Lee Sentell, Director - Alabama Tourism
Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell has set about creating many “firsts” in the 57-year history of the state agency. During his first four years, Sentell received national and regional awards and saw tourism increase in his state by 33 percent. The Alabama Tourism Department implemented award-winning annual campaigns, including the 2005 Year of Alabama Food. Sentell brought back the Year of Alabama Food campaign for 2012 in addition to the “100 Alabama Road Trips” three year campaign. Under Sentell’s guidance, the department created new publications touting the attractions and events that set Alabama apart from other states: the Civil Rights Trail, the Hank Williams Trail, and “100 dishes to see in Alabama before you die.” Serving as state travel director since January 15, 2003, Sentell was reappointed by Governor Robert Bentley in 2011. Previous positions include marketing director for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville and tourism director for Huntsville, Alabama. He has also chaired the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel Advisory Board, the Alabama Travel Council Board, and the North Alabama Tourism Association Board. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Auburn University.
Joe David Rice - Tourism Director, Arkansas Dept. of Parks & Tourism
Joe David Rice serves as Arkansas's Tourism Director, a position he's held since May of 1987. He and his team of 65 employees have two major responsibilities: enhancing the image of...
Kevin Langston - Deputy Commissioner, Tourism Division, Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
Kevin Langston is deputy commissioner for the tourism division at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), Georgia’s...
Kristen Branscum - Commissioner, Kentucky Dept. of Travel
Kristen Branscum was named Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism in January 2016, returning to the office after previously serving as Tourism Development Director from 2004-2008. As Commissioner, she and her staff are responsible for marketing and promoting Kentucky as a travel destination domestically and internationally. Her duties also include oversight and coordination of the Kentucky Film Office, the Kentucky Tourism Development Act and Kentucky's Film Incentive program. Prior to being named Commissioner, Branscum worked for eight years in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture in various leadership roles. From 2012-2016, she was Executive Director of Marketing for the department and in addition to managing six divisions and 50+ employees, Branscum oversaw the highly successful Kentucky Proud™ branding program which is the official logo for agricultural products for the state. Ms. Branscum is a member of the Board of Directors for Travel South USA, the Kentucky Travel Industry Association, the Southeast Tourism Society, and the Kentucky Derby Festival. She is also a member of the National Council of State Travel Directors and served on the Kentucky Grape and Wine Council, Farm to Food Banks Committee, and has been involved with building the new industrial hemp research program in the state. Ms. Branscum is a graduate of Auburn University and received post-graduate degrees at the University of Kentucky. She is a native of Russell Springs, Kentucky and currently lives in Lexington.
Kyle Edmiston - Asst. Secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism
Kyle is the state tourism director for Louisiana and has served in that capacity since 2012. Prior to his current position, he served as President/CEO of the Ruston Lincoln CVB...
D. Craig Ray - Director, Visit Mississippi
D. Craig Ray is the Director of Visit Mississippi, the Tourism office of the Mississippi Development Authority. In this role, he promotes Mississippi as a travel destination and film location by highlighting the state’s culture, heritage, history, natural resources and recreational opportunities through a multi-faceted marketing effort. Ray oversees a diverse number of programs and initiatives from Mississippi’s 13 welcome centers to the Mississippi Film Office. Ray returned to the Mississippi Development Authority in 2016 after serving as a Principal in The Talon Group, LLC, a government relations firm providing advice, advocacy and access to federal and state government agencies. Prior to joining The Talon Group, Ray served as President of DCRAY Consulting and as Executive Producer of a number of statewide and national events, including Mississippi Night at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles and the Mississippi GRAMMY Celebration. Ray has also served in senior-level positions for three United States Presidents and for two state governors. Ray previously served as the Director of the Tourism Division at the Mississippi Development Authority from 2004 – 2009. During his tenure he played a key role in developing the branding campaign for “Mississippi – The Birthplace of America’s Music” as well as launching the groundbreaking Mississippi Blues Trail. Today, the Mississippi Blues Trail has more than 185 markers throughout Mississippi and the world. A Mississippi native, Ray graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He has one daughter, Emma Claire.
Dan Lennon - Director, Missouri Division of Tourism
Dan Lennon is the Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, bringing more than 20 years of successful strategic tourism marketing and brand management experience in both...
Wit Tuttell - Executive Director, Visit North Carolina
Wit Tuttell was named Executive Director of Visit North Carolina in November 2013. He oversees the strategic planning, policy development, and marketing initiatives for North Carolina's...
Duane Parrish - Director, South Carolina Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Duane Parrish is the Director for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT). Parrish has dedicated over 35 years of his professional career...
Kevin Triplett - Commissioner, Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development
Kevin Triplett was appointed in April, 2015 to the cabinet of Governor Bill Haslam as commissioner of Tourist Development. Prior to joining Gov. Haslam’s team, Triplett served Bristol Motor...
Rita McClenny - President & CEO, Virginia Tourism Corporation
Rita D. McClenny serves as president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the state agency charged with marketing the Commonwealth as a premier travel...
Amy Shuler Goodwin
Amy Shuler Goodwin was appointed Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Tourism for West Virginia, effective May 1, 2014, by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Goodwin served as Director of Communications for Tomblin from 2012-2014. Goodwin previously served as chief spokesperson for former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise. During her 19 year career Goodwin also served as a state director for a presidential campaign and led communications for the city of Charleston, West Virginia. Goodwin is a former anchor and reporter for WTRF-TV in Wheeling and WCHS-TV in Charleston. Before returning to the Governor's office, Goodwin was the managing member of a public relations firm where she worked on behalf of health care organizations, major trade and issue associations, not for profit organizations, universities, Fortune 500 companies, labor unions, and small businesses.