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The Leading Global Resource in the LGBT Tourism Industry.

IGLTA Global Staff

Board of Directors

Our board represents leaders in the gay and lesbian tourism industry and come from all over the world. If you are interested in how our board operates or want more information about becoming a board member, please e-mail iglta@iglta.org.

Click here to review the Board of Directors meeting notes.

Click here to review the IGLTA ByLaws.


  • Dan Melesurgo, Chair
  • Dan Melesurgo

    American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

    Email: dmelesurgo@iglta.org

    Dan Melesurgo is the Vice President, Strategic Partnerships for ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership.  As part of the leadership team, he is responsible for the management and strategic direction of the Alliance Partnership Program.  This program was created to provide the industry partner community with opportunities to align itself with ASAE through customized marketing platforms.  These comprehensive bundled packages are designed to assist industry partners in building and maintaining year round relationships with our 20,000 plus members in 50 countries.

    He also works closely with the Global Development Team at ASAE as the organization seeks to be the leader in developing/tailoring and delivering products and services to different markets around the world.

    Prior to joining ASAE, Mr. Melesurgo was the founder and principal of Plural Solutions, which provided marketing solutions to destination marketing organizations and the association community.  He has also held executive leadership positions with the Canadian Tourism Commission and the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau.  Earlier in his career he was part of the opening team at the Hotel InterContinental Los Angeles and held senior positions with Sheraton and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

    Mr. Melesurgo currently sits on the board of directors for the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and is part of the executive committee currently serving as chair.  As an active member of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), he has served in a variety of committee leadership and task force capacities.

  • Juan Julia, Vice Chair
  • Juan Julia 2013

    Axel Hotels

    Email: jjulia@iglta.org

    Juan P. Juliá Blanch, President of Axel Hotels, studied in ESADE (one of the 20th best world business universities according to the Financial Times) and started his professional career focusing in marketing working for 3 years in Sanyo (Japanese Consumer Electronics Co). Later on Mr. Julia worked for a multinational Spanish Toursim Co (Barceló). In March of 2001 he started in the gay & lesbian marketplace when he founded Axel Hotel Barcelona: It all started with a dream…. “to open a hotel for the gay community, my community. A cosmopolitan and tolerant space where atmosphere, diversity and respect are valued”.

  • Ed Salvato, Treasurer
  • Ed Salvato

    Editor in Chief, ManAboutWorld magazine

    Email: esalvato@iglta.org

    Ed Salvato is editor in chief of ManAboutWorld, the first gay travel magazine designed for iPad only. It is #1 in gay travel in the App Store and #66 among 11,000 travel apps, ahead of National Geographic. Known as a “global LGBT travel expert,” Ed Salvato has spent the last 14 years in the world of LGBT travel and tourism on just about every angle you can imagine: editorial, marketing, communications, product development, sponsorships, events and more. He is widely regarded both for his consumer advocacy and industry leadership. But he is proudest of his work as editor-in-chief for a dozen years of the world’s most authoritative gay travel magazines and websites, including OUT&ABOUT, Out Traveler, PlanetOut Travel, Advocate Travel, Gay.com Travel and now ManAboutWorld.


    To the surprise of many who only know him as a writer (and who watch him use his calculator app for the most basic math), Ed graduated from Harvard College with a degree in mathematics and economics and received his MBA from Northeastern University in marketing research. He’s visited 50 countries on 6 continents and laid his head in more beds than you can possibly imagine.

  • Chris Stanley, Secretary
  • Chris Stanley

    Silversea

    Email: cstanley@iglta.org

    Chris Stanley is a 15-year veteran of the cruise industry, and joined Silversea in 1993. He is a part of a seven-member worldwide team of professionals responsible for working with charter clients and corporate and incentive groups to plan and develop customized events, activities and meeting programs aboard the line’s award-winning ultra-luxury ships. Silversea Cruises, which is chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, is recognized as an innovator in the luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels.

    He is among a select group of professionals who passed the CMP. The Certified Meeting Professional requirements to be considered are based on years of professional experiences and academic examination. The Convention Industry Council grants the CMP accreditations.

    After becoming a member of SITE, he continued his journey by joining (MPI) Meeting Professionals International. This gave Stanley an opportunity to assist meeting and event planners that serve a critical role in the success of business, and are committed to giving its members the very best in professional development, business opportunities and a vibrant industry community.

  • Tanya Churchmuch, Past Chair
  • Tanya Churchmuch

    MuchPR

    Email: tchurchmuch@iglta.org

    Based in New York City, Tanya Churchmuch is the founder of MuchPR, a public relations agency specializing in tourism/hospitality, lifestyle and LGBT markets. Prior to launching MuchPR, Tanya lived in Montreal, Canada and was Tourism Montreal's Assistant Director of International Media Relations and Leisure Markets, while also overseeing their LGBT outreach. She was also the founder of the (former) lesbian travel website www.girlports.com. In 2008 Tanya was elected to the IGLTA Board of Directors and currently serves as Immediate Past Chair. An expert in LGBT travel, she has spoken at numerous travel industry events around the world and written travel articles for many LGBT and mainstream publications. Prior to working in travel, Tanya was a television journalist and news anchor.

