Destinations International Announces 18 CDME Recipients


Media Contact:

Caitlyn Blizzard

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Anaheim, Calif. (July 13, 2018) – Destinations International announced that 18 industry leaders received their Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation at Annual Convention which took place July 10-13, 2018 in Anaheim, Calif.

“Congratulations to the class of 2018, said Maura Allen Gast, FCDME, Executive Director of Visit Irving. “Your commitment to pursue your CDME certification has made you stronger, better and deeper at every role you play and every hat you wear – but I also know it’s made your organizations and your communities stronger, better and deeper, too!”

“Congratulations to those who have earned their CDME credential - the tourism industry's highest individual achievement." said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. These leaders are now equipped with the knowledge needed to adapt and manage the increasing change and competition facing our industry.”

The CDME program is the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry and is the tourism industry’s highest individual educational achievement. The program is designed to better prepare senior destination organization executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and community leaders.

2018 CDME recipients include:

  • David Atkins
  • Yan Baczkowski of Outdooractive
  • Jack Bonney, Content Development Manager of Visit Anchorage
  • David Buckenberger, Senior VP of Business Development of Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Corrina Ferguson, Director Destination Campaign & Marketing of Visit Williamsburg
  • Jon Hixon, Vice President, Sales & Services of Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Lilly Kelly, Director of Marketing of Visit Anchorage
  • Julie Kirkpatrick, Vice President Sales and Marketing of meetNKY
  • Amanda Kliem, Director of Sales of Visit Newport Beach Inc
  • Brook Kreder (Kaufman), CEO of Visit Casper
  • Tom Loftus, Chief Marketing Officer of VisitPITTSBURGH
  • John Mills, Executive Vice President of Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Cliff Myers, Director of Administration of Virginia Beach CVB
  • Katherine O'Donnell, Vice President of Community Relations of Richmond Region Tourism
  • Brett Oetting, CEO of Visit Topeka        
  • Devon Perry, Executive Director, Visit South Jersey
  • Julie Pingston, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau 
  • Adam Thomas, Tourism Director of Visit Pasco

For more information about CDME or Destinations International, visit


About Destinations International:

Destinations International (formerly Destination Marketing Association 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 more than 4,700 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in approximately 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