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Destination & Travel Foundation hires new executive director

A new executive director with nearly 20 years of experience in the destination marketing industry takes the helm at the Destination & Travel Foundation.

Victoria Isley has been named executive director of the Destination & Travel Foundation. Isley, who will continue to serve in her current capacity as the executive vice president and


Victoria Isley

COO of Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), has 19 years of experience in the destination marketing industry.

“As a key leader on DMAI’s strategic management team during the past year and half, Vicki has a strong understanding of the strategy and research required to support the advancement of our industry,” said Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO, DMAI. “With her passion for destination marketing and travel as well as her ability to nurture collaborative opportunities, Vicki is the perfect choice to lead the foundation.”

Working to enhance the destination marketing and travel professions through education, research, and resources, the foundation has supported a wide variety of landmark reports, such as “The Future of Destination Marketing” and “ROI of Business Travel.” Most recently, the foundation sponsored the “2012 DMO Marketing Activities Study,” which was produced under Isley’s direction.

“Vicki’s seasoned industry perspective, which stems from extensive destination marketing experience previously with small, medium and large DMOs, is a genuine asset for identifying DMO needs and opportunities for which the Foundation can actively help to advance,” said Craig T. Davis, CDME, chairman of the foundation and president and CEO of VisitPittsburgh.

Isley will oversee the 20th Annual Dinner & Dream Auction, a key foundation event that recognizes primary industry players who demonstrate excellence in the areas of destination marketing and travel. Funds raised through the event directly support the foundation’s research and initiatives.

Prior to assuming the executive vice president and COO role at DMAI, Isley served as senior vice president of marketing and communications at Destination DC, vice president of marketing for the Tampa Bay & Company, and as the director of communications for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. Isley earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her Professional in Destination Management certificate. She currently serves on the Brand USA Business Development Advisory Board and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board Research Task Force.

Isley is a past research chair for the U.S. Travel Association, a past board member of the Public Relations Society of America Travel & Tourism Section, and an associate member of the Society of American Travel Writers.

Isley succeeds Jim Duda who after eight years of service is leaving the Foundation to become the executive vice president of Genus Holdings, an investment business owned by his family in Dallas.The Destination & Travel Foundation is a combined effort of the U.S. Travel Association and DMAI. Its mission is to enhance the destination marketing and travel professions through research, education, visioning and development of resources and partnerships for those efforts. DMAI protects and advances the success of destination marketing worldwide, and its membership includes nearly 600 destination marketing organizations from nearly 20 countries, which command $1.5 billion in annual budgets.

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