Wish You Were Here
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: November/December 2011
The Most Influential African-Americans In The Meetings/Tourism Industry
By: Gloria M. Herbert
It’s that time of year again for BM&T’s annual review of the progress and success of those African-Americans who continue to make significant strides in our industry. This is our opportunity to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and contributions of our brothers and sisters who have managed to perform at the highest professional levels despite the challenging economic times we have all faced in recent years.

The sole new entry onto the list this year is Zita Stglich-Ross, director of sales for Visit Orlando. This long overdue recognition is well deserved, given Steglich-Ross’ outstanding service at the bureau and her continued support of diversity efforts in her work.

Sadly, we lost two industry giants since the last list was published; National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners founding member and chairman Howard Mills, and Don H. Barden, chairman and CEO of Barden Companies, The Majestic Star and Fitzgerald Casinos and Hotels, and the Waycore Development Company. Both of these gentlemen brought class and dignity to our industry, and will be sorely missed.

Putting together this list every year makes us, and I hope you, so very proud of those who we are recognizing. But as a result of the process involved it also becomes obvious that so much more needs to be done in the area of diversity and inclusion.

As always, those listed here are to be commended for their achievements, their tenacity, and their determination to succeed in an industry that has been slow to embrace the concept of inclusiveness. Overcoming the challenges they’ve had to face in order to reach the top of their profession, they’ve earned the right to your respect, admiration and recognition. And most importantly, they deserve your consideration when it comes to booking business with them, for them or from them.



LARRY ALEXANDER, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) and a 30-year veteran of the hospitality and tourism industry, has shaped the Bureau into the leading organization responsible for facilitating tourism economic growth in Metro Detroit.
Alexander leads an innovative, multi-award winning convention sales, marketing and convention services effort that has often exceeded CVB industry standards for its performance. He oversees an annual budget of $12 million and 51 employees.

Following passage in 2009 of Michigan Public Act 554, which regionalized the management of Cobo Center under a public Authority, Governor Jennifer Granholm named Alexander as the State’s appointee to the five-member Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority Board. Alexander was elected chairman at the Authority’s first meeting and is currently leading a team that is transforming Detroit’s Cobo Center into a competitive 21st-century meeting and convention facility.

On behalf of the DMCVB, Alexander navigated the efforts to land some of the world’s most coveted sporting events, including Super Bowl XL in 2006 and the 2009 NCAA Men's Final Four. He also created and leads the Detroit Metro Sports Commission, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bureau responsible for landing the 2003 and 2008 AAU Junior Olympic Games, the 2008 Women's International Bowling Congress, and contributing to the successful bid for the 2005 MLB All Star Game. In the realm of professional association meetings, Alexander led the team that won for Detroit the 2015 convention of the American Society of Association Executives, considered the “Super Bowl” of conventions.

Before stepping into his current DMCVB role, Alexander was an executive in the for-profit arena. He was the managing director of The Westin Hotel – Detroit Renaissance Center (now under Marriott ownership), responsible for the marketing and operations of one of the nation’s largest hotels. He also served as general manager of The Westin Miyako in San Francisco; The Westin-O’Hare in Chicago and The Westin Hotel Cincinnati.

In addition to his chairmanship of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, Alexander is a board member of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, The Parade Company (Detroit), The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, The Detroit Zoological Society, New Detroit and Forgotten Harvest.



JESSIE ALLEN, is the general manager of the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the facility, the second-largest convention center in the nation.

Allen has managed several departments within the Orange County Government structure during his 33-year tenure.



LARRY ATCHISON
serves as senior director of Sales, Services & Sports at the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB). In his new position, Atchison has the primary responsibility of directing the convention and sports sales initiatives within the bureau.

Atchison, a 29-year veteran of the hospitality and meeting industry, has been with ACVB for 19 years. After serving as ACVB’s sales manager for four years in Washington, D.C., he returned to Albuquerque where he was promoted to Senior Director of Sales in 2006. He also served as Interim Vice President of Convention Sales & Services for the Bureau in 2010.



CLEO BATTLE
is vice president of Sales and Services for the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Battle has worked in the hospitality industry for 23 years. He began his position as vice president at the Bureau in 2000. Previously he served as the Bureau’s director of Sales and Sales Manager. Before joining the Richmond Metro CVB, he spent 10 years in the hotel industry as general manager, assistant general manager and director of Sales in Syracuse, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Denver.

Battle, a native of Denver, Colorado attended Metropolitan State College earning a B.A. degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management in 1988. He later earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from Averett College in Virginia in 1997.

Battle currently serves as president of the Virginia State University Hospitality Advisory Board, American Society of Association Executives Industry Partner Alliance Committee, International Association of Exhibitions & Events Diversity Task Force, Destination Marketing Association International Sales & Marketing Committee and a member of the Manchester YMCA Board.



STELLA BEENE-VENSON
is the meetings and travel administrator for the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. For the last 25 years, she’s been the go-to person for setting up meetings for various organizations, committees and members of the church’s organization and hierarchy. Her clients within the church range from youths considering the ministry, to women in the clergy, to the church’s Board of Directors.

Beene-Venson is a long time member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and serves as the organization’s current president.



KATHLEEN JACKSON BERTRAND
, with the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau since 1983, serves as senior vice president, community and governmental affairs. Bertrand has been instrumental in the ACVB’s development of diversity marketing programs and its governmental relations. She is the highest-ranking woman or African-American staff member in the history of the organization.

