Foundation Board of Directors
Our board represents leaders in the gay and lesbian tourism industry and from all over the world. If you are interested in how our board operates or want more information about becoming a board member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to review the IGLTA Foundation ByLaws.
Click here to review the Board of Directors meeting notes.
Reginald Charlot, NYC & Company, Chair
Reginald Charlot has served as Managing Director, Tourism Development, Established Markets at NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization (DMO) and convention and visitors bureau (CVB) for the five boroughs of New York City. A position he has held since 2017. Reginald is responsible for developing and managing travel trade activity throughout Canada, the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. In addition to his role at NYC & Company, Reginald is Board Chair for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation, the fundraising and research arm of IGLTA.
Prior to joining NYC & Company in 2008, he worked in sales and marketing positions for Air France, SHOOT Magazine and Thai Airways. He holds a Master of Science in Tourism and Travel Management degree from New York University.
Pamela Herr, Aspen Gay Ski Week, Vice Chair
Pamela Herr is currently Event Director of Aspen Gay Ski Week, holding this position since 2007. ASGW is one of the longest-running premier winter sports destination events for the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating 40 years in 2017. Pamela is responsible for all aspects of event design, marketing, recruiting, business oversight, event operations, contracts and more. She oversees a part-time staff of 4 core members and 40 volunteers and works directly with the AspenOut Board of Directors, the NPO that owns Aspen Gay Ski Week. She also travels with Aspen Gay Ski Week in over 20 destinations globally in partnerships with other NPOs and CVBs to promote the destination and event.
After moving to Aspen, Colorado in 1994 she worked in various aspects of hospitality at the holiday destination. In the late nineties she started working for the John Morgridge family, founders of Cisco Systems and entered the world of non-profits. She worked for them in both Aspen and Orlando, Florida for 10 years and learned all aspects of grant making, development and programming. With that experience she then moved on to become the Foundation Director for the Given Institute of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aspen, Colorado in 2004.
In 2008 when the financial crisis hit, she resigned from the Given Institute and started her own consulting business doing strategic planning and business development for struggling non-profits. That work continues on, today however, sh is mainly focused on growing Aspen Gay Ski Week and expanding the brand and helping to create other destination LGBTQ+ events both in Aspen and around the country.
Don Richardson, Brand USA, Treasurer
Donald Richardson is chief financial officer for Brand USA, the public-private partnership responsible for launching the United States' first-ever nationally coordinated tourism marketing effort. In this critical leadership role, Don is responsible for developing and leading the financial strategy for the organization in a way that is responsive to Brand USA's key stakeholders, ensures compliance with policies and operating controls, and enables the organization to make strategic decisions and accurately measure performance and return on invenstment of its core initiatives.
With over 30 years of professional experience in accounting, financial management, automated systems and information technology trends, Don has demonstrated technical, management, and programmatic capabilities in all facets of business process engineering, organizational design, strategic planning and systems implementations.
Before joining Brand USA on May 1, 2012, Don was senior principal and managing director for an independent consulting firm and led the Business Systems Practice for Bazilio Cobb Associates. He currently serves on the boards of the DC Public Library Foundation, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, the District of Columbia Urban Leagues Finance Committee, and the Shiloh Baptist Church. A certified public accountant (CPA), Don earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Appalachian State University .
Tanya Churchmuch, MuchPR, Secretary
Tanya Churchmuch is the founder of MuchPR, a New York-based PR firm specializing in tourism, hospitality and LGBTQ+ markets. Prior to launching MuchPR, Tanya lived in Montreal, Canada and worked for Tourisme Montreal overseeing their international Media Relations and Leisure Markets, as well as their LGBTQ+ outreach. She was also the founder of the (former) lesbian travel website Girlports.com. Tanya served on the Board of Directors of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) from 2009-2016, including three years as Board Chair. She is also a Director on the IGLTA Foundation Board. An expert in lesbian and LGBTQ+ travel, Tanya has spoken at numerous travel industry conferences and written travel articles for LGBTQ+ and mainstream publications. Prior to working in the travel media world, Tanya was a television journalist and news anchor in Montreal, Canada.
