My Experience with the 30 Under 30 Program

By Amelia Ritter, CTA - Livingston County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Applications for the 2021 30 Under 30 Program are now open! Click here to learn more and apply!

I first learned about the 30 Under 30 program from some colleagues at a marketing conference in Cleveland, OH. I knew immediately that being a part of it was a goal I wanted to work toward. Putting my video together and looking at materials from previous recipients was a wonderful reminder of why I love working in tourism so much- we have the most fun! I was so excited about the opportunity to meet new people and expand my network within the industry. Getting the email that I had gotten into the program was definitely a highlight of my year. 

It’s no secret that 2020 didn’t look the way that any of us expected it to. However, the team at Destinations International made the 30 Under 30 program the best and more immersive experience it possibly could have been with the circumstances they were given. The summer that we anticipated all meeting up for the Annual Convention instead brought us concern over rising COVID-19 cases, anxiety about industry changes, natural disasters, political unrest, and countless emails about “these unprecedented times.” I felt great relief about knowing there was an upcoming 30 Under 30 Lunch and Learn or Happy Hour Zoom call. It was clear that the team cared about us and was not prepared to put us on the back burner, but instead created more opportunities for us to know each other, previous year’s 30 Under 30 alumni, and other industry professionals. 

Even without ever having met in person, I am so impressed with our group’s commitment to connecting with each other. Getting to know each other outside the formal Destinations International calls through our own casual meetings is always a treat. It’s nice to have this group to ask questions and get ideas from, and getting to know them personally was an added bonus. I enjoyed Ryan showing us his impressive Christmas decorations, Erin sharing her Harry Potter obsession, Rebecca checking in on the USA from Canada, and talking about the latest TikTok trends with Kylie. It feels good to log on to meetings now and have a built-in network of people I feel like I know outside of their Zoom square. In a year with so much uncharted territory, I am proud of this group for exemplifying the “we’re all in this together” spirit that so many organizations were seeking to create. 

Despite not having been able to stand up on stage with my fellow 30 Under 30 recipients (we will get there!) being a part of this program has been an honor and I am so thankful for the team at Destinations International for working hard to make it special for us. In addition to having the opportunity to build my network and meet some truly incredible colleagues, I feel like this experience has helped shape my perspective on my own capabilities and strength within the industry. For that, I am eternally grateful. 

About the Author

Amelia Ritter headshot
Amelia Ritter
Digital Marketing and Content Manager
Livingston County CVB
Amelia represents the Brighton-Howell Area in Michigan. She is responsible for social media strategy, email marketing, and writing web copy that attracts visitors and keeps locals informed. When she isn’t working, Amelia can be found running along the trails in Livingston County or teaching a yoga class.