Bertrand serves on numerous boards and has been recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of “Atlanta’s Top Hospitality Industry Leaders,” by Black Meetings & Tourism magazine as one of the “Most Influential African-Americans in the Meetings/Tourism Industry,” and by the Atlanta Business League as one of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence.” Under her direction the ACVB publishes its African-American visitor publication, Atlanta Heritage Guide, which just celebrated its 21th consecutive year in print in 2010. Bertrand’s most recent project is the production of the BronzeLens Film Festival, a new film festival that celebrates Atlanta as both a destination and the new mecca for film and film production by people of color.

Bertrand is a well-known and honored jazz recording artist/writer, with performances ranging from two Olympic Games to performances before two presidents and jazz concerts world-wide. A three-time Montreux Jazz Festival performer, Bertrand’s discography includes 5 CDs, including her newest 2011 CD release “Katharsis.”



ERNEST P. BOGER, CHA, FMP, CHE, CHA, FMP, CHE, is tenured associate professor and chairman of the Hotel & Restaurant Management(HRM) Department within the School of Business and Technology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore(UMES), Princess Anne, MD. Dr. Boger exercises CEO accountability for a thriving Bachelor of Science Degree Program, designed to produce entry level managers for a variety of Foodservice, Lodging and Travel/Tourism related professional careers.

Prior to UMES, he held leadership roles with Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina, West Indies and Wiley Universities as well as The Jamaica Hotel School/Hotel Casa Monte, Kingston, Jamaica and Parry Property Management Co. of Dallas, TX. Under his recent leadership, UMES was accredited by the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) as the 20th University nationwide, and the First HBCU, to offer the Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Golf Management. Similarly, the overall HRM degree program was guided to ACPHA accreditation earlier this year. With 40+ years of industry operations and training expertise, he is recognized as the “Dean” of Black College Hospitality Educators. Dr. Boger regularly provides consulting services in hospitality marketing and training to U.S., Caribbean, and African companies and governments. He has held leadership positions with more than 20 major industry organizations, including currently, the Professional Certification Commissions of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), and the National Restaurant Association (NRA). A prolific writer, Dr. Boger has authored 10 book chapters and more than 100 articles on industry subjects Since last year’s issue, he has received the BM&T/TPOC APEX Award and was designated a Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) Emeritus by the AH&LA. The first African American to be so recognized.



BENNISH D. BROWN
is executive director of the Rock Hill/York County Convention and Visitors Bureau in Rock Hill, SC, where he has served since 2000. Under his leadership, in 2008, the Rock Hill/York County CVB became the first destination marketing organization in South Carolina to be accredited through the industry’s global parent body – Destination Marketing Association International.

Brown’s primary duties are to oversee the daily operations of the CVB, with specific responsibility for supervising activities that market York County to the sports, group tour, meetings and leisure traveler tourism segments. The destination is recognized nationally as a premiere amateur sports destination, continues to annually host major tournaments of national youth sports organizations, and was the site of an ESPN event.

His professional affiliations include serving on the Board of Directors of the Southeast Tourism Society, which is comprised of organizations and destinations from 12 southeastern states. He is also Vice Chair of the South Carolina Travel & Tourism Coalition, a public/private tourism advocacy group.

An avid community volunteer, Brown most recently served as Chair of the Steering Committee that commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the “Rock Hill Jail, No Bail” 1961 civil rights lunch counter sit in by the Friendship Nine (nine students from the former Friendship Junior College). Their refusal to pay bail and instead serve 30 days hard labor in jail, changed the strategy of the sit-in movement across the country.

Prior to joining the tourism industry, Brown worked in public relations and media relations for 19 years, and held a number of positions in both radio and newspaper.



RONNIE BURT, a seasoned sales and marketing executive with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, serves as vice president of Sales and Services for Destination DC and most recently was senior vice president of Sales and Service for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.

In this role, Burt oversees a team of 25 people that include leading strategic sales and service efforts, housing and business development for the nation’s capital and its growing convention facilities, to include the new Washington Marriott Marquis.

Burt began his career in marketing at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. He joined the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority as an intern and quickly moved up through the sales ranks to national sales manager. He joined the Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association in 1999 as director of national accounts, eventually leading its sales efforts in the role as vice president of convention sales and services. In 2006, Burt served as the interim president and CEO, where he managed a staff of more than 50 employees and a $9 million budget. Burt has also worked for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Atlanta, GA.



CLARA CARTER
is the president and founder of the Multi-Cultural Convention Services Network (MCCSN), Inc. This San Diego-based destination/meeting management company is focused on global site selection and contract negotiations for groups and organizations seeking exciting destinations for meetings, conferences and conventions. A 20-year veteran of the Hospitality Industry, Carter has distinguished herself as the creator and producer of the nationally known Multicultural FAM tour. This tour is customized to give clients the unique view of a city by incorporating its exciting ethnic & cultural features. The FAM Tour was first launched in San Diego. In FY09/10, Carter was a successful bidder for funds earmarked for multicultural marketing by the San Diego Tourism Marketing District. MCCSN is the only independent meeting management company in San Diego County that has realized the importance of adhering to the needs of an often-underserved segment of the market, the ethnic conference and its attendees.

Prior to establishing MCCSN, Carter, a native San Diegan, was employed at a major San Diego corporation. The experience with Corporate America prepared her well as she initially spread entrepreneurial wings with Creative Visions Meetings and Events. Carter is a much sought after speaker and industry expert on issues surrounding multicultural tourism and diversity.

National, state and local recognitions include: 2011 BM&T APEX Award for Distinguished Service in tourism; 2010 Small Business of the Year Award – Southern Region of California; named one of the Top 50 People to Watch in San Diego for 2010; 2009 Women Who Mean Business honoree; 2009 Special Star Award (dedication and service to African American Art in San Diego); 2007 the International Association of Hispanic Meeting Professionals named Ms. Carter Meeting Planner of the Year. And for three consecutive years (2009-2011), Black Meetings and Tourism has recognized her as one of the most Influential African Americans in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.



