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On Dec. 5, Destinations International held a reception at the Ghost Coast Distillery in Savannah, Ga. Left to right: Kevin Kane, President & CEO of the Memphis CVB; Don Welsh, President & CEO of Destinations International; Jeff Hewitt, Sr. Vice President of Visit Savannah; William Pate, President & CEO of the Atlanta CVB; Joe Marinelli, President & CEO of Visit Savannah; Butch Spyridon, President & CEO of the Nashville CVC; Chris Thompson, President & CEO of Brand USA; and Katie Callahan-Giobbi, Executive Vice President of, Minding Your Business, Inc.

Destinations International Asks Members for
Red Ink Life Ring

Jonathan Trager

The costs of recent legal battles engendered by former CEO Michael Gehrisch’s departure has led to a stream red ink from Destinations International’s bank account. To retire this short-term debt, the association is now seeking hefty sums from its large DMO and supplier members.

To read entire story click here


Deborah L. Sexton Leaving PCMA
Following 2018 Convening Leaders

Todd McElwee

Deborah Sexton, PCMA’s President & CEO will leave the association next month following the Convening Leaders annual meeting in Nashville. Her departure, which she insists is not retirement, was announced December 4.
Sexton told USAE she has always respected leaders responsible and thoughtful enough to exit the stage at the opportune moment. And in PCMA she sees a healthy organization poised for even greater heights with January’s rollout of a new strategic plan.

To read entire story click here

Group Plans to Replace Austin’s Expo Center
with District

Jonathan Trager

A group called Austin Sports & Entertainment (ASE) is seeking to create a project called the East Austin District in place of the Travis County Exposition Center.
The new district would be anchored by a 15,000-seat arena and 40,000-seat stadium. It’s also designed to include office space, a convention area, medical facilities, retail, and eight courtyards.

To read more click here

Wildfires Burn and Threaten Southern California

Grant Broadhurst

As of USAE’s print date, the situation is highly dangerous in southern California as about 5,000 firefighters wage war on blazes that have resulted in 150 buildings being damaged and orders for 200,000 people to abandon their homes to uncertain fates.
Much depends on which way the wind blows.

To read more click here


2017-2018 E-Blast and
Turn the Page Hot Dates


HOTS got a kick out of a viral Internet video, which shows an Alabama police dog doing pushups with two officers. reports that Nitro, a 2-year-old Dutch shepherd, joined the Gulf Shores Police Department’s canine unit in February. In the video, the dog raises up and down as the song “Eye of the Tiger” plays in the background. Gulf Shores Police Cpl. Josh Coleman said the seven-second video is part of a social media trend began by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department in Florida. View the video at:


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