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 organization and marketing industry for the better. It is the highest honor that Destinations International can bestow.

Destinations International’s goal is to shine a spotlight on these pioneers, champions and influencers, in order to 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.

This year’s honorees include:

Industry Contributor:

•   Ted Levine, Founder & Former Chairman of Development Counsellors International (DCI)

Modern Era:

•    Dale Lockett, Former President & CEO, Visit Bastrop
•    Dan Lincoln, CTA, Former President & CEO, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
•    Karen Williams, Former President & CEO, Louisville Tourism
•    William “Bill” Talbert, CDME, Former President & CEO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

2024 Honorees

Ted Levine

Founder & Former Chairman of Development Counsellors International (DCI)

Dan Lincoln, CTA

Former President & CEO, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau

Past Honorees

2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Modern Era
    • Joseph McGrath, CDME, former president and CEO, VisitPittsburgh 
    • Steve Moore, former president and CEO, Visit Phoenix
    • William “Bill” Hanbury, former president and CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority
  • Development Era
    • Dan Mobley, CAE, Former President and CEO, Washington DC Convention Association
  • Industry Contributors
    • Victor Hugo Green and Alma Green, creators and editors of The Green Book

2022 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Modern Era
    • Paul Astleford, Former President & CEO, Visit Jacksonville
    • Reyn Bowman, Former President & CEO, Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Shelly Green, CDME, Former President & CEO, Discover Durham
    • Robert "Bob" Lander, Former President & CEO, Visit Austin
    • Greg Ortale, Former President & CEO, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Development Era
    • Charles Lapointe, Former President, Tourisme Montreal
    • William "Bill" McGowan, Former President & CEO, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association
    • Major J. Gordon Smith, Former Director, British Columbia Government Travel Bureau
  • Industry Contributors
    • Anne & Ross Heller, Publishers & Executive Editors, USAE Weekly News
    • Christine "Shimo" Shimasaki, CDME, CMP, Managing Director, 2Synergize, a Simpleview Company

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

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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