Executive Directors Destiny Bryson of Highland County Visitors Bureau, Susan Valentine-Scott of Clinton County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Stephanie Dunham of Fayette County Travel & Tourism have been selected to participate in the Ohio Travel Association’s Leadership Academy.
“Participating in the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy is more than just learning about the Ohio travel economy and the role these directors play. It’s also about strengthening their network with peers and existing leadership,” said Melinda Huntley, Executive Director of the Ohio Travel Association.
“During each session, we will discuss critical regional and statewide issues with leaders from across the state in public and private sectors, including nonprofit organizations. Learning occurs through panel discussions, presentations, tours, written assignments and other activities designed to deepen their understanding of Ohio travel industry challenges and opportunities, as well as to inspire them to make a difference in Highland, Clinton and Fayette counties.”
The program consists of six classes with session locations in the Greater Columbus area monthly from January through June. Class members have included those from attractions, museums, theme parks, CVBs, local government, state agencies, federal legislators, community development offices, restaurants, hotels and more.
This month’s meeting focused on Tourism and the Economy. The group heard from guest speakers Dr. Jeff Reutter, Former Director of the Ohio State University Sea Grant Program focusing his presentation on leadership, followed by Matt MacLaren, Director of TourismOhio focusing his presentation on the state’s 2019 plans to promote tourism in Ohio to surrounding states.
In Fayette County, Executive Director Stephanie Dunham has been on the job for a little of a month, after the retirement of former leader Jolinda VanDyke. “I am excited to be a part of the Ohio Tourism Leadership Academy and represent Fayette County. I look forward to networking and making connection with industry leaders. Being new to the travel industry, I’ve found it very encouraging as a new leader. It has been an exciting month on the job and I’m thrilled to be a part of this thriving and growing industry.”
In Clinton County, Executive Director Susan Valentine-Scott and her board just rebranded with a new logo and a tag line of “Come Play and Explore.”
She said that rebranding was needed and they are very excited of the direction they are going with the new logo.
“We have many great things happening in Clinton County — 2019 is going to be a great year!” Valentine-Scott said. “Clinton, Highland and Fayette are in the middle of three major cities and with the rich agriculture, history and all there is to explore, we invite visitors to see not only our counties but the awesome things the state of Ohio have to offer. Find it here!”
Destiny Bryson, director of the Highland County tourism bureau, said that more people are realizing that tourism transfers to economic development, often with affordable marketing costs.
“The trifecta of leadership from Highland, Clinton and Fayette counties is great for the region. There are so many things to do in each county, but collectively there are hundreds of reasons to visit,” said State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-17th District). “I support the tourism industry and the work Destiny, Susan and Stephanie are doing to promote scenic southern Ohio.”