The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association Foundation began the new year with new officers at the helm. Theresa Belpulsi, Vice President of Tourism, Sports & Visitor Services for Destination DC, was named Chair of the board of directors; Maria Cuba, Global Diversity Lead for Airbnb’s Experiences platform; and Dougal Mckenzie, Head of Industry, Travel, at Google were appointed Co-Vice Chairs. Tom Nichols, Vice President for Finance and Operations, Arcus Foundation; and Don Richardson, CFO for Brand USA, will serve as Co-Treasurers. Eddie Canaday, Director of Convention Sales, Washington D.C. area, Visit Salt Lake; and Scott Seed, Tourism & Hospitality Brand Marketing Consultant, will serve as Co-Secretaries.
“I am incredibly honored to be working with an extraordinary team from the staff at IGLTA and the boards of the association and the foundation,” Belpulsi said. “We will all continue to work hand-in-hand as we tackle the incredible challenges 2020 presented to our industry. The IGLTAF will remain focused on providing diverse market research for all our members, mentoring new LGBTQ+ businesses and emerging destinations, and delivering quality educational programing for the ‘new normal’ industry trends. We look forward to the days ahead where we can see beautiful smiling faces and share memories in person as we explore this incredible planet together through travel!”
The newly appointed officers lead a board that also includes: Immediate Past Chair Reginald Charlot, Managing Director, Tourism Market Development, NYC & Company; Pamela Herr, Founder, PH Events; Sean Howell, CEO, LGBT Foundation and Chair/Co-Founder, Hornet; Rika Jean-Francois, Head of CSR, ITB Berlin; Tom Kiely, CEO, Visit West Hollywood; Jim McMichael, Specialty Markets Manager, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority; Dan Melesurgo, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, ASAE; Gary Murakami, Director, Global Sales, MGM Resorts International; Glenn Stress, Senior Director, Global B2B Marketing and Events, Marriott International; and John Tanzella, President/CEO, IGLTA.
In addition, the IGLTAF welcomed two new board members for 2021: Amy Martin-Ziegenfuss, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing, Media, Insights & Performance, Hilton; and Cheryl Richards, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, VisitDallas.
Upcoming IGLTAF projects will focus on strengthening the LGBTQ+ tourism network in India and creating a transgender advisory group to improve inclusive outreach within the IGLTA global network and the industry at large.