Gary Murakami, MGM Resorts International, Past Chair
Gary Murakami, GTP, GLP, CMP, CMM is the Director, Global Sales for MGM Resorts International, one of the world’s leading global hospitality and entertainment companies operating a portfolio of destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, ARIA at City Center, and The Mirage in Las Vegas, NV. A seasoned hospitality sales executive and innovative strategic leader with expertise in the hotel and convention management industries, Gary is responsible for raising awareness for MGM Resorts International, as well as developing and maintaining key client partnerships in his strategic territories with the corporate, association, and intermediary/third party segments. Gary’s sales background includes previous sales and leadership positions with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in the group, leisure and business travel segments.
Gary maintains several industry-recognized certifications and designations including his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification from the Events Industry Council (EIC), in addition to the Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification and Global Leadership Professional (GLP) designation and certification from Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). He recently received his Certificate in Meeting Management (CMM) offered jointly through Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and GBTA.
An active member in the global meetings, events and travel industry community, Gary has held a variety of leadership director and committee roles with several industry associations both locally and nationally. He is currently serving on the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Foundation Board of Trustees beginning in January 2019 for a two-year term after serving on the PCMA Board of Directors from 2016-2019. He is serving as the Chair of the Industry Insights Committee for the Events Industry Council. Gary also serves on the MPI Diversity & Inclusion committee in addition to being President-Elect of the Northern CA Chapter for MPI for 2019-2020 term.
Theresa Belpulsi, Destination DC, Board Member
Eddie Canaday, Visit Salt Lake, Board Member
Eddie serves as Director of Convention Sales Washington DC Area at Visit Salt Lake. Eddie is responsible for selling Salt Lake, as a destination, to markets in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. He represents a 679,000 square foot convention center, over 7,000 hotel rooms in the convention district, 17,000 hotel rooms destination-wide, and 4 ski resorts in the Salt Lake area. He handles all markets, both vertically and horizontally. He has been employed by Visit Salt Lake for eight years, and was awarded the Dianne Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award for 2014.
Canaday holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Travel Industry Management with a concentration in Tourism Planning and Promotion. He also holds two certifications: Certified Hospitality Sales Professional through the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and Certified Hospitality Marketing Executive through Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.
Canaday has been a member of IGLTA for five years. He is also a member of the American Society of Association Executives, Meeting Professionals International, Professional Convention Management Association, and CVBReps Washington, DC.
Maria Cuba, Airbnb, Board Member
Maria is a Massachusetts native who was raised in Puerto Rico with a multicultural background. She is one of Airbnb’s earliest employees and the founder of their Latino Employee Group “Juntos”. Her multiple passions have taken her from Law School to Interior Design School where she cultivated her love for words and the arts.
Maria works as a Global Diversity Lead for Airbnb’s Experiences platform, focused on creating a diverse marketplace and bringing equitable opportunities and representation to all communities. Always a champion of Inclusion, she is committed to nurturing new pipelines for minorities in Tech and believes that Tech is key to social equality.
Rika Jean-Francois, ITB Berlin, Board Member
Rika Jean-François holds a Master Degree in Social Anthropology and Iranian Studies with an expertise on ethnic identities, sustainable development and diversity issues from the Free University of Berlin.
She started to work and become fond of tourism as a tour guide in Greece, while studying at the University of Crete and as an incoming agent in Athens. Coming back to Germany she became counselor at the University’s International Academic Exchange Office and travelled as a researcher to Iran, Malawi and Haiti.
Ms. Jean-François obtained an additional qualification in Quality Management, working on the evaluation of development aid workers' education for the German Development Service. Since 2004 she has been with Messe Berlin and vitally developed ITB’s Corporate Social Responsibility. As ITB’s head of CSR she is a passionate speaker at sustainable tourism events internationally. It is her aim to help to bring sustainable tourism standards into mainstream tourism. She has also spearheaded ITB’s implementation of the LGBTQ+ travel segment and became board member of IGLTA (International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association) as well as of the IGLTA Foundation. She is a jury member of international responsible tourism contests like the ITB National Geographic World Legacy Awards, the TO DO! Awards and the Toura d’Or Film Contest for Sustainable Tourism and is member of the PATA (Pacific Asian Travel Association) Sustainability Committee. At ITB, she is also responsible for South Asia (with emphasis on India) and the Pacific region, and is chief coordinator of ITB’s Partner Country program.
