Louisiana Travel Association announces new officers, honors graduates of tourism leadership class
The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association–-which voted Jan. 23 to change its name to the Louisiana Travel Association-– installed a group of tourism industry leaders as new officers for its executive committee and board of directors during the association’s Annual Membership Meeting at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lafayette.
“For 57 years, LTA has strengthened Louisiana’s tourism industry through our marketing program, advocacy efforts and educational opportunities,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “We are thrilled that our members have selected tourism industry leaders from throughout the state to lead this organization as we continue to promote a viable job-creating and revenue-producing industry.”
New officers installed on the executive board committee include:
· Chairman Travis Napper, Ruston-Lincoln CVB
· Vice-Chair Janice Delerno Verges, The Stockade Bed & Breakfast
· Secretary Ben Berthelot, Lafayette CVC
· Treasurer Kerry Andersen, Pinnacle Entertainment
· Immediate Past Chair Mark Romig, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
· Timothy Bush, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou
· Dustin Gontarski, Compass Media
· Jennifer Ritter Guidry, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area
· Kevin Kelly, Houmas House Plantation & Gardens
· Marc Becker, New Orleans Hotel Collection
· Peggy Benoit, Carmel Inn & Suites Thibodaux
· Dickie Brennan, Dickie Brennan & Company
· Alana Cooper, Monroe-West Monroe CVB
· John Crook, Vernon Parish Tourist Commission
· Brandy Evans, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
· Marion Fox, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission
· Arlene Gould, Natchitoches Parish CVB
· Andy LeBouef, Mardi Gras World
· Ralph Ney, Marriot Hotel Baton Rouge
· Donna O’Daniels, St. Tammany Parish Tourist & Convention Commission
· Lynette Tanner, Frogmore Plantation & Gins
· Denise Thevenot, Louisiana Tax Free Shopping
LTA also honored the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy graduates during the meeting. The 18 members of the LTLA class spent all of 2017 developing their leadership skills while learning from seasoned professionals from throughout the tourism industry. The goal of the program is to equip each class member with knowledge and skills that will enrich their tourism-related organizations, therefore strengthening the state-wide tourism industry.
“LTLA has been a tremendous opportunity for those interested in learning more about Louisiana’s tourism industry, and we are proud of the 2017 graduating class,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “It is our hope that these professionals will utilize their new-found knowledge and experience to better themselves, their organizations and their state.”
The graduating class of LTLA includes: Rebecca Blankenbaker, with Cane River National Heritage Area; Marica Brewster, with Von Mack Agency; Alvon Brumfield, with Louisiana Renaissance Festival; Kimberly Caldarera, with L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles; Megan Gavlick, with L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles; Katherine Johnson, with Natchitoches CVB; Zondra Jones, with St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission; Leslie Landeche, with Mardi Gras World; Barry Landry, with Louisiana Office of Tourism; Shanna Landry, with Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB; Kaylie Leblanc, with Lafayette CVC; Angie Manning, with Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB; Joshua McNemar, with Office of the Lt. Governor; Jessica Ragusa, with Office of the Lt. Governor; Madeline Sanchez, with Louisiana Travel Association; Timika Spurlock, with Sheraton New Orleans; Stella Thorton, with Louisiana Tax Free Shopping; and Kellie Walters, with Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou.
LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. The membership voted in early 2018 to shorten the association’s name and staff is working with an agency to reveal a full rebrand later this year. Tourism generated $1.04 billion for Louisiana in 2016 and employs more than 230,000 people throughout the state.