WANDA COLLIER-WILSON is president and chief executive officer of the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau, a position she has served in since 1998. She leads a 22-member staff that has included the management and staff of the Mississippi Telecommunications & Conferencing Center up till October 1, 2008, when the CVB handed over the management of the building to SMG. Collier-Wilson joined the CVB 25 years ago as receptionist and has held every position at the Bureau prior to becoming president and CEO.

Collier-Wilson has been nationally recognized by JET magazine and Black Meetings & Tourism magazine for her leadership as a tourism professional, and recognized regionally and statewide by a number of other organizations including the Mississippi Development Authority-Division of Tourism, which inducted her into its Tourism Hall of Fame in 2006. She was a 2006 Recipient of the Phenomenally She award in the Business Leader category for The Dr. Jessie Bryant Mosley Award of Excellence Exhibit presented by Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. Collier-Wilson has also been named one of Mississippi’s “50 Leading Business Women” in 2006 by the Mississippi Business Journal. Under her leadership, the Jackson CVB was named “2005 Mississippi CVB of the Year” and won a Readers’ Choice Award in 2006 from Convention South magazine as one of the South’s top CVBs. The Mississippi Tourism Association recognized Collier-Wilson with an Excellence in Tourism Award in 2004.

Collier-Wilson served as vice president of the Mississippi Tourism Association in 2007 and was president of MTA for 2008. In April 2008, she received the Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine APEX award for her achievement in tourism. She was given this award for her outstanding service and contributions that have not only enhanced the travel and tourism industry overalll, but also promoted diversity in all aspects of the industry as well.



LEWIS H. DAWLEY, III is an accomplished veteran of more than 30 years in the convention center industry. He has been with SMG since 2003, where he serves as a senior consultant of convention center operations and labor relations, and also currently as general manager of the Albuquerque Convention Center. Prior to joining SMG he was general manager and CEO of the Washington Convention Center Authority, Washington D.C. Dawley is one of a handful of industry experts to manage the planning, construction and grand opening of four convention centers. Before Washington, he served as the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority’s general manager, where he developed a strategic operational plan for the opening of the 1.3 million-sq. ft. facility and directed day-to-day operations. He also opened and operated the COBO Convention/Exhibition Center in Detroit, where he was general manager from 1977 to 1989, and the Minneapolis Convention Center, where he was director of Operations from 1989 to 1991.

Dawley is a member of several professional organizations including the International Association of Assembly Managers, the National Association of Exposition Managers, the Professional Convention Management Association, and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners.



ELLIOTT FERGUSON
serves as president and CEO of Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for the nation’s capital.

A 20-year veteran of the CVB industry, Ferguson leads Destination DC’s efforts to generate economic development for the District through meetings and tourism, overseeing the organization’s convention and tourism sales, marketing, finance and business development operations.

Ferguson began his tenure with Destination DC in 2001 as vice president of Convention Sales and Services. Prior to working at Destination DC he served as vice president of Sales at the Atlanta, Georgia CVB. He has also served as director of Sales for both the Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia CVBs.

Ferguson received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Business Administration from Savannah State University. His many memberships in the industry include the American Society of Association Executives, National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, Religious Conference Management Association, Professional Conference Management Association, International Association of Exhibition Executives and Destination Marketing Association International.

Ferguson currently serves on the Downtown Business Improvement District, The Military Bowl, The Historical Society of Washington, DC and the Franciscan Monastery USA Inc.’s Board of Directors.
Ferguson is a longtime resident of Capitol Hill, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and is an active mentor with Capital Partners Inc.



VALERIE FERGUSON serves as regional vice president of Operations for Loews Atlanta Hotel. With three decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Ferguson brings a wealth of expertise to the Loews Atlanta Hotel. Named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Travel by Travel Agent magazine and one of the Top 100 Women in Corporate America by Ebony, Ms. Ferguson continues to be a leader in hospitality and tourism across the country. Ferguson is a Past Chairman of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA) where she spearheaded “Opportunity of a Lifetime,” a campaign organized to promote hospitality careers throughout the United States.

Ferguson joined the Loews Atlanta in the spring of 2010 as the Regional Vice President for the company’s first new-build hotel opening in 10 years. This new position will mark a return to Atlanta for Ferguson who gained status as a city icon during her years in the market service as general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta and general manager positions at Hyatt properties in Atlanta, Chicago and Flint, Michigan. Prior to joining the Loews Atlanta team, Ferguson served as the regional vice president & managing director in Philadelphia, beginning in 1998 to oversee the $115 million conversion of the landmark PSFS Building into the luxury, convention-driven Loews Philadelphia Hotel. She was further charged with leading the property through its high-profile opening in the spring 2000.

Ferguson’s numerous awards and accolades are tribute to her dedication and passion for the hospitality industry. She actively participates in numerous businesses, civic and educational endeavors and travels throughout the country to key hospitality industry events as well as high schools and colleges to emphasize the importance of hospitality and tourism as vital components in the nation’s economy. In an effort to strengthen the industry, she urges fellow hoteliers to seek out young men and women who represent “the promise of a new generation” and to create diverse leadership programs reflective of today’s America.



GERRY FERNANDEZ is founder and president of the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), a national non-profit organization that promotes the business benefits of cultural diversity in the food and hospitality industry while helping its members attract, develop, and retain multicultural talent. With over 35 years of experience in the industry, Fernandez has held leadership positions with several well known companies including General Mills, The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Hemenway’s Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar and The Capital Grille, now owned by Darden.

