Kari Westlund (left) presents the “Brad Burlingame Spirit of Leadership Award” to Stephanie Nowack, President & CEO, Tempe Tourism Office, at the September 2017 DMA West Education Summit in Las Vegas. Westlund is a former recipient of the award.

Stephanie Nowack Receives “Brad Burlingame Spirit of Leadership Award”


Association and Foundation Board members gather to congratulate Stephanie Nowack.

At its September 2017 Education Summit in Las Vegas, DMA West presented Stephanie Nowack, then president & CEO of Tempe Tourism Office, with the association’s “Brad Burlingame Spirit of Leadership Award.” Nowack retired in December from the Tempe Tourism Office. The DMA West Board established the award to recognize individuals who have been exceptional contributors to the organization. The award celebrates above-and-beyond leadership by individuals who are willing to assist their industry colleagues and promote the profession of destination marketing.

Nowack, a past president of DMA West and a past president and trustee of the DMA West Education & Research Foundation, was honored for her remarkable leadership and enduring support of the association and foundation, as well as for her mentorship of others in the destination marketing profession. In addition, Nowack has served as a session presenter and facilitator at a number of DMA West education programs.

Nowack joined the Tempe Tourism Office, then known as the Tempe CVB, in 1999. Her prior experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds had given her the perfect skill set needed to lead the tourism office. She has always been active in her community and is a current Board member of the Tempe Chamber, the ASU Tourism Advisory Council and the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association.

Believing it is important to lead by example, Nowack has conveyed a spirit of community service to her Tempe Tourism team. Throughout the years, the Tempe Tourism staff has volunteered together at a variety of organizations including: St. Mary’s Food Bank, Tempe Community Action Agency, Feed My Starving Children and the Salvation Army Christmas Angel Program.

Past recipients of the Spirit of Leadership award include:

2003 – Rick Davis
2005 – Carol Lentz
2007 – Cami Mattson
2008 – Jonathan Walker
2009 – Kari Westlund
2013 – Brad Burlingame


The award was renamed the Brad Burlingame Spirit of Leadership Award in 2016 in honor of Brad Burlingame, who led Visit West Hollywood for 18 years, and, very sadly, passed away in December 2015.  Burlingame served as Board President of both the association and foundation and he was an enthusiastic advocate for DMA West, for the travel industry and for the creation of the Spirit of Leadership Award.