COMMUNITY NEWS FLICKR/RICHARD NTA members are indicated in bold text. Do you have news you’d like to share with the NTA membership? Please send it to Gabe Webb, Courier writer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. D.C. sets domestic visitation record Destination DC announced that the District of Columbia welcomed 20 mil- lion domestic visitors in 2016. This is a record high, and it represents a 3.6 per- cent increase over 2015. Destination DC also reports that visitors spent a record $7.3 billion. “These numbers articulate the national appetite for new and enduring tourism inventory in the District, as well as Destination DC’s ability to capture consumers on multiple platforms,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president and CEO of the organization. Mayflower promotes new president, hires new sales manager Mayflower Tours promoted Nish Patel to company president in May. Patel has been with Mayflower for 17 years, and he had been serving as chief operating officer. “We are gratified and most pleased that Nish has accepted our offer to make him president,” said John Stachnik, former president of Mayflower Tours. Stachnik owns the company with his wife, Mary. “Over the past 17 years with Mayflower, he has worked tirelessly in all areas of the business. He can speak with as much authority as possible on areas ranging from travel insurance matters to draft- ing and implementing short- and long- term strategic plans.” “I believe with the platform we have built that Mayflower is poised for even greater growth in upcoming years with Nish at the helm,” said Mary Stachnik. 52 July 2017 “I am honored to assume the presi- dency of Mayflower Tours,” Patel said. “The trust they have placed in me has allowed us to explore new areas and successfully launch new programs. I have a fantastic team here, and with their support we will continue on the path of success in the coming years.” Mayflower also announced hiring Michel Madjerich as its southeast sales manager. “My passion has always been groups,” said Madjerich. “Mayflower Tours’ impeccable reputation for group busi- ness prevails by offering gold-standard, all-inclusive experiences. I am very enthusiastic about being an integral part of the Mayflower Tours sales team.” Madjerich has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry. She has previously worked for Scenic River Cruises, Delta Vacations and Celebrity Cruises. Tourism Richmond names new CEO British Columbia-based Tourism Richmond named Bruce Okabe as its new CEO in March. He now leads the DMO following the departure of its previous chief executive in late 2016. Okabe previously held executive posi- tions in marketing, strategy and man- agement at TELUS Corporation. In 2006 he became deputy minister of tourism, sport and the arts in the government of British Columbia, and in 2009 he was appointed CEO of Travel Alberta. “Bruce is an exceptional leader who has an outstanding track record with DMOs and large businesses in Canada,” said Eda Koot, chair of Tourism Richmond. “We are very fortunate to have him lead our organization in the next phase of its evolution. His vision and leadership will be a tremendous ben- efit to our stakeholders and destination.” “Richmond has become a well-known destination, and I’m excited to be part of the team at Tourism Richmond,” said Okabe. “I believe there is a great untapped opportunity in marketing our city to the world. I am very much look- ing forward to working with our stake- holders to unlock our potential.” Barrett leads Pocono Mountains CVB Christopher Barrett is the new president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains CVB. He replaced Carl Wilgus, who is retiring after leading the CVB for nearly 10 years. Barrett comes to the CVB from Target Media, an East Coast advertising firm, where he had been CFO, COO and vice president. He has also worked in sales and marketing positions for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts. “We are extremely excited to have Chris on board leading a top-notch destination marketing team,” said Genevieve Reese, chair of the Pocono Mountains CVB’s search committee. Kidder promoted to president and CEO of Louisiana Travel Promotion Association Jill Kidder was named president and CEO of the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association in May. Prior to her promo- tion, she served 10 years as one of two co-executive directors. “I am honored to help lead Louisiana’s tourism industry,” said Kidder. “This is such an important time in the state’s economic development efforts, and tour- ism plays a vital role.” “For the past decade, LTPA has enjoyed a unique, successful leadership structure with two much-admired tourism pros sharing the top job,” said LTPA Board Chairman Mark Romig. “In December, our board voted unanimously to shift Jill into the full-time role of president and CEO. This is a marquee moment in the association’s history, and we are excited about this leadership transition.” Kidder has worked in tourism and hospitality for more than 30 years. Prior to joining the LTPA staff, she worked as in marketing and sales for Rapides Parish, the Alexandria/Pineville CVB and the Alexandria Riverfront Center. She has also worked for hotels in Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana.