Seattle Southside Visitor Services (, the official tourism department for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, Kent and Des Moines, is the newly minted recipient of a Certificate of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America, Puget Sound for their work on a Military Reunion Conference and Familiarization (ConFAM) tour.

“Seattle Southside is thrilled receive this distinguished award,” said Katherine Kertzman, Director of Seattle Southside Visitor Services. “With each year, this program continues to expand offering personal concierge style services to support the visitor experience in the Pacific Northwest.”

Seattle Southside partnered with the Seattle Airport Marriott, the Museum of Flight, Argosy and the Reunion Friendly Network, a national organization dedicated to educating veteran military reunion planners. Together we hosted over 25 reunion planners in March. The ConFAM introduced military reunion planners from all over the United States to the Seattle Southside region and promoted the reunion planning concierge services offered by Seattle Southside.

A two-day exhibitor marketplace was held for local convention and visitor bureaus, hotels, transportation and other reunion vendors to solicit business on a face-to-face basis. After the exhibitor marketplace the planners were taken on a series of excursions that showcased attractions around the region that could be potential activities at future reunions. We secured $24,697 in donations from our local partners to make the event possible.

As a direct of the success of the ConFAM requests for proposals for military reunions in Seattle Southside increased almost 90 percent. There are five reunions booked for 2011 and leads generated for reunions through 2014 for an estimated $4 million economic impact for the region.

Seattle Southside Visitor Services (SSVS) is a major tourism and marketing organization in South King County. The program offered jointly by the Cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, Kent and Des Moines, is responsible for competitively marketing the area as an ideal travel destination for tourists who wish to explore Western Washington. For more information, visit