Destinations International Hall of Fame

Pioneers. Champions. Influencers. Industry leaders. These are the men and women who have advanced and improved the destination industry through their leadership, innovation and creativity.

Launched in 2014, the Hall of Fame Award was created to recognize individuals who have changed the future of the destination industry for the better. It is the highest honor that Destinations International can bestow.

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on these pioneers, champions and influencers, and allow our members around the globe an opportunity to get to know them and their work. The selection process is based on how each inductee shaped or influenced the destination marketing and management industry, created positive change, and how their contributions created long lasting impact on travel promotion today.

This prestigious award provides a historical narrative of the leaders who have helped grow and nurture the destination marketing industry through the years.

To learn more about the awards please click here or contact Chelsea Welter, Vice President of Governance & Administration at [email protected].

2022 Honorees

Modern Era Inductees

Paul Astleford headshot Paul Astleford
Former President & CEO
Visit Jacksonville
Reyn Bowman headshot Reyn Bowman
Former President & CEO
Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
Shelly Green headshot Shelly Green, CDME
Former President & CEO
Discover Durham
Bob Lander headshot Robert "Bob" Lander
Former President & CEO
Visit Austin
Greg Ortale headshot Greg Ortale
Former President & CEO
Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Development Era Inductees

Charles Lapointe headshot Charles Lapointe
Former President
Tourisme Montreal
Bill McGowan headshot William "Bill" McGowan
Former President & CEO
Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association
J. Gordon Smith headshot Major J. Gordon Smith
Former Director
British Columbia Government Travel Bureau

Industry Contributor Inductees

Anne & Ross Heller headshot Anne & Ross Heller
Publishers & Executive Editors
USAE Weekly News
Shimo headshot Christine "Shimo" Shimasaki, CDME, CMP
Managing Director
2Synergize, a Simpleview Company

Past Honorees

2021 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Larry Alexander, Former President & CEO, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Deb Archer, Former President & CEO, Destination Madison
  • Wayne Chappell, Former Executive Director, Baltimore Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Marion Frances Szurek, Former Executive Director, San Angelo Convention & Visitors Bureau

2020 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Bonnie Carlson, President & CEO, Bloomington CVB (MN)
  • Solomon & Gloria Herbert, Publishers of Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine
  • Wendy Perks Fisher, Former President and CEO, Rockford Area CVB
  • Karolyn Kirchgesler, Former President and CEO, Team San Jose

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Cole Carley, Former President & CEO, Fargo, Moorhead CVB
  • Kathleen (Kitty) Ratcliffe, President of Explore St. Louis
  • Shelley Johnson, CDME, LCTP, Former Executive Director/CEO of Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB
  • W. Bill Williams, Former VP of Diversity Sales at Choose Chicago

2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Anja Loetscher, Former Director, Geneva Tourism & Conventions Foundation
  • Marian Holt McLain, Former President & CEO, San Jose CVB
  • William (Bill) Peeper, Former President & CEO, Orlando CVB
  • Deborah Sexton, Former President & CEO, PCMA

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Charles Ahlers, Former President, Anaheim/Orange Co. Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Rick Antonson, Former President & CEO, Tourism Vancouver
  • Robert Cumings, Former President, Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Charles Gillett, Former President & CEO, New York Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • John Marks, Former President & CEO, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Tom Muldoon, Former President, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Dave Radcliffe, Former President & CEO, Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Spurgeon Richardson, Former President & CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Charlotte St. Martin, Former Executive Vice President of Operations and Marketing, Loews Hotel
  • Chester “Chet” Wilkins, Former CEO, Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau

2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Ray Bloom, Chairman and Founder, IMEX Group
  • Brad Burlingame, Former President & CEO, Visit West Hollywood
  • Nicki Grossman, Former President, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Gary Sain, Former President & CEO, Visit Orlando

2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Don Anderson, Executive Partner/Founder, Destination Consultancy Group
  • George Fenich, Ph.D., Professor of Meetings/Events/Conventions, School of Hospitality Leadership, East Carolina University
  • Bobbie Patterson, Former Executive Director, Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • William F. Snyder, Former President, Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Edward J. McNeill, Former President, New Orleans Metropolitan CVB

2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Milton J. Carmichael, Former President/CEO/Founder, Detroit Convention and Tourists' Bureau (Founded 1896)
  • Peggy Flower, Former Executive Director of Convention Sales, Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Rossi Ralenkotter, Former President/CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
  • Leonard E. Rolston, Former President, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • George D. Kirkland, CAE, Former President, Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Gary Grimmer, CEO, Gaining Edge