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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

Click here to review the Board of Directors meeting notes.

Click here to review the IGLTA ByLaws.

  • Juan Julia, Chair
  • Juan Julia 2013

    Axel Hotels


    Juan P. Juliá Blanch is the founder and owner of Axel Hotels. AXEL HOTELS is a small hotel chain specializing in the LGBT community. “It all started with a dream… to open a hotel for the GLBT world, my world”. Each of its hotels provides a setting where ambience, diversity and respect are highly valued. Axel Hotels provide accommodation with a professional and personalized service, anticipating the needs of their guests for the purpose of ensuring their loyalty. Axel Hotels knows and vitalizes the local gay scene and offer their guests information and a heterofriendly environment. Each of its hotels are places where diversity and respect are valued. Axel Hotels is a hotel chain aimed at the LGBT public,but, above all, it is a free and respectful space, where diversity and respect are highly valued and two men, two women, or a man and a woman are equally welcome. Any person regardless of his/her sexual orientation is welcomed, valued and respected. For this reason, Axel Hotels does not wish to define as gay, because Axel Hotels represents much more, for which it has coined a new term: heterofriendly. A space aimed at the gay public but open to everyone. Axel Hotels was founded in 2003 with the opening of the first Axel Hote in Barcelona. Juan Juliá has been involved in the gay Community since early thirties when he opened the Axel Barcelona. Juan has also being engaged with the young entrepeneurs as mentor and giving lectures in different conferences and universities.

  • Richard Gray, Vice Chair
  • Richard Grey

    Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau


    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.

  • Ed Salvato, Treasurer
  • Ed Salvato

    Editor in Chief, ManAboutWorld magazine


    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, 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



    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.

  • Dan Melesurgo, Past Chair
  • Dan Melesurgo

    American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)


    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 Past 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.

  • Jody Cole, Board Member
  •  Judy Cole

    Wild Rainbow African Safaris


    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.

  • Norma Dean, Board Member
  •  Norma Dean

    Delta Air Lines


    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.

  • Shiho Ikeuchi, Board Member
  • Shiho










    Shiho Ikeuchi
    Hotel Granvia Kyoto
    Kyoto, Japan

    Phone: +81.75.344.8888 Ext 4900
    Fax: +81.75.344.4400

    Ms. Shiho Ikeuchi, Director of Overseas Marketing at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Japan, has over 20 years of professional experience in the hospitality industry, with an extensive and diverse management background in hotel and restaurant operations, sales, and marketing. Over the past few years, Ms. Ikeuchi has been aggressively involved in the development of LGBT tourism in Japan, and steadfastly works to increase the number of national IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) members. 

    In coordination with her team at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Ms. Ikeuchi was instrumental in creating the ‘Same-Sex Wedding Package’ in March 2014. At present, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Japan, and the number of wedding venues that accept ceremonial same-sex couples is very limited. As the direct result of Ms. Ikeuchi’s keen insight and continuous efforts, Hotel Granvia Kyoto was the very first hotel in Japan to officially announce the acceptance of same-sex weddings – a true feather in the cap of the hotel that has been highlighted by numerous international and domestic media outlets. This exclusive three-night package offers LGBT couples from around the world a rare opportunity to experience an authentic traditional Japanese wedding, and it  attracts not only international travelers but also domestic couples in Japan.

    In her role as the Director of Overseas Marketing, Ms. Ikeuchi’s unwavering focus towards attracting and satisfying the special needs of LGBT travelers, as well as her tireless efforts towards organizing the involvement of local communities and governments – are talents that are truly deserving of exceptional applause.



  • Rika Jean-Francois, Board Member
  • Rika Jean Francois

    ITB Berlin


    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)


    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.

  • Jon Munoz, Board Member
  •  Jon Munoz

    Hilton Worldwide


    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




    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. 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 Offics of France).


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