Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Chairman Gary C. Sherwin, CDME and President and CEO of Visit Newport Beach, Inc; Destination and Travel Foundation Chairman Joe Marinelli, and President of Visit Savannah, and President and CEO Don Welsh today announced the 2017 “30 Under 30” class, which will convene for the first time at the Association’s Annual Convention in Montreal, Canada July 11-14.


“One of the main priorities for our industry today is developing our workforce, and specifically our leadership, for tomorrow,” said Marinelli. “The ’30 Under 30” initiative gives us the ability to do both. It has been exciting to watch the enthusiasm of these young professionals as they form a network they can rely on. Attending the Annual Convention will most certainly deliver the critical insight they will need regarding today’s challenges and trends.”


“Our future as an industry is dependent on young professionals choosing to pursue a career with destination organizations and bringing their energy, insight and dynamic skills to our benefit,” said Sherwin. “I look forward to meeting our 2017 class of ‘30 Under 30’ and encouraging them to continue in our profession.”


Now in its seventh year, “30 Under 30” is supported by founding program partner SearchWide Global, and sponsored by IMEX and USAE. The 30 individuals, 30 years of age and under, will have the opportunity to engage in professional development and networking opportunities throughout 2017. The honorees originate from a variety of destination organizations of all sizes, including Meet Puerto Rico, Destination DC, Travel Oregon, Visit Wichita and Brand USA.


“Each year we’ve seen very impressive submissions for DMAI’s ‘30 Under 30,’ and this year was no different,” said Mike Gamble, president and CEO of SearchWide Global. “The top 30 selected for the Class of 2017 show remarkable leadership potential in the tourism industry. As we embark on the seventh year as the founding partner, we continue to be very proud of this program and thank DMAI for their commitment.”


The program benefits include:


– Complimentary registration and accommodations for three nights during DMAI’s 2017 Annual Convention
– Complimentary registration for Fundamentals in Destination Marketing, the first course of DMAI’s PDM program
– Year-round professional development focus, including regular interactive webinars and an online community to share ideas


“The ‘30 Under 30’ program remains a critical part of DMAI’s vision and mission,” said Welsh. “As we continue with rebranding the organization, we remain focused on a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people, and elevating tourism to its highest potential. Congratulations to this very impressive group and we look forward to recognizing them on their success in Montreal.”


The 2017 class includes:

– Jose Arana, Marketing & Communications Executive, Meet Puerto Rico
– Jake Buchheit, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Visit KC
– Lauren Cleland, Digital Content Strategist, Visit Savannah
– Kenzie Coleman, Sales Manager, Visit Omaha
– Jamie Cox, Marketing Coordinator, Visit Franklin/Williamson County Convention & Visitors Bureau
– Katie Egresi, Graphic Designer, Experience Columbus
– Kimberly Franz, Marketing Director, Dunwoody Convention + Visitors Bureau
– Andrea Gardi, Senior Project Manager, Regional Tourism Organization 4 Inc.
– Drew Hays, Sports Sales Manager, Visit Wichita
– Emily Hendricks, Creative Services Coordinator, Visit Saint Paul
– Kate Herron, Director of Marketing, Experience Grand Rapids
– Britt Hijkoop, Senior Manager, International PR, NYC & Company
– Ahmed Ibrahim, Membership Sales Manager, Destination DC
– Natalie Jamieson, Manager of Research & Data Analysis, Visit Baltimore
– Cambria Jones, Marketing Specialist, Allen Convention & Visitors Bureau
– Chandler Jones, Account Manager, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau
– Victoria Lightfoot, Public Relations Specialist, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
 Roxanne Lombard, Senior Researcher, Cape Town Tourism
– Wesley Lucas, Communications Manager, Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau
– Aime O’Keefe, Senior Web Specialist, Discover The Palm Beaches
– Kara Reed, Convention Services Manager, Visit Indy
– Daniel Schwartz, Senior Manager, Tourism, San Francisco Travel Association
– Crystal Solberg, Content Creator, Tourism Richmond
– Joe Tacynec, Creative Director, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board
– Maranda Tippin, Site Experience Specialist, San Diego Tourism Authority
– Elena Vizzini, Destination Development Coordinator, Travel Oregon
– Ivette Wilhelm, Public Relations Manager, Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
Angela Wirkler, Group Sales Manager, Boulder Convention & Visitors Bureau


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