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Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), has been honored with the 2014 destination marketing Hall of Fame Award by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). The award was created to honor individuals who have changed the future of destination marketing for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing.

“DMAI as an organization recognized the importance of leadership in our industry to sustain our 100 year history and grow destination marketing into the multibillion dollar industry that it is today,” said Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO, DMAI. “Our goal is to shine a spotlight on these pioneers, champions and influencers, and allow our members around the globe an opportunity to get to know them and their works.”

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Ralenkotter, who last year celebrated his 40th year at the LVCVA, oversaw the creation of the most successful branding campaign in tourism history, best known for its oft-repeated tagline, “What happens here, stays here.” It was selected the No. 1 campaign by the voting public and was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2011.

“With more than 41 years at the LVCVA, Rossi is truly the North Star for the Las Vegas tourism industry,” said Cathy Tull, senior vice president of marketing, LVCVA. “He has made an indelible mark on the destination with his leadership and vision, and without Rossi, we wouldn’t have one of the most popular Vegas phrases ever – ‘What Happens Here Stays Here.’”

Continually engaged with the travel industry, Ralenkotter has served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Tourism, chairman of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Commerce, and chairman of the U.S. Travel Association.

He has also been named one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry by Meeting News as well as Co-Brand Marketer of the Year by Brandweek magazine. Ralenkotter has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Marketing Association, the Travel and Tourism Research Association, and was recently announced to be inducted into the U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders.

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