The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) celebrated the graduation of Gina dePingre’, Event & Sales Coordinator for the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, a division of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau from the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy (LTLA) at the association’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Baton Rouge.
The 21 members of the LTLA class spent all of 2020 developing their leadership skills while learning from seasoned professionals from throughout the tourism industry. The goal of the program is to equip each class member with knowledge and skills that will enrich their tourism-related organizations, therefore strengthening the state-wide tourism industry.
“I’m excited to graduate as part the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy class of 2020,” said Gina dePingre’, event and sales coordinator for the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. “I was exposed to a lot of new ideas and learned so much from established leaders in the tourism industry. I believe I will benefit from this program for years to come.”
The graduating class of LTLA also includes: William Bloom, Louisiana Office of Tourism; Holly Cope-Lynn, City of Broussard; Gina dePingre’, Shreveport-Bossier Sports ; Nancy Dessens, Renaissance Publishing; Jill Dryden, The Advocate; Kathryn Shea Duncan, Visit Lake Charles; Lindsey Fruge, Houma Area CVB; Kaitlyn Gallegos, Visit Lake Charles; Pamela Hayes, Office of the Lt. Governor; Jessica Hebert, LBA Hospitality; Tara Lusignan, New Orleans & Co; Lizzie Moss, Myrtles Plantation; Abbey Palagi, New Orleans & Co; Steven Perrilloux, Historic Riverlands; Brittany Perrin, Airboat Adventures; Mike Roebuck, Lafayette CVC; Julie Rogers, DeSoto Parish Tourist Bureau; Bill Sherman, Office of the Lt. Governor; Amber Slinin, LBA Hospitality; Anna Strider, St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission; and Jerianne Fitzgerald Thomas, Alexandria-Pineville Area CVB.
Members of the class also gave back to the tourism community by selecting businesses within the industry for pro-bono projects. The four separate groups developed a marketing plan for the Myrtles Plantation, social Media solutions for Chennault Military and Aviation Museum, a product development plan for the Town of Broussard and a SWOT analysis for Bayou Terrebonne Distillery. Collectively, the value of the class’ tourism product enhancement and marketing work exceeded $80,000.
“LTLA has been a tremendous opportunity for those interested in learning more about Louisiana’s tourism industry, and we are proud of the 2020 graduating class,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “Not only has this program individually benefited these emerging leaders, but the LTLA class projects are paying off significant dividends for the entire industry.”