October 27 – 29, 2020

DIY Tourism Recovery Summit is a multi-day virtual, educational event featuring  a series of interviews with seasoned professionals in tourism and hospitality. Join us in learning about emerging trends and important and insightful observations to help you think creatively about how to move forward over the coming months.

Don’t miss out on this FREE virtual event happening October 27 – 29th.

Recovery Strategies from Industry Experts

The tourism industry has been one of the most significantly impacted industries during the pandemic. Businesses must change and adapt in order to survive the disruptions in travel and changes in customer behavior in 2020 and beyond. With so many business owners overwhelmed and exhausted both physically and emotionally, it can be hard to keep up with what is working for other businesses in the industry. 

This industry needs collaboration and shared support more than ever right now. To help address these unique challenges, the team at JB Media Institute is producing a FREE multi-day educational event. This event will feature a series of interviews with seasoned professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry. Each expert will be asked to share insight into what their businesses or organization is currently doing to adapt and also what they each has observed within their communities and nationally to help uncover creative ideas and solutions. Interviews with experts in branding, marketing, and tourism data will offer a well-rounded view of emerging trends, with questions designed to uncover important and insightful observations to help attendees think creatively about how to move forward over the coming months.  

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Robin McClain

Robin McClain

Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications - Destination DC

Robin McClain serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for Washington, DC.

In her role, McClain oversees the advertising, creative, content marketing, communications, publications, social media and research. 

A Washington Metropolitan native, McClain was raised in Gaithersburg, MD and graduated from the University of Maryland. She began her career in broadcast journalism locally at WTTG FOX 5. She went on to work as a news reporter in Salt Lake City, UT at KSTU FOX 13 and in Phoenix, AZ at KNXV ABC 15.

McClain serves on the boards of the Greater Washington Urban League and the DowntownDC Business Improvement District. She is a member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Communications Committee and Destinations Council. She is an avid tennis fan and shopper, often combining those loves when she travels.

Chris Cavanaugh

Chris Cavanaugh

Founder, Magellan Strategy Group; Interim Executive Director, Explore Asheville CVB

Prior to founding Magellan Strategy Group, Chris served as vice president of marketing for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC, the owner of Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. For nearly 10 years he guided the company’s marketing planning, strategy, and execution. During his tenure, Biltmore doubled its annual revenue and became the most visited historic house attraction in the U.S. Cavanaugh also directed marketing for the Inn on Biltmore Estate, a four-star hotel on the property, and the Biltmore Estate Winery, the most visited winery in the nation.

Chris was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the state’s travel and tourism board in 2003 and reappointed in 2010. He is past chairman of that board, and also past chairman of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (overseeing the work of the Asheville CVB) and Blue Ridge Mountain Host, a regional marketing association. Chris received the 2014 Southeast Tourism Society Shining Example Award  and in 2015, the Travel Industry Association of North Carolina presented him with the Tourism Excellence Award for an Individual for outstanding contributions to the development of the travel industry in the state. Currently, Chris serves as the Interim Executive Director of the Explore Asheville CVB.

Sarah Benoit

Sarah Benoit

Co-founder and Lead Instructor, JB Media Institute

As the Lead Instructor for the JB Media Institute, Sarah leverages her 13 years of experience as an online marketing, SEO, and social media strategist to create training content that get results. She is dedicated to making the field of Internet marketing accessible and understandable to business and marketing professionals with timely, relevant, and engaging classes and seminars. Her Internet marketing experience includes work in the travel and tourism field for websites such as visitcherokeenc.com, the visitor site for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and BlueRidgeHeritage.com, the official site for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

In 2013, she co-founded the JB Media Institute, an Internet marketing training program with Justin Belleme. Last year, Sarah was instrumental in adapting the original curriculum offered in Asheville three times each year to an online program accessible to students from around the world. She now teaches sessions in both the in-person and online Institute programs and oversees continuous curriculum updates to keep up with the ever changing world of Internet marketing. Sarah has presented to groups local and national. She was inducted into Asheville’s Forty under 40 in 2013. A graduate of Leadership Asheville, Sarah is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the local community.

Justin Belleme

Justin Belleme

Director of Strategy, JB Media Group; Co-founder, JB Media Institute

A serial entrepreneur, Justin founded his first business, AshevilleNow.com an online magazine about the Asheville area for visitors in 2003. He continued to work in tourism marketing, holding interim positions in online marketing with Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau and City of Asheville in 2010 before launching Internet marketing agency JB Media Group in 2011. As Director of Strategy, Justin oversees the strategic direction for projects in SEO, online advertising, social media, event marketing, email and public relations for clients ranging from the Eastern Band of The Cherokee Indians to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Holistic Holiday at Sea and the Social Capital Markets conference.  He, along with Sarah Benoit, have also provided strategic consulting and training for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

In 2012, Justin saw a need for training for marketing professionals and business owners in Internet marketing from industry professionals. He teamed up with Sarah Benoit to found the JB Media Institute shortly thereafter and under his vision and leadership, the program has trained more nearly 200 students in its first three years. Justin is also a frequent presenter on the more technical elements of Internet marketing including Google advertising for businesses and non-profits, SEO and social media advertising. The recipient of the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, Justin is a strong advocate for entrepreneurship, He has served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce since 2015 and is a previous Board Chair for the NC Stage Company.

In early 2019 Justin led the acquisition of RomanticAsheville.com, the most visited travel and vacation planning website for the Asheville area with over 5.5 million site visits in the last year.

Beth Hill

Beth Hill

President & CEO of Fort Ticonderoga

Beth Hill has served as Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO since 2010 after a successful tenure with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Historic Sites Division. She has been a leader in the museum profession for 23 years and has an M.A. in history from American University. Having led a major organization turnaround beginning in 2010, Hill is now leading Fort Ticonderoga through a transformative growth phase as it develops and implements a multi-million-dollar, multi-year capital plan. Since 2014, admission revenue has grown 26%, field trip attendance 23%, annual contributions 57%, while investment in programs has grown 41%. During this period Fort Ticonderoga has been the recipient of several prestigious federal grants including the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment of the Humanities to support educational programs, major new exhibitions, and collections cataloging and accessibility. Hill is a long-time community leader and serves on regional and statewide boards.

Kelly Miller

Kelly Miller

President and CEO of Visit Huntington Beach

Kelly is the President and CEO of Visit Huntington Beach, and the Chair of the California Travel Association. Kelly began his tourism career in Juneau, Alaska, as the first executive director of a new convention center, while simultaneously leading the city’s tourism program including three visitor centers. Miller later joined the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, assuming several leadership positions including the bureau’s Summer Olympic Games Marketing Manager and the ACVB’s first Director of International Sales & Marketing. 

Event Co-host: Marilyn Ball

Event Co-host: Marilyn Ball

Founder of 12Twelve Collaborative Solutions

Marilyn Ball holds 25+ years of marketing and communication experience in the tourism, economic development, hospitality and micro-enterprise industries. She is the host of the iHeart Radio show and podcast, Speaking of Travel, and author of “The Rise of Asheville: An Exceptional History of Community Building.”

Don’t miss out on this FREE virtual event happening October 27 – 29th.