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.
Since 2014 Reginald Charlot has served as Vice President, Tourism Development, Europe at
& Company, New York City's official destination marketing organization. Charlot is
responsible for developing and managing travel trade activity throughout Europe
the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Ireland, the
Belgium and the Nordics.
Prior to joining NYC & Company in 2008, he worked in sales and marketing positions
Thai Airways, SHOOT Magazine and Air France. He holds a Master of Science in Tourism and
Travel Management degree from New York University.
Pamela Herr is currently Event Director of Aspen Gay Ski Week, holding this position
2007. ASGW is one of the longest-running premier winter sports destination events
the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating 40 years in 2017. Pamela is responsible for all aspects
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
with the AspenOut Board of Directors, the NPO that owns Aspen Gay Ski Week. She also
with Aspen Gay Ski Week in over 20 destinations globally in partnerships with other NPOs
CVBs to promote the destination and event.
After moving to Aspen, Colorado in 1994 she worked in various aspects of hospitality at
holiday destination. In the late nineties she started working for the John
family, founders of Cisco Systems and entered the world of non-profits. She worked for
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
Director for the Given Institute of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in
Colorado in 2004.
In 2008 when the financial crisis hit, she resigned from the Given Institute and started
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
Gay Ski Week and expanding the brand and helping to create other destination LGBTQ+ events
both in Aspen and around the country.
Tanya Churchmuch is the founder of MuchPR, a New York-based PR firm specializing in
hospitality and LGBTQ+ markets. Prior to launching MuchPR, Tanya lived in Montreal,
and worked for Tourisme Montreal overseeing their international Media Relations and
Markets, as well as their LGBTQ+ outreach. She was also the founder of the (former)
travel website Girlports.com. Tanya served on the Board of Directors of the
Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) from 2009-2016, including three years as
Chair. She is also a Director on the IGLTA Foundation Board. An expert in lesbian and
travel, Tanya has spoken at numerous travel industry conferences and written travel
for LGBTQ+ and mainstream publications. Prior to working in the travel media world, Tanya
a television journalist and news anchor in Montreal, Canada.
Donald Richardson is chief financial officer for Brand USA, the public-private
responsible for launching the United States' first-ever nationally coordinated tourism
marketing effort. In this critical leadership role, Don is responsible for developing
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
the organization to make strategic decisions and accurately measure performance and
on invenstment of its core initiatives.
With over 30 years of professional experience in accounting, financial management,
systems and information technology trends, Don has demonstrated technical, management,
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
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
of Metropolitan Washington, the District of Columbia Urban Leagues Finance Committee,
the Shiloh Baptist Church. A certified public accountant (CPA), Don earned his Bachelor
Arts degree in accounting from Appalachian State University.
Theresa Belpulsi is Vice President of Tourism for Destination DC.
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 and international markets
well as visitor’s services.
Prior to her 12 year tenure at Destination DC, Belpulsi served as
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
Currently, Theresa is Vice President of the Board to the regional tourism
marketing cooperation, Capital Region USA, Inc. (CRUSA). Additionally, she also sits on
board for a number of tourism organizations including National Cherry Blossom Festival
Cultural Tourism DC. Theresa participates in various arts & cultural tourism
within Washington, DC and the Region. She chairs the Governance committee for the IGLTA
Eddie serves as Director of Convention Sales Washington DC Area at Visit Salt Lake. Eddie
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
the convention district, 17,000 hotel rooms destination-wide, and 4 ski resorts in the
Lake area. He handles all markets, both vertically and horizontally. He has been
Visit Salt Lake for eight years, and was awarded the Dianne Nelson Binger Sales
Award for 2014.
Canaday holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Travel Industry Management with a
in Tourism Planning and Promotion. He also holds two certifications: Certified
Sales Professional through the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and Certified
Hospitality Marketing Executive through Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association
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.
Rika Jean-François holds a Master Degree in Social Anthropology and Iranian Studies with
expertise on ethnic identities, sustainable development and diversity issues from the
University of Berlin.
She started to work and become fond of tourism as a tour guide
Greece, while studying at the University of Crete and as an incoming agent in Athens.
back to Germany she became counselor at the University’s International Academic Exchange
Office and travelled as a researcher to Iran, Malawi and Haiti.
obtained an additional qualification in Quality Management, working on the evaluation of
development aid workers' education for the German Development Service. Since 2004 she
been with Messe Berlin and vitally developed ITB’s Corporate Social Responsibility. As
head of CSR she is a passionate speaker at sustainable tourism events internationally.
her aim to help to bring sustainable tourism standards into mainstream tourism. She has
spearheaded ITB’s implementation of the LGBTQ+ travel segment and became board member of
(International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association) as well as of the IGLTA Foundation.
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
India) and the Pacific region, and is chief coordinator of ITB’s Partner Country
Tom Kiely brings years of experience to Visit West Hollywood promoting destinations
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
destination and theme park industries, with 11 years at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts,
years at Universal Studios Hollywood, an six years at the San Francisco Travel
the marketing organization for the city of San Francisco.
