Destinations International Announces 41 CDME Recipients

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<span>Destinations International Announces 41 CDME Recipients</span>


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Caitlyn Blizzard
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Destinations International Announces 41 CDME Recipients

DALLAS, TEXAS, USA (July 18, 2023) – Destinations International announced that 41 industry leaders earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation in 2023.  They were recognized at the association’s Annual Convention which takes place July 18-20 in Dallas, Texas, USA.

“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 have invested in their education and are now equipped with the knowledge needed to adapt to and manage the increasing change and competition facing our industry.”

“As the industry’s highest professional achievement, the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) program pushes destination leaders to think differently in this constantly changing environment,” said Gary Sherwin, CDME, president and CEO of Newport Beach and Company and chair of the CDME Board of Directors. “It is more important than ever for senior executives to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to serve their communities in the greatest capacity.”

The CDME program is the only industry certification program specifically designed for destination management professionals and is the tourism industry’s highest individual educational achievement. The program is designed to prepare destination organization professionals to leverage their experience and to apply their knowledge with a focus on vision, leadership, productivity and implementing business strategies.

2023 CDME recipients:

•    Matt Algarin, Tourism Director, Walton County Tourism
•    Karina Anthony, Senior Director of Marketing, Visit Atlantic City
•    Theresa Belpulsi, Senior VP, Tourism, Sports & Visitor Experience, Destination DC
•    Domenic Bravo, CEO/President, Visit Cheyenne
•    David Breisch, Senior Director of Marketing, Destinations International
•    Rachel Brown, Executive Director, Visit Durango 
•    Ceri Chong, Director, Destination and Industry Development, Tourism Richmond BC
•    Sandy Christensen, Sr. Vice President - Finance & Business Operations, Meet Minneapolis
•    Jeremiah Cook, Tourism Manager, Visit College Station
•    Meredith Darden, Chief of Staff, Visit Corpus Christi
•    Michelle Devine    , National Account Director, Visit Newport Beach 
•    Kara Franker, President & CEO, Visit Estes Park
•    Stacie Granum, Chief Strategy Officer, Visit Rapid City
•    J.J. Greer, Director - Sports & Events, Memphis Tourism
•    Devin Heath, Executive Director, Visit Natchez
•    Andrew Heidt, Director of Sales, Visit Boise
•    Jason Holic, Sr. Vice President of Operations & Community Engagement, Experience Kissimmee
•    Andi Jaspersen, Director of Public Relations, Relic Agency
•    Anne Klenke, Vice President - Destination Development/Community Engagement, Visit Lake Charles
•    James Leppan, Senior Manager, Destination Development, Explore Edmonton
•    Chris Lewis, Director of Destination Development, Tourism Kelowna
•    Katie Ligon, Executive Assistant to the President/CEO, Memphis Tourism
•    Liz Mabe, Senior Account Director, Miles Partnership
•    Bill McMillan, Senior Director of Sales, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
•    Maureen Morgenthien, Director of Marketing, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau
•    Sonya Nash, Executive Director, LaGrange County, IN Convention & Visitors Bureau
•    Rose Noble, CEO & President, Visit Spokane
•    Fallon Oldenburg, Destination Strategist, Madden Media
•    Beth Olson, Director of Sales, Visit Santa Barbara
•    Elke Opsahl, Director of Sales, Choose Chicago
•    Enrique Paulo, National Account Director, Visit Newport Beach 
•    Joey Pierce, Marketing Manager, Visit Prince William County Virginia
•    Matthew Robinette, Vice President of Visitor Services, Richmond Region Tourism
•    Jeff Robinson, Senior Director of Marketing, Visit Indy
•    Terry Smith, CEO, Destination Cape Breton
•    Susan Tucker, Director, Business Process & Development, Houston First Corporation
•    Eliza Voss, Vice President Destination Marketing, Aspen Chamber Resort Association 
•    Vimal Vyas, Vice President of Data, Security and Digital Innovation, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau
•    Jennifer Walker, Chief Marketing Officer    , Visit Dallas
•    Meg Winchester, Destination Management Advisor, Visit Galveston
•    Marc Zimmerman, Senior Economic Development Manager, Visit Central Florida

For more information about CDME or Destinations International, visit



About Destinations International:

Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. With more than 7,500 members and partners from over 700 destinations, the association represents a powerful forward-thinking and collaborative community around the world. For more information, visit