Visit Sarasota County Meetings and Group Sales Team Expands

Visit Sarasota County has promoted Ellen Thomas to senior meeting sales manager and has appointed Amanda Walker leisure group sales manager and Allison Jones group sales coordinator. Thomas will lead a team devoted to marketing the destination to meeting professionals and leisure group planners. Walker will work to secure accommodations and community activities for the social, military, educational, religious and fraternal groups market as well as for weddings and travel agents. Previously with The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota sales department, Walker has extensive knowledge of the area, and is passionate about sharing it with these groups. Jones assists Thomas and Walker in acquiring leads and showcasing qualities that make Sarasota the best destination for group conferences, meetings and events. A native of Sarasota, alumna of Riverview High School and recent graduate from the University of Florida, Jones is excited to continue to build relationships within the community to enhance her role with VSC.


Dana Young Seeks Industry’s Input as She Takes the Helm at VISIT FLORIDA

On her first day as president and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, former State Senator Dana Young met with FADMO’s Mat Forrest and Robert Skrob at her office. Young is no stranger to FADMO; in fact, she was named the association’s 2018 Tourism Champion for her efforts to kill legislation that would have prevented DMOs from promoting their destinations, attracting visitors and generating customers for tourism-related jobs. After starting her new job on January 9, Young began traveling throughout the state to meet with as many DMO directors as possible.

Young, a sixth-generation Floridian, is a product of the Florida public school system and received her undergraduate degree in political science from Florida State University. In pursuit of her interests in law and public policy, she graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1993 and returned to Florida to begin her legal career at Fowler, White, Boggs PA. Young served in the Florida House from 2010 to 2016, rising to House Republican leader. Most recently, she served as a senator for District 18 in Hillsborough County.
“As we enter 2019, Florida tourism has much to celebrate,” Young says. “We have achieved seven consecutive years of record visitation and visitor spending, and in 2017, Florida welcomed a record 118.8 million visitors to the state. In 2018, Florida set another tourism record, welcoming 95.8 million visitors from January through September, the highest number of visitors in any nine months in our state’s history. Tourism stimulates our economy and creates jobs unlike any other industry in our state. According to the latest economic impact study, in 2016, visitors had a $112 billion economic impact and supported 1.4 million Florida jobs.
“Thanks to our more than 12,000 partners, including destination marketing organizations from across the state, Florida is well poised to build on this momentum and continue to strengthen Florida’s economy. I look forward to working with our state’s DMOs to better engage travelers and attract even more visitors to our state.”

Tammy Heon Chairman

Tammy Heon Elected Chairman of the Board

The Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations (FADMO) is proud to announce Tammy Heon as Chairman of the Board.

Ms. Heon is the Manager of Tourism Development for Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee. She has served many positions on the board of directors since October 2015 including CEO Director, Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice Chair.

“This is a well-deserved recognition of the many valuable contributions Tammy has made to our organization,” said Steve Hayes, past chairman of the FADMO board of directors and executive director of Visit Pensacola. “She has a unique perspective of the tourism industry that provides a tremendous advantage. This knowledge, combined with her keen leadership skills, will help position the association for continued positive growth into the future.”

The FADMO serves as the single unifying voice for all of Florida’s destination marketing organizations, providing insight and direction as we face new challenges marked by an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace. Organized in 1996, FADMO strives to increase the overall effectiveness of Florida DMOs’ destination marketing efforts. Its stated mission is to provide cooperative action to enhance and encourage the growth of Florida’s destination marketing organizations through promoting tourism industry education, enhancing professionalism, facilitating the exchange of information between Florida DMOs, developing an awareness of legislative issues and unifying the state’s DMO industry through public relations.

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