top of page
Travelling in America




Thursday, October 1st, 2020

1o:00 am - 11:15am pst


Join our esteemed Virtual Town Hall guest speakers as they share unique views into the diversity of our national cultural & heritage related tourism experiences - from a visitor perspective - and also from the local community / destination vantage point.


We will also delve into the viewpoints of cultural experiences 'closer-to-home' and the positive impacts afforded to communities, their businesses and residents alike - in tandem with marketing insights, planning and collaborations. 

Shared insights will include:

  • Providing the platform for timely discussions for forward planning: 2021 and beyond.

  • Framing & strengthening the focus to curate inclusive & diverse programs.

  • Cultural & heritage programs & marketing examples & ideas for local/regional/national audiences.

  • Educational connections: From school programs and beyond. 

  • Cultural experiences closer-to-come: Supporting artisans, museums, heritage sites, attractions, communities and residents alike. 


This program will be of interest to:

  • Cultural Attractions.

  • Museums.

  • Heritage & Historic Sites.

  • Hotels, Resorts, B&Bs

  • Performance Venues.

  • Artisans & Galleries.

  • Destination Marketing Organizations.

  • State Tourism Boards.

  • Educators / School Programs.

  • Community Event/Festival Planners.

  • Tour Operators.

  • Culinary Partners.



Monica Smith is President & CEO of Southeast Tourism Society (STS) and has led the organization since 2018. STS is a non-profit association dedicated to the promotion and development of tourism throughout the Southeast United States.  In her previous roles, Monica served on the leadership teams of Visit Jacksonville, Visit Macon, the Pasadena CVB, and Visit Newport Beach. She is a graduate of the Cornell Hotel School and has passion for developing the next generation of tourism leaders.



John Tanzella is the President/CEO of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), a non-profit tourism association that is the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel. IGLTA is headquartered in Florida, with staff in numerous global location. IGLTA's network is made up of more than 5,000 tourism business professionals in approximately 80 countries. In marketing tourism for their members, IGLTA reached more than 4 million unique travelers in 2019. Tanzella serves on the Board of Directors for the Stonewall National Museum & Archives (U.S). Born in Boston to Italian immigrant parents, he attended the University of Georgia and resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



Hillary L. Schieve was elected as the 28th Mayor of the City of Reno in 2014. Prior, in November 2012 she was elected as At-Large Reno City Council Member. Hillary brings to the Council her entrepreneurial experience as an employer and local business owner, and her out-of-the-box thinking which helped her businesses prosper during the economic downturn. Further, in 2017 Hillary was named as the Chair of the US Conference of Mayors Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment, and Sports. She is major supporter of arts and culture, and in September 2019  was named Elected Arts Advocate of the Year by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).



AIANTA CEO Sherry L. Rupert (Paiute/Washoe) has nearly two decades of executive-level experience managing and promoting Native American tourism. Since joining AIANTA as CEO in 2019, she has spearheaded several initiatives, including the organization’s groundbreaking new Tribal Agritourism program and overseeing AIANTA’s first-ever virtual American Indian Tourism Conference, which drew a record number of registrants in 2020.


As CEO of the only national association dedicated to indigenous tourism, she is the leading voice when it comes to advocating for travel and tourism as a significant economic driver in tribal nations. Among her responsibilities, she curates a robust educational program for tribes and indigenous-owned hospitality enterprises around the country.

Town Hall Host:
Richard Peterson, President 
U.S. Cultural & Heritage Marketing Council

bottom of page