Biweekly Update: August 10, 2018

Greetings and happy Friday.

I hope this note finds you all well and enjoying the remaining weeks of summer.

Last week, I had the pleasure and honor to participate in the first advisory board meeting for Discover Puerto Rico. Brad Dean, the new President and CEO of the newly created organization has assembled a very committed group of volunteer members to assist with the continued recovery of Puerto Rico. Board members, Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO of PCMA and David Dubois, President and CEO of IAEE and our partner, Steven Paganelli, Director Americas of TripAdvisor were also in attendance for this kick-off meeting. You may learn more about the new advisory board here.

For those of you who were at our Annual Convention in Anaheim, CA, you heard the compelling and inspiring stories coming out of Puerto Rico as the destination recovers from the multiple challenges it has faced over the past few years.

I know that sometimes we are all looking for inspiration and validation of the work we do on behalf of our communities. I will tell you, Puerto Rico was alive and well last week. There is no doubt that Brad Dean is the passionate and experienced leader to lead the recovery efforts and Destinations International will do everything we can do to help this great destination. Go Brad and team!


Congratulations to our Foundation Board Chair and great friend, Jason Fulvi, on his new appointment as President and CEO of Visit KC. Jason has served the Pittsburgh community for the last 16 years, and we wish him well in his new assignment. You may click here to read the announcement.

Congratulations to Board member, Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville CVB, on the reopening of the Kentucky International Convention Center. 


We are excited to announce that 23 destination organization have joined our membership since the beginning of 2018. You may find a list below. Thank you for all your support and we look forward to serving you!

  • Columbia County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Discover Coronado
  • Discover Schenectady
  • Festival Country Indiana
  • Gaston County Travel and Tourism
  • Greater Beaufort - Port Royal Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Inland Empire Tourism Council
  • Kingston Accommodation Partners
  • League City Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Leavenworth Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Livingston County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Louisiana Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus
  • Marquette County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Melbourne Convention Bureau
  • Oak Ridge Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Rancho Cordova Travel & Tourism
  • Trumbull County Tourism Bureau
  • Visit Baldwin City
  • Visit Clearfield County
  • Visit Lawrence County
  • Visit Lenawee
  • Visit Longmont
  • Visit Simi Valley


Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our friends in California who are dealing with continued wildfires. We will keep you updated on how our members are doing and how we all can help.

We are ready to launch full speed into our summit schedule and I encourage you to take a look at the many educational offerings that will take place between now and the end of the year. Each of these summits are disciplined-focused and will have inspiring content developed by dedicated committees members. You may click here to learn more and register for one of the summits.

We are also excited to announce that Destination Showcase will take place February 13, 2019 in Washington, D.C. and that the CEO Summit will take place April 15-18, 2019 in Asheville, NC. We will announce further details soon.


We are thrilled to have two new staff members join the Destinations International team!

Rebecca Turner joins Destinations International as our Vice President of Education and Certification. She is an experienced leader with more than 25 years of experience in non-profit education program management and development for both domestic and international audiences. Throughout Rebecca’s non-profit management career, she has pioneered initiatives that both generated new sources of non-dues revenue and brought sustainable value to association members. A frequent international traveler and jewelry designer, Rebecca received her B.A. degree in Art History and Management at the University of Alabama. Rebecca will manage the curation and design of cutting edge educational opportunities and for the Association’s membership.

Alyssa Poulin joins us as the Product Engagement Manager. With over five years of sales and tourism experience, and 10 years in client-facing roles. She believes in the power of sustainable travel and maintains a holistic view of the tourism ecosystem. While obtaining her Masters in Tourism Administration at The George Washington University, she provided destination development research and consultation for tourism organizations across the US, Europe, and the Caribbean. In her previous role as the Sales Manager for a portfolio of four Marriott hotels, she directed sales for the corporate, government, and tour and travel market segments. Alyssa has a passion for enabling destination success by providing members with the resources they need to excel. As our Product Engagement Manager, Alyssa will coordinate all meetings and conventions-related products including EIC, ORDA, empowerMINT, and MINT+.

Finally, it is with mixed emotion to announce that Jim McCaul will be departing the Destinations International staff. A very talented individual, he has been an integral part of our efforts both in the areas of communications and advocacy. That said, Jim has a terrific opportunity that is in line with his long term goals and we wouldn’t dream of holding him back. Jim will be joining Destinations International business member Resonance Consultancy as their Vice President of Destination Development. In his new role, Jim will be responsible for developing, managing and evaluating best in class destination development planning, programs and resources that support clients goals to provide value to tourism industry stakeholders and enhance quality of life for the community. Please join me in wishing Jim all the best in this new opportunity, and we look forward to his continued involvement with Destinations International as a Business Member. His last day will be September 7th. 


Safe travels to those of you who will be attending ESTO this week in Phoenix, AZ. We also look forward to seeing many of you at ASAE in Chicago, IL and during the many industry events that take place during this annual gathering.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Don Welsh signature

Don Welsh
President & CEO
Destinations International