The program featured presentations by King County Executive Dow Constantine, who shared his thoughts on protecting the things that make our region so special—from its wilderness peaks to historic buildings to our music ecosystem. Mayor Bruce Harrell talked about revitalizing downtown and the value of tourism as an economic engine for Seattle, a driver for job creation, which strengthens our businesses of all sizes, and a point of local pride. Nan Marchand Beauvois, from U.S. Travel Association, spoke about Global Meetings Industry Day and the impacts of the industry, within our own community and around the globe.
We had the opportunity to recognize the volunteer leadership of our two governing Boards of Directors: the Seattle Tourism Improvement Area (STIA) Board and the Visit Seattle Board. We honored the exiting Board members from 2022 and the current Board Members serving for 2023. We also celebrated the leadership of Kevin Clark, Immediate Past Chair of Visit Seattle Board and CEO of Argosy Cruises, for his leadership and representing two Chair terms which carried the organization through COVID.
We also welcomed keynote speaker Rick Antonson, former CEO of Tourism Vancouver, and nationally known inspirational speaker, author and TEDTalk Presenter, who shared a message about “Seizing Today For Tomorrow”, creating a vision and intention to develop strategy that reaches beyond our own tenure, establishing pillars for generations to come. Visit Seattle’s CEO Tammy Canavan then hosted a Campfire Chat with Visit Seattle’s leadership team—CSO Kelly Saling, CMO Ali Daniels, and SVP Michael Woody—talking about the programs and activations that will propel us as an organization, and as an industry, through 2023.
Following the program, we had the opportunity to network with industry colleagues at a reception featuring food created by the Westin Seattle Culinary team, beverages provided by our industry partners at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pike Brewing, and Westland Distillery along with amazing local entertainment presented by Gigs4U. Local Seattle artist Dozfy created a special gift for each attendee: a rendering of their favorite pet on glass.
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