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
Click here to review the IGLTA Foundation
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
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
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,
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
Tom Nichols, Arcus Foundation, Board Secretary
Tom is the Vice President for Finance and Operations for the Arcus Foundation. The Arcus Foundation is the eading 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. He is currently the Secretary on the IGLTA Foundation Board. 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.
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
Theresa Belpulsi is Vice President of Tourism for Destination DC. DDC is the capital city’s primary marketing
organization and is responsible for the economic health of a $9 billion hospitality industry employing 270,000
individuals in the region. Theresa oversees tourism marketing and sales for the domestic, sports and
international markets as well as visitor’s services.
Prior to her 17 year tenure at Destination DC, Belpulsi served as Assistant Director of Tourism of the Fort
Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. She was responsible for all domestic leisure sales as well as special
events to the city.
Currently, Theresa is Chair of the Board to the regional tourism marketing cooperation, Capital Region USA, Inc.
(CRUSA). Additionally, she also sits on the board for a number of tourism organizations including National
Cherry Blossom Festival, Cultural Tourism DC and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association
Foundation. She participates in various arts & cultural tourism activities within Washington, DC and the Region.
A graduate of Georgia Southern University, Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Arts.
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
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
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.
Sean Howell, CEO at LGBT Foundation and Co-Founder at Hornet, Board Member
Sean Howell serves as the CEO of the LGBT Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to utilize blockchain technology to achieve equal rights and acceptance for all members of the LGBT+ community worldwide. He is currently chairman and one of the founders of Hornet, a gay dating and social network, where Sean helped the company grow its user base to 25 million and its editorial division to become the largest global LGBT+ newsroom. At Hornet, Howell also oversaw the company's corporate responsibility efforts under Hornet Impact, organizing social justice and health related activations. Prior to Hornet, Sean Howell was a fellow of the World Affairs Council, as well as a trustee and President of the Young Professional International Network. He has helped numerous organizations leverage technology to expand their impact through his work with the MSM Global Forum along with serving on various nonprofit boards and committees including UNAIDS, E-CDC, PFLAG and chair of the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at Johns Hopkins University. He is a founding member of the UN Global Coalition for HIV Prevention and technical advisor to UNDP’s LGBTI Inclusion Index. He has published scientific papers and is the principal investigator in the upcoming UNAIDS global study on LGBT Wellness.
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
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.
Tanya Churchmuch, MuchPR, Board Member
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 IGLTA from 2009-2016, including three years as Board Chair. 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.
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,
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
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 LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA) a global non-profit tourism association. They are Headquartered in Florida, with staff located in Washington D.C., Madrid, São Paulo, Bogota, Paris, London and Cape Town.
IGLTA's membership is comprised of tourism business professionals - 5,000+ located in 82 countries. In marketing its tourism industry business members, IGLTA reached 3.4million unique travelers in 2018.
The IGLTA Foundation was created in 2012 as the philanthropic arm of the association, supporting the tourism industry with research, education and developing future LGBTQ+ leaders in tourism.
IGLTA is the only LGBTQ+ Associate Member of the The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
Tanzella serves on the Board of Directors for the Stonewall National Museum & Archives (USA). Born in Boston to Italian immigrant parents, attended the University of Georgia, resides in Ft Lauderdale (one hour north of Miami).
www.iglta.org John Tanzella is the President/CEO of IGLTA. 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 80 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).