DMAI Announces Additional Keynote Speakers for 2017 Annual Convention

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Evita Turquoise Robinson and Willie Geist added to list of extraordinary keynote speakers for this year’s convention.

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Chairman Gary C. Sherwin, CDME and President and CEO of Visit Newport Beach, Inc. and President and CEO Don Welsh today announced more keynote speaker details for the 2017 Annual Convention in Montréal, Canada July 11‐14.

“We are thrilled to have assembled such a diverse and respected group of speakers for the Annual Convention. We look forward to inspiring and equipping our members with education sessions as well as giving them the unique opportunity to connect with industry peers in Montréal.” 

- Don Welsh

Evie RobinsonKeynote: Evita Turquoise Robinson (Thursday, July 13)

Since her first taste of Europe at the age of 21, Evita Turquoise Robinson (Evie) has been to over 30 countries and has lived on three continents. In September 2011, she created the Nomadness Travel Tribe, an online social community that now boasts over 16,000 members worldwide, comprised 80 percent of Black female travelers and the first of its kind targeting diverse millennial travelers. Join Evie on her quest to break down the mental barriers of travel, as she shares her mission that travel is not just a privilege for some but an experience for all.

Willie GeistKeynote: Willie Geist (Thursday, July 13)

Willie Geist is Host of NBC News’ “Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist,” co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and a regular host and contributor to “TODAY”, “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” and “Meet the Press.” He hosted coverage of several Olympic Games, and is the author of three New York Times best-selling books. Join this afternoon session for an insightful and humorous breakdown and political analysis of current events.

Other keynote speakers include:

Richard St. Pierre (Wednesday, July 12):

As a passionate builder and social business advocate, he believes that creativity is the path to connecting ideas and execution. Learn how he transformed this thinking into the purpose and goal as C2 Montréal’s CEO, to transform executives and organizations by providing a collaborative context designed to spark new ideas, challenge biases, shift perspective and explore completely new ways of doing business.

Chris Gardner (Friday, July 14):

Entrepreneur, best-selling author and single parent, Chris Gardner’s autobiography, the Pursuit of Happyness, became a New York Times #1 best seller and critically acclaimed movie. In addition to being a brand Ambassador for AARP, Gardner recently produced his first film, met the Pope, “re-enlisted” in the U.S. Military and works closely with the U.S. Veterans Administration to end homelessness amongst veterans. Be inspired as Chris challenges you to achieve your full potential.

As the premier event for destination marketing and management professionals, DMAI's 2017 Annual Convention provides a unique opportunity for professionals to connect with and learn from peers and thought leaders from inside and outside the industry. All programming for the convention will be held at Palais Des Congress de Montreal, located at the north end of Old Montreal in Montreal's borough of Ville-Marie. In 2017, DMAI will continue the promise to educate, inspire and create while in Montreal, as it celebrates its 375th anniversary of this historic city. For more information or to register, visit 

The 2017 Annual Convention is supported by many sponsors, including: ASAE, Airbnb, Brand USA, CrowdRiff, CVENT, Expedia, IAEE, IMEX, Lonely Planet, Miles, MMGY, MPI, Northstar, PCMA, Schneider Publishing, Searchwide, Simpleview, STR, Tourisme Montréal, and TripAdvisor.