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Westlund Receives Destination Management Executive Designation

Published: July 17, 2020

Kari Westlund

Kari Westlund, President/CEO of Travel Lane County has earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination management industry.

The focus of the program is on vision, leadership, productivity and the implementation of business strategies. This year’s CDME class was recognized during Destinations International’s Annual Convention which was held virtually July 14-15, 2020. Meet the entire class in the following video.

The CDME designation is the tourism  

industry’s highest individual educational achievement. The program is designed to better prepare senior destination organization professionals to become more effective organizational and community leaders and to identify and respond to the constant change and increasing competition in the industry.

“Congratulations to those who have earned their CDME credential, the tourism industry's highest individual achievement." said Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International. “These leaders are now equipped with the knowledge needed to adapt to and manage the increasing change and competition facing our industry.”

“The communities that we serve can’t afford to stand still, and neither can we as destination leaders,” said Maura Gast, FCDME, Executive Director of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau and the CDME Board Chair. “The CDME program pushes us to ‘think beyond our mandate and act beyond our tenure’ and to see our roles in our communities’ viability as something much bigger, and something much more integral to the community fabric.”

Travel Lane County Board Chair JB Carney noted, Kari Westlund has led Travel Lane County for the past 24 years. Her professionalism, community involvement and destination knowledge serve as a standard for the organization. Achieving CDME certification illustrates her commitment to lifelong learning and our region is in good hands with her at the helm of Travel Lane County."

Destinations International Contact: Caitlyn Blizzard,

About Destinations International:
Destinations International is the world’s largest resource for official destination organizations, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) and tourism boards. Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with almost 6,000 members and partners from nearly 600 destinations in 13 countries, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association: exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people and elevating tourism to its highest potential. For more information, visit

Author: Andy Vobora

Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations, Travel Lane County
541.501.9398 | 541.743.8770

Travel Lane County markets and promotes the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region as a destination for travel, conventions, sports, meetings and events. It serves as a private, nonprofit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending, which pumped more than $783 million into Lane County, Oregon's economy in 2019.