Destinations International Announces 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees & Destination Organization Leadership Award Recipient

Media Contact:
Caitlyn Blizzard
[email protected]

Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2019) – Destinations International Chair, William Pate, President and CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and Destinations International President and CEO, Don Welsh, today announced the 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees and the Destination Organization Leadership Award recipient. The leaders will be honored at the association’s Annual Convention July 23-25, 2019 in St. Louis, MO.

The Destination Organization Leadership Award was created in 2017 and is amongst the association's most prestigious honors, recognizing those outstanding individuals who, through their exceptional work and achievements, have made a significant contribution to the destination marketing industry and a profound difference in the communities they serve.

The Hall of Fame, started in 2014 during Destinations International’s 100th Anniversary, was created to recognize individuals who have changed the future of destination marketing for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing.

“These individuals have made tremendous contributions for our industry,” said Pate. “This very deserving list has been key to the evolution of our industry and has shaped our industry for future leaders to come.”

“Each Hall of Fame inductee and our Destination Organization Leadership Award recipient, have made tremendous contributions to our industry and we are thrilled to honor them at our Annual Convention in St. Louis,” said Welsh.

2019 Destinations International Destination Organization Leadership Award Recipient:

  • Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico

The 2019 Destinations International Hall of Fame Inductees:

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

“There was a tremendous list of candidates, yet this group continued to rise to the top of our group discussions,” said Steve Moore, President & CEO of Visit Phoenix and Awards Committee Co-Chair. “I am most grateful to the entire committee, the Board of Directors and Destinations International staff for sustaining a platform of inclusive recognition.”

“I’ve been in the industry over 45 years and personally knew most of the early Hall of Fame inductees,” said Paul Arrigo, CDME, President & CEO of Visit Baton Rouge and Awards Committee Co-Chair. “As such I set a high standard for nominees. All of the 2019 recipients are deserving of this honor.”

For more information about the Hall of Fame or the Destination Organization Leadership Award, visit


About Destinations International:
Destinations 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