2018 Leadership Summit | Walla Walla, Washington

July 30 - August 1, 2018 | Marcus Whitman Hotel

wine

Comments shared by several CEO delegates after the 2017 Leadership Summit:

This is my favorite conference of the year. Connecting with peers is so helpful and insightful.”

“I love the intimacy of this conference and the genuine sharing of ideas. The location is always inspirational, which is wonderful!”

“Best part was networking with peers.”

Leadership in a Rapidly Changing Marketplace

The world of DMOs is changing on nearly a daily basis. Leading change takes understanding of both strategy and models about how to inspire and motivate those you lead through change.

Energize your leadership journey through peer discussions and presentations to help you adapt to new environments and navigate potential opportunities.

The Leadership Summit includes expert presenters, peer panels and time for deeper-dive discussions at the roundtables.

Harness the Wisdom in the Room

  • Connect with DMO leaders in engaging, interactive ways. Your peers are there for you!
  • Hear inspiring stories and share best practices with your peers about building thriving organizations.
  • Discover strategies and models to help you and your DMO thrive.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how to increase staff engagement, optimize talent, and build high-performing teams.
  • Walk away with tactical, strategic insights about innovative DMOs, successful organizational cultures and more.

Leadership Summit Planning Committee

Co-chairs

  • Ron Williams, Executive Director, Visit Walla Walla
  • Brent DeRaad, President & CEO, Visit Tucson

Members

  • Frank Lockwood, Executive Director, Durango Area Tourism Office
  • Michelle O’Connor, Project Manager, Visit Walla Walla
  • Bonnie Quill, Executive Director, Mat-Su Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Shauna Stewart, CEO, Experience Olympia & Beyond
  • Mark Thompson, CDME, CMP, Director, Visit Plano

Day One – Monday, July 30, 2018

2:00pm – 2:30pm
Registration

2:30pm – 3:00pm
Association and Host Welcome

  • Kim Bennett, DMA West Board President; President & CEO, Visit Vancouver USA
  • Ron Williams, Leadership Summit Planning Committee Co-chair & Host; Executive Director, Visit Walla Walla

3:00pm – 4:30pm
Presentation: DMOs’ Evolving Role in Community and Economic Development
Presenter: Paul Ouimet, Managing Director, Destination International’s DestinationNEXT Initiative
Since being launched in 2014, DestinationNEXT has been used by organizations around the world. During the past two and a half years, Paul Ouimet has completed more than 160 detailed assessments of destinations in 11 countries. He will provide an overview of how DestinationNEXT is being used and some of the key takeaways from his work in the U.S. and abroad.

Presenter appearance sponsored by Visit Tucson

4:30pm – 4:35pm
Closing Remarks

  • Brent DeRaad, Leadership Summit Planning Committee Co-chair; President & CEO, Visit Tucson
  • Ron Williams, Leadership Summit Planning Committee Co-chair & Host; Executive Director, Visit Walla Walla

4:45pm – 7:00pm
So You Think You Can Blend?
Activity for all delegates and guests.
Transportation provided; meet in the lobby at 4:45 p.m.

Great winemakers are part alchemist, part artist. Making a winning blend, and blending in the perfect marketing campaign takes teamwork, creativity, artistry and skill. For this opening group exercise, we will transport you to one of our favorite local wineries where you will work as a team to create the perfect Bordeaux blend, and come up with a name and label concept. You will have at your disposal pure Bordeaux varietals straight from the barrel, (cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdot, malbec and carmenere), provided by some of Walla Walla's finest winemakers from our best vineyards. Winemaker Ned Morris will provide an overview and guidance, and then it is up to your team to make the winning wine. You have only two hours.

Not a drinker of any alcoholic beverage—That’s okay! Most of what you need to know about wine is experienced through the nose, not the tongue. 

Wear comfortable clothes and bring a light jacket or sweater.

7:00pm – 9:00pm
Group Dinner at Pepper Bridge Winery
Activity for all delegates and guests.

