Press Release – 8.2.11

WASHINGTON TOURISM ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES BOARD AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

SEATTLE – The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) announced today the appointment of travel and tourism industry veteran Suzanne Fletcher as its first executive director, and also named the organization’s inaugural board of directors.

Effective August 1, 2011, Suzanne Fletcher serves as WTA Executive Director. Fletcher is 30-year travel and tourism industry veteran with a wide range of corporate and association leadership. Forbes magazine named Fletcher one of the 25 Most Influential Women in the Travel Industry for 2008. Business Travel News placed her among the Top-25 Most Influential Travel Executives of 2007. The National Business Travel Association awarded her Travel Manager of the Year in 2003.

Fletcher most recently served in two different marketing roles for Concur Technologies in Redmond, WA from 2008 to 2011, where she contributed to the sales and marketing strategy for travel and expense solutions services. From 2008 to 2011, Fletcher served as Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Director Industry Relations based in Prague, Czech Republic.

From 1996 to 2008, Fletcher was Director of Travel/Meeting Management, Transportation and Food Services for The Weyerhaeuser Company. Between 2005 and 2007, Fletcher served as President and CEO of the National Business Travel Association and, during her tenure, served as Global Travel Industry Consultant to The Boeing Company.

Fletcher’s early career included positions in sales at Hyatt Hotels and as Director of Travel and Meetings for Nestle USA.

WTA also announced its charter board of directors, comprised of 20 tourism industry stakeholders who have invested in past statewide tourism marketing and industry advocacy efforts and have direct investment in, or concern for, Washington State Tourism programs. They are representatives from key tourism industry segments that include: lodging; destination marketing; attractions; restaurants and transportation. Terms for each director are effective August 1, 2011. The WTA Board of Directors includes:

  • David Bauemeister, Northwest Agriculture Business Center
  • Tammy Blount, Tacoma Regional Convention + Visitor Bureau
  • John Bookwalter, Bookwalter Winery
  • Darrell Bryan, Clipper Vacations
  • Donna Cappa, Tulalip Resort Casino
  • John Cedergreen, Ancient Lakes Brewing Company
  • Kevin Clark, Argosy Cruises
  • John Cooper, Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau
  • Frank Finneran, Frank K. Finneran & Co.
  • Jane Kilburn, Port of Seattle
  • Cheryl Kilday, Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Dan Moore, EverGreen Escapes
  • Andy Olsen, Columbia Hospitality
  • Christina Pivarnik, City of Port Townsend/CP Communications
  • George Schweitzer, Red Lion Hotels
  • Diane Schostak, Olympic Peninsula Visitors Bureau
  • Karen Stebbins, Ski Washington/Northwest Winter Sports Foundation
  • Monique Trudnowski, Adriatic Grill
  • Brett Wilkerson, North Pacific Management
  • Duane Wollmuth, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance

The WTA was formed in March in anticipation of the June 30 closure of the Washington State Tourism office. On July 1, the WTA became Washington State’s official tourism marketing organization and assumed ownership and operation of tourism office assets in order to preserve Washington’s tourism market share. Assets include the state tourism photo and video libraries, customer and client data bases and other collateral and, beginning January 1, 2012, the state tourism web site, www.experiencewa.com.

About the Washington Tourism Alliance

The WTA is a 501[c]6 organization with a mission to advocate, promote, develop and sustain the economic well being of the Washingtontourism industry. The WTA was  established by industry stakeholders with the sole mission of sustaining WashingtonStatedestination tourism marketing. The WTA procures and administers funds for state destination tourism marketing activities and creates and implements a strategic statewide destination marketing plan. Visit www.watourismalliance.com to learn more.

Media Contacts:

David Blandford, Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau
(206) 461-5806/dblandford@visitseattle.org

Dana Haynes, Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau
(509) 742-9373/dhaynes@visitspokane.com

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