Tom Kiely, Visit West Hollywood, Board Member
Tom Kiely brings years of experience to Visit West Hollywood promoting destinations travelers love, and West Hollywood is no exception.
A 1986 graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Hotel Administration, Tom has experience in hotel management in Las Vegas and Dubai, but his major experience is in the destination and theme park industries, with 11 years at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, six years at Universal Studios Hollywood, an six years at the San Francisco Travel Association, the marketing organization for the city of San Francisco.
In October 2016, Tom inherited a talented team of marketing, sales and public relations staff at Visit West Hollywood, and along with brand consultants, they are in the midst of unveiling a new marketing direction for the city, complemented by digital advertising and promotional campaigns.
Visit WeHo's new website, booking engine, and rich storytelling helps travelers imagine themselves surrounded by the sunny, welcoming atmosphere of West Hollywood, with lots of options to enjoy the hedonistic and healthy activity options.
Tom's vision as the new CEO of Visit West Hollywood is to continue to grow West Hollywood as the vibrant, well-loved destination with the Los Angeles area, supporting hotel growth and sustained occupancy, and its many reasons to stay a few nights longer to take in the 1.9 square miles of pleasure the city has to offer.
Dougal Mckenzie, Google, Board Member
Dougal Mckenzie is Industry Head of Travel at Google, based out of the New York office and working with east coast-based partners. He joined Google in 2010 in the Sydney, Australia office where he worked until moving to New York a year ago. Prior to his current role, Dougal managed businesses across Australia and New Zealand in the travel and telco industries.
Before joining Google, he spent a decade at Procter and Gamble but left to find somewhere he could get an email address that rhymed with his name. Dougal has both law and commerce degrees from his native homeland of Auckland, New Zealand. Dougal serves on the board of the IGLTA Foundation and enjoys traveling, weightlifting, skiing and spending time with his husband and dog.
Tom Nichols, Arcus Foundation, Board Member
Tom is the Vice President for Finance and Operations for the Arcus Foundation. The Arcus Foundation is the leading global organization dedicated to the idea that people can live in harmony with one another and the natural world. They work with experts and advocates for change to ensure that LGBTQ+ people and our fellow apes thrive in a world where social and environmental justice are a reality.
Prior to joining Arcus, Tom was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration at the Heinz Center in Washington, DC, where he led a team comprised of financial management, grants management, human resources, information technology, and administration. Before that, served as Chief Financial Officer as the African Wildlife Foundation and, earlier, at the World Wildlife Fund. A Certified Public Accountant, Thomas earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. He is also a composer, producer, musician, and recording artist. In addition to the IGLTA Foundation, he serves on the Boards of Amazon Biodiversity Center, Advisory Board Sitar Arts Center, and a founding member of The Peter Fox Project.
Scott Seed, Universal Orlando, Board Member
Scott Seed is currently Director of Brand Management for Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, FL. In this role, Scott is responsible for developing strategies that drive demand to Universal Orlando from the United States and Canada. Scott is also an active steering committee member of Out at Universal Employee Resource Group. Previously, Scott held various positions within marketing at Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Chicago, IL, where he helped launch Hyatt's first-ever LGBTQ+ campaign. He began his career in travel at Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX.
Carmen Strong, Disney, Board Member
Carmen is the Senior Sales Manager for Disney Destinations and the Walt Disney World Resort since 2006, in Orlando, FL. In this role, she is responsible for developing the Diversity, West Coast, and Canadian Corporate & Association markets in the meetings, conventions and incentive industry. In addition, she is a member of the Walt Disney World Resort PRIDE Diversity Resource Group Leadership Team. Prior to joining Disney, she was a National Sales Manager for the Buena Vista Palace Resort and as a life-long Orlando, Florida resident, she has worked within the hospitality/hotel industry for over 27 years.
John Tanzella, IGLTA, President/CEO
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 LGBTQ+ 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. In addition to serving on both the IGLTA Board and the IGLTA Foundation Board, he also serves on two other boards: the National Stonewall Museum & Archives Board and the Advisory Board for Atout-France (the National Tourism Office of France).