  • Jody Cole, Board Member
  •  Jody Cole

    Wild Rainbow African Safaris

    Email: JCole@iglta.org

    Jody Cole is the founder, owner and guide for Wild Rainbow African Safaris. She continues to be a donor and philanthropic activist for over 25 years focusing on human rights and animal welfare.
    She brings board experience from a number of leading organizations including:

    • International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission 2011-2014
    • IGLTA Foundation-Founding Board Member/Vice Chair 2012-2014
    • Kiwanis Club, Ukiah, CA Chapter 2011-13
    • Equality California and Equality California Foundation 2005 – 2011 (Board President of EQCA Foundation 2006-2008)
    • Community Center Project of San Francisco 1998 – 2002
    • Community United Against Violence 1994-1998, co-Chair ‘94 -’98
    • Resourceful Women 1994-1997
    • Recovering Information Services, Inc. 1994

    In addition to her board experience, she brings fundraising expertise.

  • Marta Dalla Chiesa, Board Member
  • Marta Dalla Chiesa

    Brazil Ecojourneys

    Email: mdallachiesa@iglta.org

    Born in the mountains of South Brazil, Marta moved to London in 1990’s to continue her graduate studies. After obtaining a PhD in Molecular Biology, she worked for a few years in Science before moving into tourism working for a top tour operator in the UK. Returning to Brazil in 2003, she started, with her English partner, the first lesbian-owned tour operator in Brazil, Brazil Ecojourneys.

    Her involvement with LGBT travel started as the International Relations Director of the Brazilian Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (ABRAT GLS) in 2008. Currently she is President of ABRAT GLS and a board memeber of IGLTA.

  • Norma Dean, Board Member
  •  Norma Dean

    Delta Air Lines

    Email: NDean@iglta.org

    Norma Dean is a 30 year Delta veteran who began her career in Delta Reservations Sales. From her field experience, Norma came to Delta's headquarters in Atlanta and was promoted to National Account Manager, overseeing association sales in Washington, New York City and Chicago. Thereafter, she held the position of Global Account Manager-Corporate Sales and went on to serve as General Manager - Corporate Sales for the Northeast region and General Manager of Specialty Sales. In her current role as Director- National Specialty Sales, Norma manages $1.5B in Delta segmented and leisure revenue, including Military & Government, Meetings, Convention & Incentive Sales, Sports & Universities, and Leisure/Tour Operator/Cruise/Ski Sales. Born in the mountains of South Brazil, Marta moved to London in 1990’s to continue her graduate studies. After obtaining a PhD in Molecular Biology, she worked for a few years in Science before moving into tourism working for a top tour operator in the UK. Returning to Brazil in 2003, she started, with her English partner, the first lesbian-owned tour operator in Brazil, Brazil Ecojourneys.

  • Richard Gray, Board Member
  • Richard Grey

    Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Email: RGray@iglta.org

    Moved to the United States from London in 1982, and after a successful career in Investment Banking on Wall Street in 1991. He changed careers and entered the world of LGBT travel, opening The Royal Palms Resort in Fort Lauderdale. The Royal Palms became the global standard bearer for gay accommodations and took gay lodging to the luxe level.

    In 2012 he was appointed Managing Director for the LGBT market at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. The only CVB in the US with a full time designated employee whose sole responsibility is the LGBT market and with a budget that exceeds $1 million. This position was a natural succession for me as in 1996 I created the GFL CVB’s LGBT marketing initiative, and became their LGBT liaison.

    He joined IGLTA in 1991 and in 1993 and was elected to the IGLTA Board for four consecutive terms and served on the Executive Board as Vice President and Treasurer. In 1997 he received the President’s Award and in 2001 was inducted into the IGLTA Hall of Fame.

  • Rika Jean Francois, Board Member
  • Rika Jean Francois

    ITB Berlin

    Email: rjeanfrancois@iglta.org

    Rika Jean-François, holding a Master Degree in Social Anthropology and Iranian Studies with an expertise on ethnic identities, sustainable development and diversity issues has been actively engaged in tourism since her early days when she had been working as a historical guide and coordinator with an incoming agent in Greece. Later, she worked at the Free University of Berlin consulting foreign students, undertook herself field trips to Iran, Malawi and the Caribbean and engaged herself in quality management in the German Development Service. Working for ITB Berlin since 2004 she started building up the fair’s Corporate Social Identity and quickly became involved in responsible tourism, coordinating, planning and speaking at sustainable tourism events internationally.

    Putting an emphasis on diversity, she proactively helped developing the LGBT travel segment at ITB and since two years serves on the Board of Directors of the IGLTA (International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association). She is responsible for South Asia and the Pacific region and also takes care of partnerships and product development in India.

