9.8.11 – Executive Director Update

Hello WTA Members & Friends,

It’s been an exciting first month on the job for me and I am writing to give you an update of all the activities since our last report.

Tammy Blount from Tacoma Regional CVB named first Chair of WTA
At its first meeting the Board of Directors elected Tammy Blount to serve as Chair of the Washington Tourism Alliance.Tammy Blount is a veteran of the tourism industry. She started in the hotel industry in 1987. In 1989 she began an 11 year journey with Tourism Vancouver in Vancouver, Canada. During her time there she worked in every department of the organization, taking a leadership role in one of our industry’s most respected destination marketing organizations worldwide. In 2001 she moved to Texas, and led various sales and marketing teams there until March of 2007 when she returned to the Pacific Northwest. In February of 2008 she joined the TRCVB as President + CEO.

In the past three years Tammy has participated in various regional, statewide and national tourism initiatives. In addition to being Chair of the WTA, Tammy is the President of the Chambers Creek Foundation. She is an active advocate for tourism, having been an architect of the new statewide association.

Tammy serves on the Board of Directors of DMAI – Destination Marketing Association International, as well as Co-Chairing DMAI’s advocacy committee and serving on its education committee. Tammy serves on the Greater Tacoma Convention Center Public Facilities District Board of Directors, the WSDMO – Washington State Destination Marketing Organizations Association Board of Directors, the Pierce County Lodging Tax Advisory Committee and the Sumner Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.

In addition to Tammy, others elected to the Executive Committee include:

  • Kevin Clark, CEO + President of Argosy Cruises: WTA Vice-Chair
  • Jane Kilburn, Director of Tourism Development for the Port of Seattle: WTA Secretary
  • John Bookwalter, Owner/Winemaker of Bookwalter Winery: WTA Treasurer
  • Andy Olsen, Vice President of Columbia Hospitality: WTA At-Large Member

The Board is eager to get moving on a long list of issues and has created several ad-hoc committees including:

  • Long Term Funding + Advocacy – led by Frank Finnernan
  • Website – led by Cheryl Kilday
  • Marketing + Communications – led by Donna Cappa
  • Membership – led by Monique Trudnowski
  • Summit/Events – led by Christina Pivarnik

We are so thankful to those of you who volunteered to help with these committees. The committees are starting their work now and may be in contact with you in the next couple weeks. Due to the volume of volunteers we received (again, thank you!) not everyone will be tapped at this time to be on a committee, but please know we are keeping your names and contact information for future activities and assistance. We all know the value of volunteers and the benefit of grassroots efforts! Again, the response was overwhelming and we are very thankful to you all!

WTA is traveling the state and needs to hear from YOU!
You should have received an invitation to join me at one (or more) of the following statewide events. This is an opportunity for me to update you, but more importantly, for you to share your ideas with me. I am using these events as an opportunity to listen and learn from you all. Please do consider joining us!

  • Leavenworth – September 12, 3:00PM – 5:00PM at the Best Western PLUS Icicle Village Resort
  • Yakima – September 14, 10:00AM – Noon at the Holiday Inn Hotel
  • Richland – September 15, 8:00AM – 10:00AM at the Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau
  • Walla Walla – September 16, 9:30AM – 11:30AM at the Walla Walla Regional Airport
  • Spokane – September 19, 2:00PM – 4:00PM at Northern Quest
  • Vancouver – September 22, 9:00AM – 11:00AM at the Hilton Vancouver
  • Port Angeles – September 26, 1:30PM – 3:30PM at the Vern Burton Community Center
  • Bellingham – September 30, 9:00AM -11:00AM at the Best Western PLUS Lakeway Inn
  • Long Beach – October 5, 1:00PM – 3:00PM Location TBA
  • Olympia – October 11, 10:00AM – Noon at the Red Lion Hotel Olympia
  • Seattle – October 13, 8:30AM – 10:30AM at the Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue

To RSVP please send which location you plan to attend to Kathryn@watourismalliance.com
Our Board plans to meet several times before the end of the year and will have a retreat in November where we will focus on determining our goals for the next 18 months. We plan to have another summit in the Spring of 2012.

As always, thanks for your support and stay tuned for more updates!

-Suzanne Fletcher

WTA Executive Director