Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee shall create, provide and advance professional development programs that are accessible, offer value and are relevant to the needs of our industry. The committee shall seek to improve the knowledge and skills of members through the recommendation, design and evaluation of all professional development programming, as well as provide continuous analysis, support and oversight to ensure quality, relevance and accessibility.

2023 Committee Members

  • Emily Cassell, CDME, Director, Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (Co-Chair)
  • Julie Pingston, CDME, President and CEO, Greater Lansing CVB (Co-Chair)
  • Amy Zientek, CDME, Director of Sales, Visit Lubbock
  • Andrew Schmidt, CDME, President and CEO, Visit Greenville, NC
  • Audry Brinkman, Exec Assistant & Office Manager, Visit Mesa
  • Beth Erickson, CDME, President and CEO, Visit Loudoun
  • Brandy Evans, CDME, VP, Marketing, Visit Wichita
  • Cassandra Klein (Vasquez), Director of Membership Development, Hospitality Tennessee
  • Cheryl Kilday, President and CEO, Destination North Myrtle Beach
  • Chris Phillips, CFO, Little Rock CVB
  • Dave Herrell, President and CEO, Visit Quad Cities
  • Greg Star, Co-Founder, Carvertise
  • Jake Steinman, Founder & CEO, Travelability
  • Jay Cloutier, Director of Sales, Visit Albany
  • Jennifer Chance, CDME, VP Finance & Operations, Visit Jackson
  • Jennifer Walker, CMO, Visit Dallas
  • Jeremiah Cook, Tourism Manager, Visit College Station
  • John Hixon, Managing Director of Sales, Visit Indy
  • John Mayner, CDME, Director, Shenandoah CVB
  • John Pricher, CDME, Director, Discover Crystal River
  • Jonathan Freeze, CDME, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Justin Farmer, SVP, Business Strategy, MMGY Global
  • Kaitlyn Parham, Director of Digital Marketing, Cobb Travel and Tourism
  • Kathryn Shea Duncan, Director of Social Media, Visit Lake Charles
  • Kristin McGrath, Executive Director, Pasadena CVB
  • Lauren Bourgoing, VP, Miles Partnership
  • Leslie Johnson, VP, Sales & Event Experiences, Visit Milwaukee
  • Mina Robertson, Account Director, Miles Partnership
  • Misty Bond, Sr. Director, Sales & Marketing, Destination Irvine
  • Patrick Tuttle, CDME, Director, Visit Joplin
  • Sally Slater, Director of Convention Sales & Sports Marketing, Fayetteville Area CVB, NC
  • Sandy Christensen, SVP, Finance & Business Operations, Meet Minneapolis
  • Scott Craighead, VP, Sales, Services & Sports, Visit Albuquerque
  • Stacie Granum, Chief Strategy Officer, Visit Rapid City
  • Stephen Ekstrom, Chief Strategist, The Tourism Academy
  • Susan Smith, CDME, CEO, Visit Bastrop
  • Todd O’Leary, CDME, VP, Marketing & Communications, Sonoma County Tourism
  • Trina Flack, VP, Sales Catch Des Moines
  • Wes Rhea, CDME, CEO, Visit Stockton

Destinations International Staff Liaison

  • Rori Ferensic, Senior Vice President of Education

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