Katie Holderby of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority has earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry. The focus of the program is on vision, leadership, productivity and the implementation of business strategies. Holderby was recognized at the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) 2016 Annual Convention on Wednesday, August 3 in Minneapolis, MN.

Holderby has worked in the hospitality industry since 1993 where she started at the Plaza Hotel in Chicago as Sales Manager. She started with the South Shore CVA as the Director of Sales and Marketing and worked her way up to Senior Vice President of Marketing. She has also served as the Executive Director of Tour Indiana and as a consultant to tourism-related organizations. She was an Indiana Tourism Council Appointee from 1998-2005, a past president of both Northern Indiana Tourism Development Commission and Tour Indiana Motor Coach Council. Holderby is currently the Executive Vice President of the South Shore CVA.

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. The class of 2016 included more than 40 graduates. Over the course of 22 years, more than 400 students have participated in the CDME program.

"Education is the foundation to what DMAI provides for its members," said Gary Sherwin, DMAI Chair and President and CEO, Newport Beach and Company. "CDME is the only comprehensive educational program available to destination marketing organizations around the world, and we will continue to reinvest in this critical offering so that industry leaders may continue to learn from their peers, share best practices and propel our industry forward."

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The South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority, as the official destination marketing organization, leads and supports the visitor industry through the marketing and development of the county from convention, sports, gaming and special interest travel segments, thereby increasing economic impact, creating employment and enhancing the communities' quality of life.

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 that 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.