Cheryl Kilday New Washington Tourism Alliance Board Chair
Visit Spokane CEO Takes Leadership Role
The Washington Tourism Alliance (WTA) has announced the appointment of Cheryl Kilday as Chair of the WTA Board of Directors. Kilday, who has served the past year as Vice Chair of the Board, will maintain this leadership role throughout 2014.
"As a board member, most recently Vice Chair, Cheryl's contribution to the WTA has been invaluable up to this point," said Louise Stanton-Masten, WTA Executive Director. "Now, under her Board leadership, we'll continue to reap the great benefits of her guidance, wisdom and experience as we move forward at this critical time."
Kilday is President and CEO of Visit Spokane, the destination marketing organization that promotes meetings, conventions, leisure travel and tourism to the Spokane region. She has more than 25 years of experience in the travel-tourism industry.
In her new role, Kilday will oversee the 24-member board, which is comprised of stakeholders from a variety of industries related to tourism. The WTA is a non-profit, private agency which was formed in 2011 due to the closure of the state tourism office.
Last year, the Washington State Legislature passed a measure which minimally funded the WTA through 2015 -- $500,000 for each year of the 2014-15 biennium. During this year's legislative session, the WTA will focus on new legislation which will provide the framework for future industry assessments to fund a statewide tourism marketing program. Right now, the State of Washington is the only state in the U.S. without a tourism department.
Kilday, who succeeds Past Chair Kevin Clark, will be joined on the Executive Committee by Andy Olsen, Vice Chair; Jane Kilburn, Vice Chair; Skip Thompson, Secretary; John Bookwalter, Treasurer.
"Because of the hard work of the board, Louise and the rest of the staff, WTA has made great progress in a few short years," said Kilday. "But we have much more work ahead of us as we all work together to get a permanent funding structure in place. It's crucial that we can begin, once more, marketing the great state of Washington."
Kilday will be introduced as Board Chair during the WTA's upcoming 4th Annual Summit and Day in Olympia, an all-day event scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28.