Our blending trial will morph right into dinner at our host winery. The James Beard Award-winning culinary team from the Marcus Whitman Hotel transports its talents to the site for this evening’s dinner. Delight in eating some of the region’s freshest seasonal ingredients, which the Walla Walla Valley abundantly produces.

Dinner sponsored by Madden Media

lake

Day Two – Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Morning
Group Activities
Choice of One

Hike in the Western Blues
Depart hotel 8:00am

Return at 11:30am
(transportation provided)

Historic Fort Walla Walla Museum Tour
Depart hotel 8:45am
Return at 12:00pm
(transportation provided)

Historic Walla Walla Tour
Depart hotel 9:00am
Return at 12:00pm
(transportation provided)

Morning
Group Activities
See brief descriptions in the left-hand column; see full descriptions in the activities section of this event site.
Activities open to all delegates and guests; separate fees apply.

12:30pm – 1:30pm
Group Luncheon at Hotel
Meal function for all delegates and guests.

Luncheon sponsored by TripAdvisor

Two Presentations:
Mini Presentation #1 - The Reestablishment of Washington’s Statewide Tourism Effort

Presenter: John Cooper, President & CEO, Yakima Valley Tourism

The challenge to reestablish a statewide tourism effort inspired the Washington state travel industry to come together in a way it never had before. Every sector of its industry, from every region of the state, has worked together over the past seven years, and they will continue to count on that unity moving forward. A new law creates a structure for implementing a statewide tourism marketing program. While the program itself will be executed by a private, nonprofit organization, there is a new board within the Department of Commerce that will have oversight for the program. This entity, the Washington Tourism Marketing Authority (WTMA), is made up of nine representatives from the tourism industry and four legislators.

Mini Presentation #2 – Certifiable Collaborators
Presenter: Tammy Blount-Canavan, FCDME, President & CEO, Monterey County CVB

Destinations International (DI) is working to partner with regional and state associations to bring education (especially certification programs) to these groups/geographic areas. In addition, DI is focused on its role as an advocate for travel and destinations (Destination Ally) and working to identify political threats to successful destinations as well as how destinations can defend themselves against these threats. Tammy Blount-Canavan served as DI's 2017-18 Board Chair.

1:30pm – 2:30pm
Presentation: How to Lead in the Ever-changing Workplace Culture
Presenter: Chris Ihrig, CEO, Fired-Up! Culture

As a leader, you need to own your workplace culture. In this session we will have a hearty discussion around the changing needs of our workforce. We will explore the leadership philosophies, tools and resources that will allow you to be a purposeful, active, and accountable leader for defining and building the right culture for people to do their best work and drive breakthrough results.

2:30pm – 2:45pm
Break

2:45pm – 3:30pm
Peer Learning Session

Adapting to Change
Presenters: Tammy Blount, FCDME, President & CEO, Monterey County CVB; and Frank Lockwood, Executive Director, Durango Area Tourism Office

Peer panelists will discuss their experiences in adapting to external changes and helping their teams adapt to internal changes. The perspectives will be from a veteran CEO and a new CEO.

3:30pm – 3:45pm
Break

3:45pm – 5:30pm
Operational Roundtables

Engage in lively discussions, guided by peer facilitators, with CEO peers in similar budget categories.

Group A – Budgets Less Than $750,000
Group B – Budgets Between $750,000 and $2 Million
Group C – Budgets More Than $2 Million

Questions to Drive the Conversation at the Roundtables

What work-related issues keep you up at night? How are you addressing those issues? How are you finding and retaining employees? Do you have a work-from-home policy? Why or why not? What unique benefits do you offer employees? What leadership training has helped you the most in your current job?  Which conferences or types of training would you recommend to your peers to help them become better DMO CEOs? What are the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of working with your board of directors? How frequently and in which ways do you communicate with your board of directors, government funders and other stakeholders? If you could change one thing about your job and one thing about your destination, what would they be? Finally, provide one general piece of advice to your counterparts.

6:00pm – 9:00pm
Baseball and BBQ – Group Outing
Transportation provided—the DMA West team bus leaves at 6:00pm!
Event for all delegates and guests.