Fernandez founded MFHA in 1996 while employed at General Mills as a national account manager. Since then, MFHA has grown into a respected and well known non-profit with over 1,000 members. MFHA was the first organization to bring about a national discussion on diversity management in the hospitality industry and today, MFHA remains the only non-profit organization focused on promoting the business case for diversity within the restaurant, foodservice and lodging segments.

As President of MFHA, Fernandez has been influential in aiding dozens of companies with their diversity talent management initiatives and has been directly involved in creating programs designed to attract, develop and retain multicultural talent to the industry.

He is an accomplished speaker and has presented nationwide and in Canada, London, England, Vienna, Austria, the Caribbean, Mexico, and in Beijing, China.



MICHAEL GUNN, CMP is the vice president of Convention Sales for the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this position he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Convention Sales staff in booking state, regional, national and international convention business for the Greater Birmingham area. He supervises a staff of 14, and prepares monthly, quarterly and annual sales and marketing business plans.

Gunn is a board member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), CMP Board, and a former member of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) foundation board. He has over 27 years of industry experience.



TANYA HALL is executive director of the Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC), a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PCVB), which is responsible for increasing Philadelphia’s share of the multicultural meetings, conventions and tourism markets.

In 1997, Hall was named to her current position with MAC. She works with the PCVB sales team to promote Philadelphia to a multicultural client base that includes religious organizations, family reunions, national and regional associations, fraternal organizations, professional and trade associations. Hall also works to ensure that Philadelphia’s multicultural communities have business, employment and training opportunities within our region’s tourism and hospitality industry. She has expanded MAC’s outreach to include visitors whose ethnic origins stem from the African Diaspora, Asian, Hispanic and Native-American cultures.

For the past five years, Hall and her MAC team produced Philadelphia’s only multicultural arts and music festival. Themed Global Fusion, this free family event held at Penn’s Landing, features musical and dance performances, food and merchandise representing the African, African-American, Caribbean, Hispanic, Asian and Native American cultures. The 2009, 2010, and 2011 event brought together more than 25,000 visitors and residents of all cultures and backgrounds from the 5-county region and has placed her on a short list of individuals who have a passion for using culture as a tool for building a community spirit.

Hall began her career in the hospitality industry while still a Philadelphia college student working as a front desk clerk at area hotels. After graduation from Drexel University with a B.A. in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, Hall followed her fervor for hotel sales and quickly moved up the ranks first as director of sales and marketing, and then to assistant general manager.



SARA B. HAMLIN has been in the tourism industry for more than 20 years. She has been vice president of Tourism for the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau for eight years. Hamlin is responsible for promoting and booking motor coach business, family reunions, implementation of the tourism division’s marketing plan and budget for the greater Birmingham area. She also supervises the operations of three Birmingham area visitor centers.

Hamlin serves on the Board of the American Bus Association. Hamlin serves on the Board of Governors of ABA Foundation. She is involved in the following organizations: Destination Marketing Association International, Bank Travel, National Tour Association, Ontario Motorcoach Association, African-American Travel Conference, YWCA, and The Women Network.



CHARLOTTE HAYMORE, serves as both president of TPOC (Travel Professionals of Color), and program director of TPOC’s annual minority travel agents conference.

TPOC is an organization whose focus is on education, training and networking with and for minority travel agency owners, managers, agents and sales staff with a special emphasis on the African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and Native Americans. Haymore formed TPOC with the help of Betty Jones of CB Jones Travel Service, another minority travel agent also located Denver, Co.

Haymore has more than 30 years experience in the travel industry, including 25 years as an airline employee and 14 years as a travel agency owner, and is passionate about minority travel businesses being run professionally and providing the very best in customer service.



GLORIA M. HERBERT
is the associate publisher/editor of Black Meetings & Tourism magazine, the award winning, international bi-monthly industry trade publication for the African-American meeting planner, incentive manager, travel agent and hospitality/tourism professional. Herbert also serves as associate producer of “Globetrotting,” a television travel series that premiered in November of 2002 on BET on Jazz.

Before creating Black Meetings & Tourism along with her husband, Solomon Herbert, who serves as the magazine’s publisher/editor-in-chief, Gloria was a part of their print and photo journalism team that produced over 800 articles which appeared in numerous regional, national and international publications.

Herbert’s early work experience was as an educational consultant for children with neurological deficiencies. She holds an undergraduate degree from California State University at Long Beach and a Masters of Science from the University of Southern California. Herbert was a member of the first graduating class of the Burklyn Accelerated Business School in Vermont; an innovative school with a high-speed, experiential entrepreneurship program that emphasized a noncompetitive, "win-win" approach to doing business.

Also, Herbert has the distinction of having attained the level of “Sensei” (teacher) in the art of Ikebana (Japanese Flower Arrangement) with over 15 years of training in this specialized area of floral design.



SOLOMON J. HERBERT
is the publisher/editor-in-chief of Black Meetings & Tourism magazine, the multi award-winning international industry trade publication for the African-American meeting planner, travel agent and hospitality/tourism professional. He also serves as executive producer of “Globetrotting,” a travel television series that debuted in April of 2002 on BET on Jazz.

Before creating Black Meetings & Tourism with his business partner and wife Gloria, Herbert was self-employed as a full-time freelance print and photo journalist since 1981. During that period over 800 of his articles appeared in numerous regional, national and international publications.

Herbert currently holds membership in several professional organizations, including the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), Meeting Professionals International (MPI), Travel Professionals Of Color (TPOC), Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Africa Travel Association (ATA), Travel and Tourism Marketing Association (TTMA), Black Business Association of Los Angeles (BBA) and Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAAC).

