Destination Marketing Association International Names Don Welsh from Choose Chicago President and CEO
January 22, 2016
Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) named Don Welsh, CEO of Choose Chicago, as the new president and CEO. DMAI retained the executive recruiting firm SearchWide to manage the search process for a new CEO last fall. “After a thorough search process that included a stellar group of candidates, we are thrilled that Don has accepted this position,” said Bob Lander, chairman of the DMAI board of directors and CEO of the Austin CVB. He added, “We are confident that he will lead DMAI in becoming the premier trade association for destination marketing organizations both in the U.S. and globally.” Welsh has more than 35 years of experience in the industry. Prior to his role in Chicago, Welsh held the CEO positions at both the Seattle Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. Welsh also brings extensive hotel experience with him having served in various capacities at Westin Hotels, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas. “I am incredibly proud of what the Choose Chicago team and Chicago’s visitor industry have accomplished in just five years. Chicago is experiencing an unprecedented travel boom that promises to deliver immense economic benefits,” Welsh said. He added, “While this is a bittersweet day for me and my family, I remain 100 percent confident in the Choose Chicago leadership team to continue to move this industry forward. Opportunities such as this don’t come along often, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I share Bob’s vision to elevate DMAI to the next level and I look forward to working alongside my global counterparts in one of the fastest growing segments within the global economy.“ DMAI is the world’s largest resource for official destination marketing organizations (DMOs). DMAI advocates on behalf of 4,200+ destination professionals from over 600 destinations in approximately 15 countries.
As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: