. Destinations International Names 5 Hall of Fame Inductees for 2020 | Northstar Meetings Group

Destinations International Names 5 Hall of Fame Inductees for 2020

The organization also presented its annual Destination Organization Leadership Award to San Francisco Travel Association's Joe D’Alessandro.


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Joe D'Alessandro

Destinations International has named the five 2020 inductees to its Hall of Fame and has also presented its annual Destination Organization Leadership Award to Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of the San Francisco Travel Association.

The five 2020 Hall of Fame inductees are Bonnie Carlson, CDME, president and CEO of Bloomington (Minn.) Convention & Visitors Bureau; Solomon and Gloria Herbert, publishers of Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine; Wendy Perks Fisher, retired president and CEO of Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Karolyn Kirchgesler, the recently retired president and CEO of Team San Jose who, sadly, just passed away on May 29 after a battle with small-intestinal cancer. Kirchgesler shared a farewell video with her team and industry colleagues when she stepped down at the end of April.

"These industry leaders have made tremendous contributions to our sector," said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. "This very distinguished group has been responsible for the evolution of our industry and has had a profound impact on its healthy future."

Leadership Award honoree D'Alessandro has held the top post at San Francisco Travel since 2006, when he joined the organization following a 10-year stint as president and CEO of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association. Over the past 14 years, D'Alessandro has led the organization to adopt the San Francisco ethos of community, innovation, openness and change as its core business values. He helped develop the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District, which became a unique and sustainable funding source that has served as a model for other organizations. He has worked with other destination partners to forge creative solutions to hotel room compression for citywide events. And, among many other accomplishments, D'Alessandro oversaw the major renovation and expansion to the city's Moscone Center.

The Hall of Fame was launched in 2014 to recognize people who have changed the future of destination marketing and management for the better, made significant contributions to the advancement of the industry and shaped travel marketing and management. The Destination Organization Leadership Award was created in 2017 to recognize outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution to the destination marketing industry and the communities they serve.