Herbert and his wife Gloria were the 2002 recipients of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planner's Minority Business Award, the 2005 recipients of the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce of San Fernando Valley’s Small Business of the Year Award, the 2007 recipients of Outstanding Entrepreneur Award from the Black Business Association of Los Angeles, the 2008 recipients of California State Salute to Small Business Award, the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from NABHOOD and most recently, the 2010 Small Business Award from the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley & Region.



AL HUTCHINSON
is vice president of Convention Sales & Marketing for the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Hutchinson and his staff are responsible for generating direct spending revenue to the City of Virginia Beach by bringing meetings, conventions, professional tradeshows and sports-related events to the City. Hutchinson and the City of Virginia Beach are proud to welcome guests to the new 500,000-sq. ft. Virginia Beach Convention Center. Fully opened January 2007, the facility features a 31,000-sq. ft. ballroom, 150,000-sq. ft. column-free exhibit hall and over 29,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Hutchinson is an active industry leader locally and nationally having served on numerous committees and boards. In addition, Hutchinson has been a long-time member of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the American Society of Association Executives, the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners, the Professional Convention Management Association and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events.

Hutchinson is a 2008 APEX Award for Distinguished Service recipient, presented by Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their field positively impacting the travel and tourism industry. Through his vision, professionalism, and highly regarded reputation, Hutchinson has opened the door to a variety of opportunities and numerous accolades. During his tenure, his team has hosted ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership’s Convention Center Operations Program and has received a number of awards:

Prior to his 2003 appointment as vice president of Convention Sales & Marketing for the Virginia Beach CVB, Hutchinson held various sales positions in the hospitality industry: national sales manager for The Park Hotel, Charlotte, NC; director of Convention Sales for the Visit Pittsburgh; senior sales manager for the Charlotte Convention Center; and sales manager for the Greater Richmond CVB.



ANDREW INGRAHAM is the founder and serves as president/CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, Inc. (NABHOOD). NABHOOD was formed 2001 to increase the number of African-Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels, increase vendor opportunities and executive level positions for minorities, thereby creating wealth within the African-American community. At that time, there was only one African-American franchised hotel in the country. Today there are over 500.

Ingraham is also president of Horizons Marketing Group Intl. Inc., a marketing, government and public relations firm with special emphases on African-American multicultural tourism and investment strategies. He has over 25 years in the tourism industry, developing specific expertise in multicultural and Caribbean tourism. Because of his knowledge and expertise, he is a constant source for articles and has been featured or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Black Enterprise, National Public Radio, Hotel Business, Black Meetings & Tourism Magazine and a host of other publications and media outlets. Horizons created a number of programs for Caribbean destinations seeking to access the growing African-American and multicultural tourism & investment market. Andy is a constant speaker at national conferences and meetings speaking on hotel investment and development opportunities. He is responsible for a number of hotel investment conferences and workshops in corroboration with the hotel chains and International Franchise Association.

Some accomplishments are: appointed to the National Tourism Advisory Committee for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); appointed to the White House Conference on Tourism; founded and hosted the Annual International African-American Hotel Ownership/Multicultural Tourism Summit & Trade Show; created & designed the first multicultural tourism collateral piece in the State of Florida for Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau to attract African-American tourism.



ROY JAY has made an impressionable footprint in the convention and tourism industry Since 1993. This Portland, Oregon business entrepreneur is more than just a marketer of convention and tourism products for his city; he has transformed himself into his own “brand”. If you have been in the minority convention and tourism circles for more than five years, then you will undoubtedly have heard his name, read his story or benefited from his business expertise.

Known to many as a “team player”, he was the architect of minority convention FAM trips dating back nearly two decades ago when he still holds the record for the longest and most successful FAM trip ever held to promote minority convention and meeting professionals – 10 days.

Mostly everything he does is in “grand style” which will leave meeting planners, association executives and even competitors with a smile on their faces. For instance, most recently, Jay has carved out another niche through his partnership with Travel Portland and others to host one of the most successful receptions in Washington DC as a kick off to Congressional Black Caucus week. Last September, the entire ballroom of a major hotel was transformed into a VIP reception which required screening tighter than TSA at a local airport. In attendance were meeting planners, association executives, politicians, business people, professionals, convention colleagues and competitors from coast to coast.

Not only was there your customary food and refreshments provided, but Jay along with colleagues, supporters and sponsors made absolutely sure that everyone from the photographers to musician were people of color for the standing room only event. Over 200 overflowed into the streets of downtown Washington DC, hoping to win cash or one of the several all expense paid trips to Trinidad-Tobago (another Roy Jay partner) . The hotel is always extremely pleased when you have a customer like Roy Jay. One that makes sure that every detail is handled in advance including full payment in advance, before he sets foot onto the property.

Jay’s connectivity in the convention, tourism and business industry and his open willingness to help others along speaks volumes to the hospitality that potential customers can expect when they book business in the City of Roses, Portland, Oregon.



ROBERT L. JOHNSON is the founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that provides strategic investments in a diverse portfolio of companies. Within The RLJ Companies portfolio, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in hotel real estate investment; private equity; financial services; asset management; insurance services; automobile dealerships; sports and entertainment; and video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming.

Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation’s first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, BET became the first African-American-owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2000, Johnson sold BET to Viacom and remained the CEO through 2005.

From 1976-79, Johnson served as vice president of Government Relations for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), a trade association representing more than 1,500 cable television companies. Prior to joining the NCTA, Johnson was press secretary for the Honorable Walter E. Fauntroy, Congressional Delegate from the District of Columbia.

