WTA Staff Members
David Blandford is Executive Director of the Washington Tourism Alliance. Previously as Senior Vice President, Public Affairs of Visitor Seattle, he oversaw public policy, industry advocacy, government relations, crisis communications and strategic communications. His career in tourism began with statewide travel promotion, running press trips throughout Washington and working closely with the state tourism office on destination PR programs. Blandford currently serves on the Communications Committee of the U.S. Travel Association and previously was President of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and served on the board of directors of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Mike is a Washingtonian through-and-through. Born in Spokane, he grew up on Tiger Mountain, 30 minutes east of Seattle. After high school, Mike fell in love with the tourism industry, first working on steamboats up and down the Mississippi River. His tourism career has taken him around the world. Among his many jobs, he was a photographer, a maitre’ d, and an overland tour guide in South America. He joined the WTA in 2012 and after 7 years of working to help pass tourism marketing legislation, Mike loves playing a part in showcasing Washington to the world. He now lives in Seattle with his wife Shannon, son Kieran, daughter Mazie, and dog Pacha.
Michelle joined WTA in 2021. A relatively new Washingtonian, Michelle has lived in the Pacific Northwest her entire life and grew up in Portland, Oregon. Her career in tourism began at Travel Portland, where she spent nearly five years working on from consumer marketing. From there, she hopped the river to lead the marketing team at Visit Vancouver USA from 2019 – 2021. Michelle is excited to help tell Washington’s story on a larger stage and bring her experience in consumer marketing to the team at this exciting point for tourism in the state.
Diana joined the WTA in 2014 as the Operations Manager. Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she dreamed of finding somewhere green and close to the coast to settle down. She attended Auburn University and graduated with a B.A. in Communication. While in Alabama, Diana had the opportunity to work for a growing therapeutic horseback riding farm and discovered her love of nonprofit work. After college she lived in Washington DC and received a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law. Diana moved to Washington State in 2009, finally finding the cool climate and stunning views she’d been seeking. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and lives in Seattle with her husband Jason and their son Sebastian. As someone who first came to the state as a visitor and made it her home, Diana loves exploring the PNW and sharing the beauty of Washington with others.