Four Destination Marketing Professionals from Pittsburgh Receive CDME Designation

PITTSBURGH – Twenty-eight destination marketing industry professionals nationwide have earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry. Four of those are from Pittsburgh. The CDME program is recognized as the highest educational achievement for destination management professionals.

The CDME program is designed to better prepare senior destination marketing organization (DMO) executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and community leaders. "It is important that our staff is educated on the best business models and the latest trends and technologies in the travel industry so that we remain experts in our field and have the competitive edge over other cities," says Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH.

"Our mission at DMAI is to advocate for the professionalism, effectiveness, and significance of destination marketing organizations worldwide," said Michael Gehrisch, president & CEO of DMAI. "The individuals who have achieved the CDME designation have set an example of excellence for the entire destination marketing profession."

The following four individuals were recognized for their CDME certification during the DMAI's 2014 Annual Convention on July 23, 2014:

  • Karen Fisher, CDME, Chief Financial Officer
  • Mary Grasha Houpt, SPHR, CDME, Vice President of Human Resources
  • Karl Pietrzak, CDME, Vice President of Convention Sales
  • Lynne Popash, CDME, Vice President of Partnership Development

These four join professionals from Macon-Bibb County, Georgia; Branson, Missouri; Fort Worth, Texas; Raleigh, NC; Savanna, Georgia; and Arlington, Virginia, and other destinations in U.S. and Canada.

About Destination Association Marketing International (DMAI)
Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) protects and advances the success of destination marketing worldwide. DMAI's influential membership includes nearly 600 destination marketing organizations (DMOs), from 16 countries, which command US $2.5+ billion in annual budgets. As the world's largest and most reliable resource for DMOs, DMAI provides nearly 4,000 individual members - professionals, industry partners, educators and students - the most innovative and relevant educational resources, networking opportunities and marketing intelligence worldwide. Learn more at

VisitPITTSBURGH is the official tourism marketing and promotion agency of the Pittsburgh region. It is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.