Johnson holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies from the University of Illinois.



OSCAR C. MCGASKEY, JR.
is the Executive Director of the Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department. Oscar oversees the Convention Center, Kemper Arena, American Royal Center and the new 18,000-seat Sprint Center. Under his leadership the Convention and Entertainment Facilities has generated an operating surplus in the past six (6) consecutive years and the Convention Center has been recognized by Facilities & Destinations Magazine as one of the best managed facilities in the country. Oscar also has responsibility for a $40 million operation budget.



MICHAEL D. MUNN was appointed chief of staff and director of Business Development for the Boston Convention Marketing Center (BCMC) in the Spring of 2004 by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. Munn is responsible for business management and developing programs in support of the BCMC and implementing diversity initiatives that focus on Boston's multicultural and multinational qualities.

During his 22-plus years in the Meetings industry, he has held positions with the National Managed Health Care Congress; vice president of Sponsorship Programs, International Data Group (IDG); show director for ComNET DC and ComNET San Francisco and manager of Business Development & Partner Alliances at the Hurwitz Group, a strategic e-business marketing, research and consulting company.

In 2010, he was selected as a recipient of the BM&T Tenth Annual APEX DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD, presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their particular field of endeavor that have positively impacted travel and tourism. Munn holds a B.A. in Economics from Boston University and a Masters of Education from Cambridge College.



CURTIS L. MYLES III
, a native Nevadan, began his career in transportation after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Colorado State University while attending on an athletic scholarship. Upon his graduation, he began work with a national shipping and cargo firm from 1986 to 1991. Returning to Las Vegas in June of 1991, he embarked upon an 11-year career in aviation management with the Clark County Department of Aviation.

He served in several managerial capacities, including operations manager, as well as his final position there as assistant director of aviation. Curtis departed the Department of Aviation for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada in May of 2002, where he served as deputy general manager for three years. He accepted the position of president and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Monorail Company in July of 2005.

He holds both Bachelor of Science and master’s degrees in economics and teaches economics part-time at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He is married and has three daughters.



BEVERLY NICHOLSON-DOTY
serves as commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands, a cabinet-level position. She oversees the Department of Tourism’s advertising and marketing strategy, its national and international tourism-related efforts and product development.

Since her appointment, the U.S. Virgin Islands has experienced noteworthy growth in airlift, making the destination among the most easily accessible in the Caribbean from key markets in the United States, Canada and Europe. The destination has also enjoyed significant growth in cruise arrivals, particularly on the island of St. Croix, as a result of strategic rebranding of the destination, numerous product development initiatives, and aggressive lobbying of the cruise industry. Considered by many to be the hidden gem of the USVI, today St. Croix is gaining popularity among travelers for its unique cultural offerings, historical attractions, and natural beauty.

Notwithstanding her achievements in the global marketing arena, Nicholson-Doty holds most dear the initiatives she has implemented locally. In 2008 she launched a Territory-wide tourism awareness campaign to actively engage the local community in the tourism industry and to promote excellence in customer service. The campaign has led hundreds of businesses, industry employees, and students throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands to take the Department of Tourism pledge of excellence.

Nicholson-Doty began her career in the hotel industry while attending the College of the Virgin Islands. Quickly rising the ranks from reservations clerk to director of marketing and sales, her hotel experience spanned three of the U.S. Virgin Islands where she gained an appreciation for the unique offering of each island.

Nicholson-Doty has served as Commissioner of the USVI Department of Tourism since 2007 and was elected vice chair for the U.S. Territories during the 2010 Caribbean Tourism Organization Leadership Strategy Conference in Barbados.



GREGORY A. O’DELL serves as the president and chief executive officer of Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia. Events DC owns and operates the 2.3 million-sq. ft. Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the historic Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and surrounding Festival Grounds, and the non-military functions of the DC Armory. The organization also built and now serves as the landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States and administers the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.

As president and CEO, O’Dell oversees Events DC’s three lines of business: Conventions and Meetings, Sports and Entertainment and Special Events. His primary responsibilities include oversight of the development and promotion of hospitality, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities that generate economic and create community benefits for the District of Columbia.

O’Dell also oversees the organization’s development efforts which include leading the negotiations with the private developer in the public-private partnership for the 1,175-room Washington Marriott Marquis hotel. Scheduled to open in 2014, the Washington Marriott Marquis hotel will create more than 2,000 construction and permanent hotel jobs in the District of Columbia.



R. DONAHUE PEEBLES, recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, is the owner of The Peebles Corporation, the country's largest African-American real estate development company with a $4 billion development portfolio of luxury hotels, high-rise residential and Class A commercial properties and developments in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Las Vegas and Miami Beach.

Donahue, who has been featured in numerous publications and appears regularly on CNN, CNBC and FOX, is also a top-selling author. His first book, The Peebles Principles, distills the lessons he learned on the road to building his successful company and personal fortune. His first-person accounts of his most intriguing deals illustrate the principles that guide Mr. Peebles in all of his transactions. His second book, The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth, released in September 2008, outlines the fundamental tools for real estate investing and details how to make money in any market. Peebles currently serves on the National Finance Committee of President Barack Obama.



Dr. PHYLLIS QUALLS-BROOKS serves as assistant commissioner for community and industry relations for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. She joined the department in the Spring of 2004 as assistant commissioner of marketing and moved to her current position in 2005.

In her role, Qualls-Brooks communicates department policies and initiatives to the tourism industry as well as other stakeholders. She coordinates various departmental activities, including the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and is responsible for strengthening collaborative relationships that engender a common purpose among the state’s tourism industry partners. Additionally, Qualls-Brooks is responsible for the development of the department’s education initiative and works with members of the community and the academic profession in this role.

