Kyle Edmiston of the Louisiana Office of Tourism has been named national State Tourism Director of the Year. His selection was announced as the honoree before more than 850 of his peers at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual ESTO conference in Minneapolis. US Travel’s National Council of State Tourism Directors votes on the award annually ahead of ESTO. Candidates for State Tourism Director of the Year are nominated by a panel of state and territory tourism directors. Edmiston has been with the Louisiana Office of Tourism for more than five years. Previously, he was president and CEO of the Ruston/Lincoln CVB.
After serving for 15 years on the job, Bob Doak is retiring from his post as president and CEO of the Chattanooga Area CVB. A veteran of more than three decades in the travel and tourism industry, Doak was previously general manager of the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, as well general manager of the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.
Harumi Leonard has been named head of destination management, Inbound USA and Canada, Japan market at G2 Travel. Leonard comes to the new position from Japan Pacific Travel Service, a company that provides service to high-end customers of Japan Airlines.
Kelly Brady is now North America TMC 3rd party sales manager of Travelport Horizon. She joins the company from SLS Las Vegas, where she was senior corporate and leisure sales manager. She has also served tenures at JacTravel and Tourico Holidays.
Ross Levi has been named executive director for tourism development for New York State’s Empire State Development. Levi, who joined Empire State Development in 2012 as vice president, marketing initiatives, succeeds Gavin Landry, who took over recently as director of the Americas for Visit Britain.
Nancy Walsh is stepping down as president of the U.S. division of Reed Exhibitions which produces the World Travel Market, a staple in the international tour and travel industry. A veteran of more than 30 years with the company, Walsh started with Reed in an entry-level sales position. She later served for 21 years as senior vice president and 7 years as executive vice president, North America.
Paul Maine has left the outbound tour operator business, stepping down from his position as chief commercial officer for STA Travel to join Hotels & More in the newly-created role of group CEO. He will join on September 6 to lead the newly-named Tour Partner Group, the holding company for Hotels & More, Irish Welcome Tours and Authentic Vacations.