WASHINGTON, DC (July 23, 2014) – Twenty-eight industry professionals have earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the Destination Marketing industry. 

“The CDME program is recognized as the highest educational achievement for destination management professionals.  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 Destination Marketing Association International's (DMAI) Education Committee.  

The CDME program is designed to better prepare senior destination marketing organization (DMO) executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and community leaders.  To date, nearly 275 destination marketing professionals have achieved the CDME designation.

“Our mission at DMAI is to advocate for the professionalism, effectiveness, and significance of destination marketing organizations worldwide,” said Michael Gehrisch, President & CEO of DMAI. “We realize the importance of destination marketing and are committed to improving the effectiveness of these organizations. These individuals who have achieved the CDME designation have set an example of excellence for the entire destination marketing profession.”

The following individuals were recognized for their CDME certification during the DMAI’s 2014 Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 23, 2014:

·        Timothy Bush, CDME, Marketing Manager, Macon-Bibb County CVB

·        Leah Chandler, CDME, Chief Marketing Officer, Branson/Lakes Area CVB

·        Cody Chomiak, CDME, Director of Marketing, Tourism Winnipeg

·        Matthew Clement, CDME, Marketing Manager, Fort Worth CVB

·        Alicia Erickson, CDME, Marketing & Communications Manager, Springfield CVB

·        Kimberly Faulk, CDME, Vice President, Marketing Solutions & Sales, VISIT FLORIDA

·        Karen Fisher, CDME, Chief Financial Officer, VisitPITTSBURGH

·        Melody Foote, CDME, Director of Communications, Fayetteville Area CVB

·        Jonathan Freeze, CDME, Director of Marketing, Greater Raleigh CVB

·        Mary German, CDME, Vice President of Services & Programs, Arlington CVB

·        Leslie Graf, CDME, Vice President of Finance & Administration, Positively Cleveland

·        Mary Grasha Houpt, CDME, Vice President of Human Resources, VisitPITTSBURGH

·        Sheri Grossman, CDME, Chief Operating Officer, Bismarck/Mandan CVB

·        Wendy Haase, CDME, Director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine

·        Jeff Hewitt, CDME, Vice President of Business Development, Visit Savannah

·        Brian Hickey, CDME, Director of Sports, Visit Tallahassee

·        David Holder, CDME, President, Syracuse CVB

·        Katherine Kertzman, CDME Executive Director, Seattle Southside

·        Arlette Ledbetter, CDME, Tourism Director, Nye County Visit Pahrump

·        Angie Manning, CDME, Communications Director, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB

·        Melody Nester, CDME, Director of Membership, Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau

·        Kelli Norman, CDME, Director of Tourism Marketing and Sales, Virginia Beach CVB

·        Karl Pietrzak, CDME, Vice President of Convention Sales, VisitPITTSBURGH

·        Lynne Popash, CDME, Vice President of Partnership Development, VisitPITTSBURGH

·        John Rolfe, CDME, Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Greater Houston CVB

·        Phillip Smith, CDME, President & CEO, Warren County CVB

·        Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, CDME, Senior Vice President, Tourism Winnipeg

·        Lesley Swain, CDME, Chief Financial Officer, Newport Beach & Company

2014 CDME certification recipients on stage at DMAI’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas

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About Destination Association Marketing International (DMAI)

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) protects and advances the success of destination marketing worldwide. DMAI's influential membership includes nearly 600 destination marketing organizations (DMOs), from 16 countries, which command US $2.5+ billion in annual budgets. As the world's largest and most reliable resource for DMOs, DMAI provides nearly 4,000 individual members - professionals, industry partners, educators and students - the most innovative and relevant educational resources, networking opportunities and marketing intelligence worldwide. Learn more at http://www.destinationmarketing.org.


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Media Contact:Jim McCaul, Content Manager
Destination Marketing Association International
(202) 835-4205