As assistant commissioner, she supervises the department’s regional managers, who serve as liaisons between the department and the tourism industry. Qualls-Brooks, along with the managers, works to promote department services, market tourism activities and assist partners, which support and encourage the state’s expanding tourism reach. She also serves as public information officer and coordinates communication efforts on behalf of the department with the Governor’s Communication staff.



CHERYL RICHARDS serves as vice president, Strategic Alliances, overseeing the corporate partnership program and member sales and services. In this position, Richards’ duties include setting the membership sales and service standard for the bureau, overseeing the production of all member-based publications and maintaining the day-to-day operations of the member services department. Richards, who has been with the bureau for 22 years, began her career in the communications department, where she handled local, national, regional and international trade media. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Public Relations and a minor in Business Marketing. Her affiliations include Public Relations Society of America, Dallas/Fort Worth Area Tourism Council, Dallas Community Police Awards Committee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Dallas Zoological Society Board member and University of North Texas Alumni Association Board Member. As part of the Dallas CVB “Better to Best” program, Richards’ goal is to reach out to traditional and non-traditional companies and educate them on the importance of travel industry in the North Texas area. She understands the correlation between collaborating with the Dallas CVB and increased visibility for the company in the business world and is an advocate for the bureau and local business.



MICHAEL V. ROBERTS serves as chairman and CEO of the Roberts companies. Author of Action Has No Season, Strategies and Secrets to Gaining Wealth and Authority. In 2008, Roberts was inducted into Morehouse College’s Renaissance Leaders Hall of Fame, and in 2007 was awarded the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Over the past 30 years, Roberts has amassed a $500 million business empire including television stations, downtown lofts, a historic theatre, the Roberts Hotel Group, the largest commercial office building outside of downtown St. Louis, strip malls, and a resort community in the Bahamas. He is currently a member of President Obama’s National Council on Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Federal Communications Commission’s Diversity Council. He serves or has served on the Board of Directors of the following organizations: International Council of Shopping Centers, Trustee; National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers – Chairman; and National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.



JOHN ROLFE
is a native Kansan, born and raised in Wichita. Since October 2001, he has served as president and CEO of Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau. Before joining the CVB, he was vice president of Economic Development for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and served as deputy secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce for five years. His experience also includes more than 12 years in the hospitality industry, including serving as Director of Finance and Administration at both the Wichita and San Jose (CA) Convention and Visitors Bureaus. He’s currently serving on the DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International) Board of Directors.
 
Rolfe is a graduate of Wichita State University, holding a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is involved with various civic organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, Travel Industry Association of Kansas (Immediate Past President), Governor’s Council on Travel & Tourism, and Wichita Collegiate School. John also serves on the Mayor’s Downtown Revitalization Steering Committee.

He is married to Felicia Rolfe and they have two daughters. In his spare time, Rolfe enjoys spending time with his family, playing racquetball, dining out, and traveling.



FRANCES HARRIS SMILEY, CTIS, TMP, a 30+ year career Alabama State Employee is the supervisor of the eight Alabama Welcome Centers and serves as the coordinator of the State’s Heritage Tourism Program. She has served as the assistant director of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and prior to this appointment she served on the Governor's Cabinet for Tourism in the Siegleman Administration. She was responsible for the state's group tour marketing initiatives for 22 years. She is the author of the nation's first Black Heritage Tourism Guide. In 1994, she received the Phoenix Award from the American Society of Travel Writers, a delegate to the Nation's First White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. In August 1997 she received the Nation's first "Trailblazer Pioneer Award for Multicultural Tourism," from the Multicultural Tourism Conference, and the award is henceforth named, "The Frances Smiley Trailblazer Award."

Smiley was recognized by Black Meetings and Tourism magazine as one of the "Most Influential African Americans in Tourism" in the United States in '97-'09. In July of 1999 She was inducted in the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame, in May 2003 into the West Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame, and in May of 2008 received the APEX Award for outstanding service to the industry from BM&T.



MONICA SMITH, CMP, CASE, CDME is president & CEO of the Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau. This year the MBCCVB has launched a new website, implemented a visitor research project and marketing initiatives to increase convention and group tour sales efforts. A Cornell University graduate, Smith is a member of ASAE, MPI, NCBMP, and Georgia Association of CVBs. She also serves on the DMAI Social Responsibility Committee and Destination Travel Foundation Board of Trustees.



ROBERT L. STEELE, III, CHA, is president and COO of the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (EI).

Steele oversees the day-to-day operations of the Educational Institute, as well as directs the overall vision and strategies in conjunction with the board of trustees. Steele’s responsibilities also include representing EI as its spokesperson and leader, formulating profitable and productive strategic business alliances to enhance EI, increasing penetration of the international markets, and enhancing marketing efforts within the industry.

With more than 30 years of hospitality experience, Steele has spent his entire career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, serving as general manager of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay; the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Baltimore, Md.; Hyatt Regency Washington, Washington, D.C.; and Hyatt Fairlakes, Fairfax, Va., prior to his current position.

Steele is the past chairman of American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), having held the position of 2007 chairman of the board. An active and long-time supporter of AH&LA, Steele has served on various committees and boards, including the Strategic Planning Committee; Multicultural & Diversity Advisory Council; Membership/Sales & Marketing Committee; Credit Card Advisory Council; Financial Management Committee; Lodging Industry Rating Advisory Committee; ADA Task Force; Audit, Certification & Credentials Committee; Engineering & Environment Committee; Human Resources Council; and Loss Prevention Committee.



