2018-19 Committees

IITA is thankful for the contributions of its committee members who provide support in outlining the direction and achieving the goals of our organization. If you are interested in becoming more involved by joining a committee, please contact us at headquarters@inboundtravel.org.

2019 Summit Committee

Chair: Jordi Zarroca, Cosmopolitan Incentives

Heather Anderson, Travel Portland
Laurel Bennett, Nashville CVC
Elliott Callaway, Bonotel Exclusive Travel
Kelly Defebo, Visit Sarasota
Floy Kennedy, Visit Colorado Springs
Pasquina De Carlo, Team America
Mindy Shea, Visit Savannah 

Staff Liaison: Sarah Terry – Lead; Rebecca Barnes – Support

Charge: Provide guidance for and input into the annual Summit planning, working with the host city and IITA staff, to ensure it meets members’ needs and expectations as well as attendance goals and budget. Specific responsibilities:

  • Determine if there should be a theme (overall or for education program) and establish theme accordingly
  • Provide input to host city on events and functions for which they’re responsible, Opening Event, Awards Dinner/Closing Event, sightseeing, post-fam, etc
  • Provide insight into education topics and speakers; assist in securing speakers as needed
  • Review effectiveness of Marketplace, and make recommendations accordingly
  • Assist with sponsorship plan and recruitment
  • Outreach to members and prospects to secure attendance
  • Recruit and oversee volunteers and design engagement touchpoints to ensure it’s a rewarding experience
  • Utilize subcommittees as needed to accomplish specific goals

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Personal contact to prospects and members, particularly inbound operators, to encourage Summit attendance.
  2. Participate in IITA Summer Retreat meeting (date/location tbd).
  3. Participation in monthly teleconference meetings.

Advocacy and Government Relations

Chair:   Gerrit De Vos, Bonotel Exclusive Travel

Quintin Blair, Blair Hotels
Bernd Brydges, New World Travel
Nick Hentschel, ATI
Makiko Matsuda Healy, NYC & Company
Paul Mason, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Nicole Risafi, President, Visit America, Inc
James Scoon, Travel Wyoming
Denise Thevenot, Louisiana Tax Free Shopping
Peter van Berkel, Travalco
Rafael Villanueva, Las Vegas CVA
Fred Walker, North Dakota Tourism

Ex officio: Gary Schluter 

Staff Liaison:  Rebecca Barnes– Lead; Lisa Simon – Support

To monitor and act on legislative activity relevant IITA members and the inbound travel industry. Specific responsibilities:

  • Recommends IITA positions on issues as they arise and/or change
  • Participate in advocacy outreach to legislators and administration officials, including participation in Destination Capitol Hill for which IITA is a sponsor
  • Determine Priority Issues for 2018-19, with emphasis on national parks access and funding, and issues related to visas/entry policies and processes

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Participate in quarterly teleconference meetings.
  2. Participate in IITA Summer Retreat meeting (date/location tbd).
  3. Personal outreach to legislators and policymakers as warranted by the issues and committee assignments.
  4. Attend Destination Capitol Hill in March

Best Practices Committee

Chair:   Peter van Berkel, Travalco USA, Inc.

Committee appointments are in progress.

Charge: To establish a best practices program for the many sectors of the inbound travel industry to enhance services provided to international visitors and ensure they have high-quality experiences visiting the U.S., for example, tour guides in national parks or professional tour directors servicing emerging markets. Specific responsibilities:

  • Identify industry sectors/occupations that need best practices established for inbound travel
  • Develop a framework and delivery process for best practices by reviewing examples and conducting research as needed
  • Establish/define the best practices, or appoint a task force with expertise in specific areas to do so
  • Establish a feasible timeline for program delivery, for example, select one priority per year to be launched at the Summit

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Participate in bi-monthly (every two months) teleconference meetings, adjusted as needed once work is outlined.
  2. Participate in IITA Summer Retreat meeting (date/location tbd).
  3. Draft best practices related to certain industry sectors/occupations to be compiled by staff.
  4. Outreach to industry sources for best practice information/guidelines as needed.
  5. Review best practices compilations before distribution.

Governance Committee

Chair: Rafael Villanueva, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Pia Jayatilake, New World Travel
Petra Hackworth, Travel Oregon
Gary Schluter, RMH Tours

Staff Liaison: Lisa Simon – Lead; Sarah Terry – Support

Charge: To review and evaluate the association’s governance structure, including Board and Committee structure, roles and responsibilities, and membership structure. Given the ever-changing industry and trends in association leadership, this committee will propose the most appropriate Board/Committee/Membership structure that best serve the association and inbound industry.

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Evaluate the current and propose the best membership structure, i.e. structure, categories, requirements based on industry trends
  2. Evaluate the current and propose the best governance structure, based on industry and association leadership trends
  3. Revise the Bylaws and draft Board policy accordingly
  4. Review and establish governance policies that ensure IITA remains nimble and effective in changing times, while maintaining integrity and professionalism

Marketing Advisory Committee

Chair:     Gabe Martinez, Sea World

Sandi Lackey, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Letizia Sirtori, Destination DC
Rafael Villanueva, Las Vegas CVA
Meire Ramos, Marriott International
Evelyn Vazquez, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches VCB

Staff Liaison:  Rebecca Barnes – Lead; Sarah Terry – Support

Charge: To serve in an advisory capacity for marketing strategy and member sounding board for staff related to marketing functions including communications and marketing messaging; and to serve as leadership ambassadors to spread the word about IITA through social media.

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Participate in quarterly teleconference meetings.
  2. Participate in IITA Summer Retreat meeting (date/location tbd).
  3. Utilize social media to spread the word about IITA.

Membership Committee

Chair: Jennifer Lloyd, Marriott International

Ana Gonzalez, Experience Kissimmee
Sandi Lackey, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Karin Omojola, AlliedTPro
Isaac Pacheco, Hornblowers New York
Roxanna Torrens, Planet Hollywood 

Staff Liaison: Sarah Terry – Lead; Rebecca Barnes – Support

Charge: To strengthen member retention and meet growth goals for new members, with emphasis on inbound operators. Specific responsibilities:

  • Member Engagement – establish year-round touch points for members, including personal outreach, events and volunteer opportunities
  • Ambassador Program – as a means of engagement and recruitment, further develop the proposed Ambassador Program
  • Member Needs Assessment – oversee surveying and/or outreach to determine members’ needs and expectations
  • Oversees new member orientation and outreach
  • Assist staff with implementing membership campaigns, personal outreach to members and prospects, as warranted.

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Personal contact to member prospects to encourage to join, attend membership events, attend Summit.
  2. Participate in IITA Summer Retreat meeting (date/location tbd).
  3. Personal contact with members to increase their engagement, encourage attendance at membership events and Summit.
  4. Attendance at membership events in your area.
  5. Participate in monthly teleconference meetings.

Awards Task Force

Chair: Ken Testani, SuperShuttle

Richard Kerekes, Gray Line/CitySightseeing New York
Lena Ross, America 4 You
Juan Sepulveda, The Roosevelt Hotel

Staff Liaison: Sarah Terry – Lead; Rebecca Barnes – Support

Charge: To review the current Stanley Awards and recommend to the Board any desired changes.

Committee Member Commitments:

  1. Determine/establish the purpose for the Awards program to institute guiding principals
  2. Review the current awards for relevance, categories, eligibility, and nominating/selection process; recommend changes accordingly
  3. Consider if there should be additional/different awards and recommend accordingly