In October 2016, Tom inherited a talented team of marketing, sales and public relations
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
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
the vibrant, well-loved destination with the Los Angeles area, supporting hotel growth
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.
Jim McMichael is the Specialty Markets Manager for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitor
Authority (LVCVA), handling the LGBTQ+ market, international meeting, incentives,
and exhibition groups from Brazil and Mexico as well as cultural tourism
Prior to joining the LVCVA, Mr. McMichael spent 18 years in the shopping center industry
the Rouse Company and General Growth Properties in Various marketing positions in South
Florida and Las Vegas, and most recently as the Senior Marketing Manager at Fashion Show
Mr. McMichael also spent several years in the travel industry holding positions at
Cruises, Holland America Line and Costa Cruises. His tourism background provides a
foundation to help develop creative ways to market a destination, attraction orshopping
center to reach key target markets.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Mr. McMichael has a minor in Spanish and
and studied abroad at the University of Paris (the Sorbonne). Mr. McMichael serves on
Advisory Board for the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism at Valley High School and
with various community groups throughout the Las Vegas Valley including Las Vegas Pride
the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association.
Gary Murakami is the Director, Global Sales for MGM Resorts International, one of the
leading global hospitality and entertainment companies operating a portfolio of
resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Aria at City Center, and The
Mirage in Las Vegas, NV with additional hotels in Las Vegas as well as regional United
States and in Asia. A seasoned hospitality sales executive and innovative
leader with expertise in the hotel and convention management industries, Gary is
for raising awareness for MGM Resorts International, as well as developing and
key client partnerships in his assigned strategic territories with the corporate,
association, and intermediary/third party segments and the additional focus on Diversity
Sales specific to the LGBTQ+ market. Gary’s sales background includes previous sales
leadership positions with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts,
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in the group, leisure and business travel
Gary holds several industry-recognized certifications and designations. He most
recently earned his Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification by the Global
Travel Association (GBTA) in 2012, as well as his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)
designation from the Convention Industry Council (CIC) in 2011. Gary also earned
Global Leadership Professional (GLP) designation and certification in 2008 from
An active member in the global meetings, events and travel industry community, Gary has
a variety of leadership director and committee roles with several industry associations
locally and nationally. Locally, he is serving on the board for the Bay Area
Business Travel Association (BABTA), a chapter of the Global Business Travel Association
(GBTA) for more than a decade including three years as the Chapter President. He
currently serves on the 2015-2016 board of directors of Meeting Professionals
(MPI) Northern California Chapter as the Vice President, Membership serving his third
on this local chapter board. Gary is also Past President for the Professional
Convention and Management Association (PCMA) with its Northern California Chapter after
serving a term as President in 2014 in addition to a variety of other previous board
Gary remains active with his industry association affiliations nationally by volunteering
time on various committees. He currently sits on the GBTA Meetings Committee and
recently been invited as a new Committee Member for the MPI Chapter & Membership
Advisory Council (CMAC). Gary is also the Chair of the 2015 Awards &
Committee for PCMA. He is also a member of the APEX Standards
for the Convention Industry Council and serves on the board for the International Gay
Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation.
Tom is the Vice President for Finance and Operations for th Arcus Foundation. The Arcus
Foundation is theleading global organization dedicated to the idea that people can live
harmony with one another and the natural world. We 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
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,
earned a bachelor's degree in business administration at Virginia Polytechnic Institute
State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. In addition to the IGLTA Foundation, he serves
the Boards of VBO-Ohio, Sitar Arts Center, and The Peter Fox Project, of which he is a
Scott Seed is currently Director of Brand Management for Universal Orlando Resort in
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
positions within marketing at Hyatt Hotels Corporation in Chicago, IL, where he helped
launch Hyatt's first-ever LGBTQ+ campaign. He bagan his career in travel at Southwest
in Dallas, TX.
Phil Sheldon is the owner of HE Travel, which merges the worlds of gay travel pioneers
Ebensten Travel, Alyson Adventures and OutWest Global Adventures. With roots going back
Hanns Ebensten's first gay tour in 1973, the company has operated tours in over 100
countries. Today's tour calendar includes destinations on all 7 continents, ranging from
countries that have embraced gay marriage in North America and Europe, to countries
quietly support a local gay population that still needs to maintain a high degree of
Prior to his 15 years running a tour company, Phil was IBM's Product Manager for Chinese
Language PCs for two years, living in Tokyo. He is a 15-year member of National Tour
Association (NTA), including seven years as invited member of the NTA Leadership Team
spent two years as Chairman of the NTA China Inbound Task Force - delegated by the US
Chinese governments to set standards for US-based travel companies requesting the right
host Chinese tour groups. He is also a 16-year member of the Key West Business
the country's oldest LGBTQ+ community "chamber of commerce".
Carmen has held the position of 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
the meetings, conventions and incentive industry. In addition, she is a member of the
Disney World Resort PRIDE Diversity Resource Group Leadership Team. Prior to joining
she was a National Sales Manager for the Buena Vista Palace Resort and as a life-long
Orlando, FL resident, she has worked within the hospitality/hotel industry for over 27
John Tanzella is the President/CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel
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
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
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
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