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Nicole Hall
Senior Communications Specialist

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M: 858.531.2863

After hours and weekends please email or call the Airport Communications Center at 858.531.2863

Airport Authority President/CEO Thella Bowens Appointed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board

32-member board advises on matters relating to travel and tourism in the U.S.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

SAN DIEGO – June 9, 2016 – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the appointment of Airport Authority President/CEO Thella F. Bowens to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). First chartered in 2003, TTAB serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. The board members represent a broad spectrum of the travel industry, including hotels and restaurants, financial services, transportation services, as well as a variety of small and large firms spanning across the country.

“Airports are vital gateways that feed the travel and tourism sector,” said Thella F. Bowens, Airport Authority President/CEO. “With San Diego being one of the top 10 visitor and meeting destinations in the U.S., it is important to have a seat at the table when the industry is discussed at the national level.”

The Board provides advice that helps the government address emerging issues affecting the travel sector, prioritize travel and tourism policies that will stimulate growth, and solve industry-related problems at many levels. Board members collaborate with other government agencies as part of the Tourism Policy Council, which furthered the development of the President’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy. 

“The Commerce Department works closely with TTAB to enhance U.S. exports in the travel and tourism sector,” said Pritzker. “The preceding Board provided insight on the Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy and analyzed complex travel issues ranging from advocacy to infrastructure and sustainability. I look forward to working with the new Board as we continue our efforts in promoting growth and creating jobs in the industry.”

Ms. Bowens is a member of the California Airports Council Board of Directors, a member of the World Governing Board of Airports Council International, and a board member of the American Association of Airport Executives Policy Review Committee.  In 2010 she served as a member of the Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s Future of Aviation Advisory Committee, and in 2012 she was the Chair of Airports Council International–North America (ACI-NA).

Other members appointed to the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board include:

  1. Chair: John Sprouls, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Universal Parks and Resorts
  2. Vice Chair: Margaret McKeough, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
  3. Vice Chair: Greg Stubblefield, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Enterprise Holdings
  4. George Aguel, President and CEO, Visit Orlando
  5. Ted Balestreri, President and CEO, Cannery Row Company
  6. Helane Becker, Managing Director, Cowen and Company
  7. Thella F. Bowens, President and CEO, San Diego International Airport
  8. Bruce Charendoff, Chief Public Policy Officer, Sabre
  9. Henry Cruz, Senior Partner, The CrossBrook Organization, LLC
  10. Todd Davidson, CEO, Travel Oregon
  11. Brad Dean, CEO, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
  12. Fred Dixon, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, NYC & Company
  13. Kurt Ekert, President and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  14. Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO, Destination DC
  15. Mike Gallagher, Co-founder and Co-chairman, CityPASS
  16. Adam Goldstein, Co-founder and CEO, Hipmunk
  17. James Hagen, Secretary, South Dakota Department of Tourism
  18. Nick Hentschel, Vice President, AmericanTours International
  19. Taylor Hoang, Owner, Pho Cyclo
  20. Adam Medros, Senior Vice President for Global Product, TripAdvisor
  21. Steve Morrissey, Vice President, Regulatory and Policy, United Airlines
  22. Mary Motsenbocker, President, International Tourism Marketing, Inc.
  23. Susan Presby, Owner/Director of Sales, Mt. Washington Cog Railway
  24. Tricia Primrose, Global Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officer, Marriott International
  25. Olga Ramudo, President and CEO, Express Travel
  26. Sherry Rupert, President, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
  27. Adam Sacks, President, Tourism Economics
  28. Gary Schluter, General Manager, Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours, LLC
  29. Marty St. George, Executive Vice President Commercial and Planning, JetBlue Airways Corporation
  30. William Talbert, President and CEO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
  31. Denise Thevenot, Executive Director, Louisiana Tax Free Shopping
  32. Ernest Wooden Jr., President and CEO, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board 


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