Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2021

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B M & T ••• March/April 2021 ••• 10 N E W S M A K E R S LOUISVILLE TOURISM ANNOUNCES LEADERSHIP CHANGES T he Commission of Louisville Tourism has announced a succession plan upon the forthcoming retirement of current President & CEO Karen Williams. Veteran hospitality industry executive Williams will close out her 30-year tenure at Louisville's destination market- ing organization on June 30, 2021. The Commission has named current Chief Operating Officer Cleo Battle to head the city's tourism agency upon William's retirement. Williams has worked in the hospitality industry for 40 years beginning as a sales manager at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta. After opening 18 hotels worldwide, Williams returned to Louisville and served 23 years at what was then the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, retiring as Executive Vice President in 2012 and returning as CEO in 2014. She has served on boards of Leadership Louisville, Meeting Professionals International, Destination Marketing Association International and APEX Commissioner with the Convention Industry Council. Williams has also served as chair for the Destination & Travel Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to serving the interest of destination marketing professionals and highlighting the impact of trav- el around the world. In recognition of the diverse achieve- ments and longevity of her hospitality career, Williams received the Dan Mangeot award in 2012 given to an individ- ual who has greatly contributed to Louisville's tourism initia- tives. This is Battle's second time filling Williams' role, as he was appointed Executive Vice President in 2013 before being named COO in 2019. Battle has worked in the hospitality industry for 34 years. Prior to coming to Louisville, Battle spent 12 years as Vice President of Sales & Services for the Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau in Richmond, Va. He also held the positions of Director of Sales and Sales Manager at the Richmond CVB. Battle began his hospitality career in the hotel industry working for Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Sheraton Hotels. Battle is a native of Denver. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State College with a BA degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management. He earned his Master's of Business Administration in 1997 from Averett College in Virginia. He is both a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) and Certified Association Sales Executive (CASE). YMCA OF THE ROCKIES – ESTES PARK CENTER AND SNOW MOUNTAIN RANCH WELCOMES DZIDRA JUNIOR TO THE NEWLY CREATED POSITION OF VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Y MCA of the Rockies is pleased to welcome Dzidra Junior as Vice President of Business Development, effective immediately. Junior will be based in Estes Park, Colo., and will report to Julie Watkins, President and CEO. As Vice President of Business Development, Junior will be a valued member of the Executive Leadership Team. She is charged to create and execute a dynamic and sustainable strategy to advance our mission by increasing revenue across mul- tiple channels as well as directing all activities of the market- ing, communications, reservations and sales teams. She will also be responsible for ensuring appropriate and profession- al communications internally and externally in the event of a crisis or threat to the reputation of the Association. Junior has worked in the hospitality industry for 29 years. Prior to coming to YMCA of the Rockies, she spent 15 years as Director of Global Sales for MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, Nev., where she successfully developed and exe- cuted the strategy for the diversity business case. Additionally, Junior successfully worked to strengthen com- munity partnerships that helped attract national conventions to MGM Resorts International's Las Vegas and regional prop- erties. Junior has also held leadership positions for Caesars Entertainment and Las Vegas Hilton, now known as Westgate Resorts. "Dzidra is an industry veteran whose significant depth of

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