  • Tom Jenkins, Board Member
  • Tom Jenkins

    European Tour Operator Association (ETOA)

    Email: tjenkins@iglta.org

    Tom Jenkins is the Executive Director of the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), which represents tour operators and their suppliers at European level. It promotes greater awareness of the benefits provided by the group travel industry and influences European tourism policy and legislation.

    Under Tom’s stewardship, ETOA’s scope of activities have broadened considerably, close relationships have been built with numerous legislators and other trade bodies and membership has more than doubled to the point where the Association now represents the interest of 8 million inbound tourists.

    He has been responsible for championing tourist access to historic cities, for initiating a Europe-wide coach safety code and for leading a campaign that successfully blocked changes to EU VAT legislation that would have jeopardised 5,000 tourism jobs in Europe.

    Tom is a ‘Tourism Expert’, often called upon by a variety of media including GM TV, BBC TV, CNN, CNBC & Radios 4 & 5.
    Before taking the reins at ETOA, Tom held a number of management positions at American Express, ultimately being responsible for all aspects of the company’s inbound leisure travel for scheduled tours, independent vacations and customised itineraries. There, he launched a fully integrated computerised booking system, he developed the first interactive CD-Rom brochure and he managed a corps of 350 tour managers operating throughout Europe.

    Prior to joining American Express, Tom was a Director of Equinox Travel and before that he spent 5 years as a tour manager working for American Express and Thomas Cook.

    Tom graduated from Bristol University with a BA in English & History. Following this, he embarked on two years post-graduate research at London University’s Courtauld Institute. He is married with two children.

  • Michael McDowell, Board Member
  • Michael Mc Dowell

    Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

    Email: mmcdowell@iglta.org

    Michael McDowell is Vice President for Arts & Culture and Affinity Markets for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. There, McDowell promotes LA as a premier cultural and LGBT destination to international and domestic travelers and travel-industry professionals. Tourism is LA’s largest industry, with some 42 million visitors spending $17 billion in the local economy each year.

    Previously, McDowell held leadership positions at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and the University of Southern California as well as progressively responsible positions in higher education, the arts, government and publishing in Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    As a consultant, McDowell has advised such clients as Bank of Boston, Bank of Maryland, The Japan Society, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation, Loyola Marymount University, The Massachusetts Historical Commission, Northeastern University, UCLA, Virginia Tech and faculty members at Harvard University and MIT, among others.

    His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, New York Newsday, The Chronicle of Higher Education and in many other publications nationwide.

    As a volunteer, McDowell is President of the Travel & Tourism Marketing Association of Southern California and is a member of the Board of Directors of the national Cultural & Heritage Tourism Alliance, the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles and the Greater Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  He also is former Chairman of the Board of Governors of LA Stage Alliance, the region’s largest and oldest performing arts service organization, where he served for nearly a decade.

  • Andy Mosetti, Board Member
  • AndyM

    NEXTSKY

    Email: amosetti@iglta.org

    Born and raised in Zürich, Switzerland of Swiss and Italian descent, Andy Mosetti worked initially in banking before entering the travel industry more than 20 years ago. He began with Northwest Airlines while still working as a radio host/editor and DJ at one of the largest private, independent radio stations in Switzerland and serving as an executive and counselor in the gay youth group Spot 25 in Zurich. After having lead Worldspan, the computer reservation system of Delta, Northwest Airlines and TWA in Switzerland for almost 10 years as Country Manager, he founded NEXTSKY (Switzerland) Ltd., a Commercial Travel Agency and IT Consulting Company with which he joined IGLTA in 2010.

  • Jon Munoz, Board Member
  •  Jon Munoz

    Hilton Worldwide

    Email: JMunoz@iglta.org

    Jon Muñoz is senior director of global diversity and inclusion for Hilton Worldwide. Muñoz leads Hilton Worldwide’ s diversity management strategies focused on culture, talent and marketplace. Muñoz is responsible for leading external engagement with diverse strategic non-profit partners, consulting with internal diversity stakeholders, launching and executing team member resource groups strategies and developing diversity training initiatives.

    Prior to joining Hilton Worldwide, Muñoz served in diversity roles for Sprint and marketing roles for Nextel Communications, Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase) and NationsBank (now Bank of America).

    Muñoz actively serves in numerous leadership positions of diverse non-profit organizations, including Friends of the American Latino Museum (FALM), League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Corporate Alliance, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ACT-SO Advisory Council, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Corporate Advisory Council and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board.

  • John Tanzella, Ex Officio Board Member
  • John Tanzella

    IGLTA

    Email: john.tanzella@iglta.org

     

    John Tanzella is the President/CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association. Founded in 1983 with 25 members, IGLTA has grown into the leading global organization dedicated to LGBT tourism. Since his arrival in 2005, IGLTA membership has increased to more than 75 countries. Prior to joining IGLTA, Tanzella has worked for Delta Air Lines, the Washington D.C. Convention Bureau, and the Human Rights Campaign. He was born in Massachusetts, attended the University of Georgia, lived for three years in Italy and now resides in South Florida.

     

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