Not since the days of Norman Rockwell has baseball been so approachable and fun. Join us on the private party deck, the Sweet Spot, for a night of food and wine—Walla Walla style. We’ll celebrate a hometown evening at the local baseball game with a BBQ dinner. The Walla Walla Sweets (yes, our mascot, Sweet Lou, is that famous Walla Walla sweet onion!)—play the Kelowna Falcons. You are welcome to get a hot dog and PBR if you must, but we’ll be serving dinner catered by Olive Market Place. We’ll open some of our finest Walla Walla wine, craft beer, and fresh cider, and meet some of our local celebrities.Whether or not you understand the game, this will be a night of fun. 

Event hosted by Visit Walla Walla and DVA Advertising & Public Relations

wine

Day Three – Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Afternoon
Group Activities
Choice of One

Walla Walla Art Tour
Depart hotel 2:00pm
Return at 5:00pm
(transportation provided)

Food & Wine Pairing Tour
Depart hotel 2:00pm
R
eturn at 5:00pm
(downtown walking/tasting tour)

Wine Country Tour & Tasting
Depart hotel 2:00pm
Return at 5:00pm
(transportation provided)

Morning
Hot Buffet Breakfast (available beginning at 6:30 a.m.)

The Marcus Whitman Hotel is good at pampering its hotel guests. One of the hotel’s special amenities for its guests is a complimentary Hot and Healthy Breakfast. At your leisure—but before 8:00 a.m.—enjoy the breakfast buffet in the restaurant. DMA West will have reserved tables in the restaurant.

8:00am – 9:00am
Peer Learning Session

Driving Change
Presenters: Shauna Stewart, CEO, Experience Olympia & Beyond; and Brent DeRaad, President & CEO, Visit Tucson

Peer panelists will provide examples of driving change with stakeholders, government leaders, staff members as well as how they have partnered on product development projects and pushed travel into a region’s economic development conversations.

9:00am – 9:15am
Break

9:15am – 10:45am
Operational Roundtables

Engage in lively discussions, guided by peer facilitators, with CEO peers in similar budget categories.

Group A – Budgets Less Than $750,000
Group B – Budgets Between $750,000 and $2 Million
Group C – Budgets More Than $2 Million

Questions to Drive the Conversation at the Roundtables

What is a story of change you experienced? What is the strategic planning process for your DMO?  Are you working with vendors in this space that you recommend? Who can provide successful examples of educating and working productively with government funders? How are applicable DMOs dealing with over-tourism? On which metrics does your board evaluate your performance? Do you have recommendations for your peers regarding CEO performance metrics? Which new DMO performance metrics have you incorporated recently? What best practices would you recommend for operating visitor centers?

10:45am – 11:00am
Break

11:00am – 11:50am
Peer Learning Session

DMOs’ Roles in Community & Economic Development | Telling Your Story
Presenters: Invited 

DMOs are at the center of destination management, marketing and development, requiring DMOs to actively create value for one’s community. Innovative marketing strategies blended with new/reinvented services paired with product development ideas are essential to both your visitors and your stakeholders. Peer panelists will discuss their perspectives about a DMO's role in the community and, specifically, as it relates to economic development issues.

11:50am – 12:00pm
Closing Announcements

  • Kim Bennett, DMA West Board President; President & CEO, Visit Vancouver USA
  • Ron Williams, Leadership Summit Planning Committee Co-chair & Host; Executive Director, Visit Walla Walla

Afternoon
Lunch on Own

Afternoon
Group Activities
See brief descriptions in the left-hand column; see full descriptions in the activities section of this event site.
Activities open to all delegates and guests; separate fees apply.


Share Your Collateral Materials

A continuing Summit component is the opportunity to review samples of collateral materials. Bring samples (relax! there’s no contest!) of standard print pieces (visitor guides, meeting planning guides, calendar of events, and other specialty brochures) as well as other materials (CEO and staff evaluation forms, annual reports, board manuals, marketing plans) you believe would be of interest to your CEO colleagues. The materials will be displayed for casual browsing during the Leadership Summit. If possible, bring 20+ copies of each.



