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Employee Named one of 30 Future Leaders

VisitPittsburgh Employee Named one of 30 Future Leaders of Destination Marketing

PITTSBURGH – Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) has named Derek Dawson, sports & group tour sales director of VisitPittsburgh, as one of thirty future leaders of the destination marketing industry.

During his short tenure of one-and-a-half years at VisitPittsburgh, Derek has served on the local organizing committee for various events, including NCAA Men's Frozen Four, NCAA Men's Basketball Championships and USA BMX Stars n' Stripes Nationals.

As one of DMAI's 30 Under 30 group, Derek has been chosen as an industry "rising star" as he works to grow and service grassroots sporting events in the Pittsburgh area. He will be awarded complimentary registration and hotel accommodations to the DMAI Annual Convention, being held July 15-17, in Orlando, FL. This provides the foremost professional development opportunity for individuals working at official destination marketing organizations (DMOs). Throughout the year-round program, Derek will engage in a variety of professional development and volunteer activities for sustained industry engagement.

"VisitPittsburgh is very proud of Derek and the accomplishments he's made thus far for the community," says Craig Davis, president & CEO of VisitPittsburgh. "He has been an instrumental part of our convention sales team."

In its third year, DMAI's 30 Under 30 program, sponsored by Searchwide, LLC, focuses on identifying and developing the talent of destination marketing professionals, aged 30 and under, through increased access to top-level networking and professional development.

"This group of individuals not only keeps destination marketing on the cutting-edge, but is the future of our industry," commented Michael D. Gehrisch, president & CEO of DMAI. "The 30 Under 30 program provides this key group with access to new knowledge and tools that are necessary to further infuse innovation into their organization."

"Identifying and developing future leaders is an important priority, and DMAI has stepped up to the plate in a big way with this initiative," said Mike Gamble, president & CEO of SearchWide. "The DMO world is an exciting and challenging career path and it is crucial we prepare this group for the complexities of leading these organizations. Having access to industry education and industry leaders will create significant learning opportunities for these individuals."

As the official tourism and promotion agency for Allegheny County, VisitPittsburgh is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.