Local Professional Receives CDME Certification


Twenty-three industry professionals have earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the Destination Marketing industry. Currently in its 21st year, just over 200 destination marketing professionals have achieved the CDME designation, with more than 600 participants currently enrolled in the program.

“The CDME program is recognized by the industry as the highest educational achievement for destination management professionals. The achievement of these CDME graduates is outstanding, and requires a significant commitment in time and resources,” said Michael D. Gehrisch, DMAI President and CEO.

The CDME program is an advanced educational program designed to prepare senior DMO executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and industry leaders. The program focuses on vision, leadership, productivity and implementing business strategies.

“By earning this designation, these graduates join an elite group of professionals who seek to elevate the industry and its standards,” said Kristin McGrath, CDME, Chair of DMAI’s Education Committee.

These individuals were recognized during the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) 99th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida on July 15-17, 2013.

“Working through the process of obtaining my certification was extremely important to me, both personally and professionally. This program has offered educational opportunities to enhance my leadership of our organization”, Beth Wiles, CDME, Executive Director of the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Fellow constituents include; Patrick Tuttle, Joplin CVB, Keith Backsen, Vice President, Spokane Regional CVB, Kim Baker, Director of Marketing, Santa Monica CVB, Karyl Leigh Barnes, Senior Vice President/Partner, Development Counsellors International, Vicki Higgins, Executive Marketing Officer & EVP, Newport Beach and Company, Misty Johantgen, Senior Vice President, Partner Relations & Development, Visit Orlando, Linda John, Executive Director, Visit Eau Claire, Jennifer Johnson, Director of Finance, Monterey County CVB, Nancy Justman, Executive Director, Visit Brookfield, Stephen Koranda, Executive Director, Norman CVB, Kathy McKillip, Director, Nebraska Tourism Commission, Diane Morgenthaler, Vice President, Marketing & Strategic Planning, Greater Madison CVB, Todd O’Leary, Vice President of Partnership, San Francisco Travel Association, Wes Rhea, CEO, Stockton CVB, Marla Roe, Executive Director, Frisco CVB, Lauren Rogers, Director, Sales and Services, Santa Monica CVB, Shannon Rose, Director of Business Services, Calhoun County CVB, Kathy Silverthorn, Executive Director, Red Wing CVB, Tico Soto, Sales Director, Lakes Charles/SW Louisiana, Eric Summe, President & CEO, Northern Kentucky CVB, Jay Tusa, Director of Communications and Research, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Ellie Westmin Chin, Vice President, Business Development & Corporate Events, Atlanta CVB.

Image: Beth Wiles, CDME, Executive Director, Pulaski County Tourism Bureau, St. Robert Missouri.

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