Special Thanks to Leadership Summit Sponsors


General Information

Attire

Attire for all sessions is casual and comfortable. Remember to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and comfortable shoes. Pack appropriate attire for your selected group activities.


Leadership Summit Registration Deadline

Register online or send your completed registration form and fee to the DMA West office by July 18, 2018. Refunds will be honored until 5:00 pm Pacific Time, July 18; after that date, any refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis. [Note: Select group activities by July 9.]


Hotel Reservations

Please make your reservations as soon as possible.

Marcus Whitman Hotel
6 West Rose Street
Walla Walla, Washington

Group rate: $159 or $189 based on room type plus room tax; single/double occupancy
Reservations: 866-826-9422 or 509-525-2200
Reference the DMA West Leadership Summit Room Block when making your reservations.
Cut-off date: July 6, 2018.

Traveling to Walla Walla

Located in rural Eastern Washington, Walla Walla is far away from the city bustle—that’s what makes it so great.

Airport Options

  • Walla Walla Airport (ALW) offers daily direct flights to and from Seattle and connections to more than 50 cities coast to coast. Airline: Alaska Airlines.
  • Tri Cities (Pasco) Airport (PSC) is located two miles northwest of Pasco, Washington, and is 50 minutes from Walla Walla. Airlines: Allegiant, Delta, Alaska Airlines, United Express

Complimentary Airport Shuttle (to/from Walla Walla Airport)
The Marcus Whitman Hotel provides complimentary airport shuttle services for hotel guests to/from the Walla Walla Airport.


Driving Information

  • From Pasco: 48 miles – Drive time: 52 minutes
  • From Seattle: 273 miles – Drive time: 4.5 hours
  • From Portland: 243 miles – Drive time: 4 hours
  • From Spokane: 158 miles – Drive time: 3 hours
  • From Boise: 252 miles – Drive time: 4 hours

About Walla Walla

Visit Walla Walla | www.wallawalla.org

The Walla Walla Valley is a place where scenic beauty, incredible wineries, enticing restaurants, cultural inspiration, outdoor adventures and small town friendliness come together to create an experience you’ll want to share again and again.

A vibrant reflection of the past and the present, downtown Walla Walla is the place where you begin to discover what makes Walla Walla so unique. A walk down tree-lined streets reveals a funky mix of vintage shops, boutiques, cafes, bookstores, tasting rooms, restaurants, numerous pieces of public art and more. You’ll soon see why its downtown has been recognized time and again as one of the best small town Main Streets in the country.

Walla Walla has long been known as one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the nation, producing such crops as wheat, asparagus, strawberries and the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onions. However, it’s Walla Walla's wine country that is most celebrated. With more than 120 wineries representing a wide range of varietals, it doesn’t take long to see why people return to Walla Walla again and again.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018 | Morning Group Activities | Choice of One

Into the Western Blues (Hike)

Time: Depart hotel at 8:00 am; return at 11:30am
Transportation: Provided

Description: Enjoy a pictur­esque hike into the western face of the Blue Mountains overlooking Walla Walla, and explore one of the most diverse avian habitats in the country with Audubon guide Mike Denny. Hike up to 2 miles at a very comfortable pace (no steep grades) and an abundance of spectacular view points, with chances of seeing elk, bear, deer, moose and possibly even a Great Gray Owl.

Fee: $50 per person
[$10 of the fee will be donated to the DMA West Foundation to fund research projects.]

Notes: Hike up to 2 miles. Active/hiking clothing recommended, including comfortable walk­ing shoes or light boots (tennis shoes are not recommended), sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, etc. No pets/smoking discouraged. Light snacks and water provided.

Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 12 participants

Historic Walla Walla Tour with Local Guide

Time: Depart hotel at 9:00am; return at 12:00pm
Transportation: Provided

Description: Explore Walla Walla’s rich past through its buildings and the people who built them. Dotted with examples of Italianate Victorian gems of the 1850s to Beaux Arts of the 1920s, Walla Wal­la’s history is unveiled through its architecture. Join us for a walking/driving tour of historic downtown, Pioneer Park, and select historic homes. This tour will also include a private tour of the Kirkman House Museum, one of the Northwest’s most outstanding Victorian structures. Refreshments will be provided.