ZITA STEGLICH-ROSS has served as the director of Convention Sales at the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau since February of 2008. In this post she is tasked with managing the daily operations of the convention sales department and assisting in the development of sales and marketing strategies for Orlando's meetings and convention industry. She also serves as the Bureau’s senior national sales executive, a position she has held since September of 1998, responsible for citywide accounts in the Northeast territory and citywide African-American accounts nationwide. These accounts consist of a minimum of 60,000 gross sq. ft., and a maximum 2,000,000 sq. ft. exhibit space.

Prior to joining the CVB, Steglich-Ross was a senior sales manager at InterContinental Hotels Group, and before that, a sales manager at both the Hyatt Regency Miami and the Sheraton Kensington Hotel. Steglich-Ross, who has been a supplier for the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners for over 18 years, holds a degree in accounting from Tulsa Community College.



CALVIN TAYLOR
is vice president of Government Relations for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he works closely with state government, city officials and the local hospitality industry in Memphis in enhancing the development and growth of Memphis tourism. In addition he serves as the bureau's director of the Memphis tourism education foundation, which administers the city's official hospitality tourism training program.

Taylor is co-founder of the Beale street development corporation, the organization that reintroduced the historic district as a tourist destination. He also worked as publicity director at Southland Racing Corporation, the southeast's largest pari-mutuel waging center. Additionally he is a member of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners and is a past chairman of the Tennessee Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

Besides being a major player in the state's tourism industry for many years, he has also served the Tennessee Tourism Roundtable (TTR) faithfully as a board member, TTR Government Relations Committee member and chair, and chair of the annual TTR salute to the legislature. This year he has served as chair of TTR after serving as vice-chair during 2010.

Taylor was named as the recipient of the 2010 Tennessee Tourism Roundtable Knight of the Roundtable Award, an award given in recognition of an individual for their outstanding contributions of leadership, service, and professionalism to the Tennessee tourism industry and for their involvement with and service to the Tennessee tourism.



MELVIN TENNANT
is president and chief executive officer of Meet Minneapolis, the official convention and visitors association. He became the organization's second CEO in 2006. Since joining Meet Minneapolis, Tennant has overseen convention sales and marketing programs that bring an economic impact of approximately $11 billion to the area. With an annual budget of $9 million and a staff of 50, he recently oversaw the effort to reposition the destination's brand, using the new tagline: "Minneapolis City by Nature." He also played an integral role in laying the groundwork and implementing logistics for Minneapolis Saint Paul's successful hosting of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Additionally, Tennant oversees the management and operations of iDSS, a private company that delivers a complete web-based series of software applications for destination marketing organizations, associations, hotels and corporations.

Bringing more than 25 years experience in destination sales and marketing to Meet Minneapolis, Tennant has served on the boards of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Airport Foundation MSP. In addition, Tennant has served on the boards of Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), the Travel Industry Association, the ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the MPI Foundation, and is a past chairman of DMAI.

During his career Tennant has received many accolades, most notably the RMCA's President Award, MPI's Chapter Legacy Award - Carolina Chapter, and Black Meetings & Tourism magazine's APEX Award. Tennant received his B.A. from Rice University and holds an Association Executive Certificate from ASAE.



ALBERT TUCKER serves as vice president of Multicultural Business Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB). It is Tucker’s vision to expose ethnically diverse individuals and groups to Greater Fort Lauderdale so that GFL becomes the destination of choice for individuals of color. A key part of the outreach is to identify and support infrastructure and tourism projects that will facilitate multicultural visitor growth.

For the past ten years, Tucker has helped increase multicultural participation in the tourism and convention sales market by more than 40%. During summer 2010 more than 150 family reunions chose Greater Fort Lauderdale as their gathering place. With the combined numbers from other multicultural summer business Greater Fort Lauderdale realized an economic impact of more than $5 million to the community.

Tucker has been the visionary in the development of The Gospel Complex for Education and Preservation, which will be located in Lauderhill, FL. This $50 million project will provide the gospel music industry with a home to preserve the rich history of this genre and will serve as a center for economic and educational empowerment for all. The Gospel Complex is scheduled for completion in mid 2012.

In addition to his public service, Tucker currently serves on the Executive Board of the Urban League of Broward County the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale and is intimately involved with the expansion of Jazz in the Gardens musical festival, which brings in more than 50,000 visitors to South Florida.



CAROL WALLACE
, president & CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation, is responsible for the overall management, marketing and operation of the San Diego Convention Center. She joined the corporation in 1991 and oversees a full-time and part-time staff of 550 and an annual budget that exceeds $32 million. Her latest achievements include: serving on the board of directors for the Professional Convention Management Association Education Foundation (PCMA); receiving the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Center on Policy Initiatives; being honored with the Trailblazer Award from Leadership California; and being named one of the Most Influential African-Americans in the Meetings/Tourism Industry by Black Meetings & Tourism for the third year in a row. Wallace has more than 30 years of experience in the convention and facility management industry.



AHMEENAH YOUNG
is an accomplished senior executive in the tourism and hospitality industry with outstanding credentials and a proven record of results. Across all of her professional posts she has consistently maintained diligent focus on growth in productivity and made bottom-line profitability a priority.

As president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Young recommends and implements all contractual and vendor services, directs all recruiting processes and participates in selection of PCCA employees. She oversees marketing, public relations and customer service programs as well as development of budgets, financial policies and fiscal controls for the operation of the PCCA.

Young currently sits on boards for Sunoco Welcome America!, Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Art Sanctuary, MANNA, North Philadelphia Health Systems, Philadelphia Academies, National Forum for Black Public Administrators, Mount Airy USA, and the Philadelphia Airport. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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