10.3.11 – Executive Director Update

Round Tables Continue
The Round Tables are still taking place throughout the state. September 19th was a very busy day in Spokane. We began with a breakfast compliments of the Red Lion and the Spokane CVB which was attended by local and state officials. Much discussion took place about next steps for the WTA and we reviewed our goals and direction. From there I was privileged to have some time with the Spokane Convention + Visitor Bureau staff. Talk about teamwork! Many of the CVB employees are actively involved in the success of the WTA. They have been rallying the troops in their region by hosting “get together” sessions to talk (and listen) to local businesses and operators on how important it is to speak with one voice, and to support the WTA. An amazing team….thank you Spokane CVB. But that wasn’t all……..Along with the Northern Quest Hotel and Resort, the CVB sponsored a lunch with local business leaders and political officials, followed by the Round Table also held at the Northern Quest Hotel and Resort. They did a lovely job for the WTA and I can’t thank Cheryl Kilday and team enough. The turnout was amazing, and the best news was many stayed after for a one on one Q&A and further discussion. Spokane gets the value of the WTA!!! It showed that day. Thank you again Spokane!

On September 22, I visited Vancouver where again we had a solid turn out with great interaction. After the session we moved to Fort Vancouver (such an amazing place!) for a luncheon with local business and political leaders. Thank you to Kim Bennett and team for providing me with such a great opportunity to reach out to industry leaders!

Monday, September 26 was Port Angeles. Most in attendance were already WTA members thanks to the wonderful job Diane Schostak has done advocating for WTA! We had a very different discussion than the other round tables, as most were very familiar with the issues and the challenges. I was fortunate to have two board members (Diane Schostak and Jane Kilburn) accompany me, so the conversation was very interactive and I came away with many constructive ideas.

Friday, September 30 was a very active group in Bellingham. This session actually ran over as we discussed future opportunities and how regions and cities can support the WTA in a more pro-active manner than just writing a check. It was a great round table as I walked away with suggestions and tremendous support. Thank you Loni Rahm for gathering the troops and Best Western for your hospitality!

There are three remaining Round Tables and if you have not attended one, I would highly recommend it. The dialog and conversations have been fabulous. But I must thank all those that have made these successful…by your attendance and your enthusiasm. It just confirms our message…… we are doing the right thing for our beautiful state. These events have been so rewarding and helpful. We are keeping detailed notes of every event and will be using those as we draft our strategic business plan.

Committee Report
As mentioned in my last update, all committees have been formed and met during the month of September so they can report out at the next Board meeting October 6. All committees have met, many on more than one occasion and we are seeing their efforts! We have to look at the WTA like a startup company. Even though we have a number of assets that were transferred from the state, our operations are beginning from the ground up and there is so much to be done. Having said that, I am amazed at the volume of work and effort that has been put forth by our wonderful volunteers. Their efforts will be reported out after the Board meeting.

Board Meeting
Just a reminder the Board meeting is Thursday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m. in Tacoma . All members are welcome but must RSVP in advance so the appropriate room accommodations can be made. RSVPs can be sent to info@watourismalliance.com.

Give us your feedback
For those of you who have not had an opportunity to attend our round tables, or who have come up with ideas to share since attending one, please know we have added a ‘feedback’ page to our website where we encourage your feedback and ideas. While we have much industry expertise on our board and from our volunteers, we are always open to new and creative ideas! www.watourismalliance.com

Don’t forget to check out our website to learn more about how you can be a member www.watourismalliance.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter too!

Thanks for reading!

Suzanne Fletcher
WTA Executive Director