The U.S. Travel Association has launched a new Emerging Travel Leaders program and announced its first class of 22 leaders.

The program was created to expand the exposure, knowledge and capabilities of rising travel leaders as they build careers in the travel and tourism field. It advances an objective that was included in the National Chair’s Platform, led by U.S. Travel Association National Chair and Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, to spur the development of a diverse, equitable and inclusive industry to lead travel into the future.


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“One of the key facets of U.S. Travel’s long-term vision is to strengthen our workforce by identifying areas for career advancement and upward mobility,” said Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO. “By launching a program that intentionally provides access to highly skilled professionals and premier events, we are forging the next generation of leaders who will shape a dynamic and diverse future for travel.”

The 2022 Emerging Travel Leaders class is:

Amanda Baker, Visit North Carolina

Katherine Barnes, IDEMIA

Travis Binkley, Visit Orlando

Christian Cadle, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Susana Carraza, Disneyland

Megan Conway, Travel Portland

Amelia Deluca, Delta Air Lines

Lorne Edwards, Visit Phoenix

Maria Fabregat, Disney Signature Experiences

Jennifer Haber, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Petra Hackworth, Travel Oregon

Drew Hays, Visit Austin

Christina Heggie, Google

Connie Kinnard, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Mia Landrin, Carnival Cruise Line

Robin McClain, Destination DC

Jacob Pewitt Yancey, VISIT FLORIDA

Dawson Pritchett, Visit Lauderdale

Alix Skelpsa Ridgway, Arizona Office of Tourism

Taylor Stanley, Visit Lake Charles

Keith Stiff, Universal Orlando Resort

Armine Terzyan, Associated Luxury Hotels International

The class of leaders will participate in a year-long program of immersive experiences at U.S. Travel events, including at spring and fall board meetings, Destination Capitol Hill, and at a fall advocacy conference where they will connect with industry leaders and gain an understanding of U.S. Travel’s mission, values and culture. The program also provides U.S. Travel board members an opportunity to engage with developing and diverse talents.

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