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Introducing the Expanded IGLTA Board of Directors

International travel association appoints key ITB figure and South American lesbian tour operator to its governing body

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (September 13, 2011)—The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association recently added two board members: Rika Jean-Francois of ITB Berlin, one of the world’s leading travel trade shows; and Marta Dalla Chiesa, founding director of Brazil Ecojourneys.

“The IGLTA bylaws allow us to appoint up to two eligible members for one-year board positions to better reflect the diverse tourism businesses in our membership,” said IGLTA Chair Tanya Churchmuch. “Having an esteemed global trade fair and a small lesbian business from South America represented in the mix truly broadens our scope.”

Both women are longtime professionals in the tourism industry. Rika Jean-Francois oversees gay and lesbian travel for the prestigious ITB Berlin trade show.

“ITB Berlin is the first tourism trade show to have a representative on the board of this remarkable association and is ready to give LGBT tourism the platform it deserves,” she said. “This is a great chance to develop new markets and to fight for human rights in tourism.”

Marta Dalla Chiesa, whose tour operation is based in Florianopolis, Brazil, is returning for her second term as a board appointee.“This is not only a recognition of my efforts for the organization but also a good sign that the current board values the diversity of the IGLTA membership,” she said. “I hope to continue to push forward in the association the issues dear to our Latin American, lesbian and small business members.”

The 2011-2012 board members of IGLTA are:

• Chair: Tanya Churchmuch, Tourism Montreal
• Vice Chair: Jeff Guaracino, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation
• Treasurer: Theresa Belpulsi, Destination DC
• Secretary: Darren Cooper, Out Now Global
• Marta Dalla Chiesa, Brazil Ecojourneys (Appointee)
• *Dan Melesurgo, American Society of Association Executives
• Rika Jean-Francois, ITB Berlin (Appointee)
• Mya Lake Reyes, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
• *Ed Salvato, Travel Journalist
• Steve Smith, Key West Business Guild

*first-time board members


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