the 30 Under 30 Program and the 2021 30 Under 30 class, please visit


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

About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with almost 6,000 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in 15 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association: exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit

About the Author

Caitlyn Blizzard, CDMEVice President of CommunicationsDestinations International

About the Author

Caitlyn is responsible for the strategic communications that promote the association's mission and goals. Her prior industry experience includes five years at the Alpharetta (GA) CVB leading the organization's public relations efforts including working with local, regional and national media.

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