This is the organization's 26th year and it now has 267 members statewide
From a Tourism Association of New Mexico press release...
The Tourism Association of New Mexico elected new board members and officers at its annual meeting, held January 29, 2013 at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe,. Bill Lee, president and CEO of the Gallup Chamber of Commerce became president as Lisa Boeke of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce became past president. Tina Whitegeese of Graphic Connection in ABQ will continue as secretary and Rebecca Latham of the Town of Red River will serve as treasurer.
Becky Brooks of the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce became a new board member to serve in the Destination Marketing Organization category, and continuing for another three-year term with her are Rebecca Latham representing the Town of Red River Tourism and Economic Development division, Mary Anne Jones of the ABQ Hispano Chamber of Commerce. Bill Lee, the new board president, also serves in the DMO category.
In the Industry Related category, current board members elected to serve another two-year term are Clarissa Lovato of Elevate Media in Santa Fe, Christine Windle of Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort, Chris Cordova of CRC Associates in Bernalillo, Lori Shaw of XtraMark Marketing in Corrales, Priscilla Bloomquist of NMSU HRTM in Las Cruces, Lola Polley of VetPros in Silver City, Renee Roach from the City of Roswell and Kim Skinner from the City of Elephant Butte.
This is the 26th anniversary for the organization, now reporting 267 involved members statewide and 39 total board seats. “We are fortunate to have such a diverse group of tourism professionals serving on our board”, said Sharon Schultz, CEO of the organization, “and representing all corners of our state, as our bylaws mandate.” Newly sworn in president Bill Lee said, “I am honored to have been elected to serve as the president of the Tourism Association of New Mexico. Our association's voice and advocacy efforts will continue to grow and strengthen tourism in New Mexico to benefit our membership, create jobs and contribute to a healthy economy".
Secretary Monique Jacobson spoke at the meeting, giving an update on recent Tourism Department projects, initiatives and legislative priorities. She emphasized the latest study showing a three-to-one return on investment for the spring marketing campaign, handily justifying the department’s request for $2.5 million more in advertising from the New Mexico Legislature.
The other legislative priority is the Spaceflight Informed Consent bill to expand relief from liability to manufacturers and suppliers. The tourism industry has also expressed full support of these two issues as shown in their independent lobbying efforts with their legislators.
Mark Butler, senior program manager for Virgin Galactic also spoke, emphasizing the company's commitment to New Mexico and Spaceport America, announcing that they already have $60 million in deposits from ‘astronauts’ who have reserved their seats on the spacecraft that will fly from New Mexico. He explained how important the Informed Consent bill is to the project also, as they’d like some of the suppliers and manufacturers of their spacecraft components to become tenants at the Spaceport with Virgin Galactic. “We are so fortunate to be at the very brink of commercial space tourism in New Mexico, and Virgin Galactic is here to stay,” he said.