Michelle Allen, who also serves as SPEDA board vice-chair, will serve as at-large member for three years
Somerset-Pulaski County’s tourism director and economic development authority vice chair has been elected by her peers to represent the tourism industry at the state level.
Michelle Allen will serve a three-year term as an at-large member of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) board of directors. Elections were held on Friday, Nov. 11 at the Kentucky Travel Industry Annual Conference in Lexington. She will also serve on the organization’s legislative committee.
“KTIA is the fighter behind our work to ensure tourism is working for each county and individual in our great state of Kentucky,” Allen said. “I am honored to serve on the KTIA board with my fellow tourism professionals and I look forward to participating on the legislative committee. KTIA has been a part of my 20-year tourism career from the start. I am grateful to my peers for their nominations and having the confidence in me to help serve the tourism industry.”
Allen, who has a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting/communications from Eastern Kentucky University, graduated with her tourism marketing professional certificate from South East Tourism Society’s Marketing College at the University of North Georgia in 2005. Her long-time career in tourism began with Tour Southern and Eastern Kentucky, where she led marketing and economic education for the region’s 47 counties. She is currently the Smith Travel Report Coordinator for the Kentucky Association of CVBs, serves as chair of the Southern Kentucky Vacations region, is a certified KTIA Kentucky Tourism Professional, and serves as vice-chair for SPEDA and the newly created Dream Big Burnside Authority.
KTIA President and CEO Hank Phillips the 2023 officers and newly elected board directors will continue the organization’s long-standing tradition of having highly effective volunteer leaders to represent one of Kentucky’s signature industries.
“They, along with their colleagues who are already serving on the board of directors, will set the direction for KTIA as the association continues its work of strengthening the tourism industry well beyond pre-pandemic levels,” Phillips said.
Allen is certainly one of those highly effective leaders, SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler said — giving her time and talent to benefit her community and the tourism industry in so many ways.
“We are so grateful for Michelle’s heart for service and the many ways she works to ensure our community shines across the state,” Girdler said. “Our community is fortunate to have someone with Michelle’s experience and dedication to the tourism industry representing Somerset-Pulaski County at the state level.”
The Kentucky Travel Industry Association represents and serves all segments of Kentucky’s tourism industry, which contributed $11.2 billion to Kentucky’s economy in 2021. The nearly 1,000-member association engages in advocacy and provides its members with education, information and business development opportunities. The association also works to inform the public of the enormous economic, employment and tax revenue contributions tourism makes to the people of Kentucky.