Fee: $55 per person
[$10 of the fee will be donated to the DMA West Foundation to fund research projects.]

Notes: Wear comfortable walking shoes.

Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 20 participants

Tour the Historic Fort Walla Walla Museum

Time: Depart hotel at 8:45am; return at 12:00pm
Transportation:Provided

Description: Located on the grounds of a military fort opened in 1858, Fort Walla Walla Museum provides an exciting glimpse into this region’s history. The Museum features a 17-building historic pioneer settlement, beautiful gardens, and five sprawling exhibit halls housing thousands of artifacts. Experience special exhibit Fantastic Finds: Treasures form the Archives featuring many one-of-a-kind historical treasures. Join us for a private tour and learn about the rich history of the Walla Walla region.

Fee: $45 per person
[$10 of the fee will be donated to the DMA West Foundation to fund research projects.]

Notes: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Visit Walla Walla will provide a $10 voucher for each participant to spend in the museum gift shop.

Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 20 participants


Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | Afternoon Group Activities | Choice of One

Walla Walla Art Tour

Time: Depart hotel at 2:00pm; return at 5:00pm
Transportation: Provided

Description: The Walla Walla Foundry is one of the top casting/sculpture venues worldwide, producing works for artists such as Jim Dine, Deborah Butterfield, Ai Weiwei, Maya Lin and Paul McCarthy. Explore their featured works on a guided art tour through the Whitman College Campus and The Walla Walla Foundry. This tour will conclude with a wine tasting and refreshments at the Foundry Vineyards tasting room.

Fee: $70 per person
[$10 of the fee will be donated to the DMA West Foundation to fund research projects.]

Notes: Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water.

Minimum: 6 participants
Maximum: 16 participants

Food & Wine Pairing Tour

Time: Depart hotel at 2:00pm; return at 5:00pm
Transportation: Walking

Description: Enjoy wine and food in the heart of Downtown Walla Walla, visiting three of the 25+ downtown tasting rooms on foot. Sample 9 different wines, produced by award-winning Walla Walla winemakers, with small bites selected to complement the tasting.

Fee: $70 per person
[$10 of the fee will be donated to the DMA West Foundation to fund research projects.]

Notes: Wear comfortable walking shoes.Wines Fly Free on Alaska Airlines—Check a case to your final destination on any outgoing Alaska Air flight from Walla Walla or Pasco.

Minimum: 8 participants
Maximum: 40 participants, divided into 3 groups

alaska-taste.jpg

Wine Country Tour & Tasting

Time: Depart hotel at 2:00pm; return at 5:00pm
Transportation: Provided

Description: Extending across the state line, Walla Walla’s Southside wineries are largely set among estate vineyards, providing visitors with a quintessential wine coun­try experience. Join us for a private wine tour of the valley’s most beautiful vi­ticulture landscape, and taste wine at some of Walla Walla’s renowned wineries.

Fee: $75 per person
[$10 of the fee will be donated to the DMA West Foundation to fund research projects.]

Notes: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Wines Fly Free on Alaska Airlines—Check a case to your final destination on any outgoing Alaska Air flight from Walla Walla or Pasco.

Minimum: 10 participants
Maximum: 40 participants, divided into 3 groups

alaska-taste.jpg


  • DMA West-member

  • $425
  • CEO registrant from a DMA West-member DMO

  • Fees include education program and scheduled group meal functions. Separate fees apply for selected Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon group activities.
  • [Note: Group activities must be selected by July 9.]
  • Register Today
  • Nonmember

  • $650
  • CEO registrant from a nonmember DMO

  • Fees include education program and scheduled group meal functions. Separate fees apply for selected Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon group activities.
  • [Note: Group activities must be selected by July 9.]
  • Register Today
  • Spouse - Companion

  • $175
  • Spouse/Companion

  • The spouse/companion rate includes group meal functions. Separate fees apply for selected Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon group activities.
  • [Note: Group activities must be selected by July 9.]
  • Register Today