Today's Industry Leaders: Follow the Stars to Some of the Fastest-Growing Destinations on the Horizon | Sports Destination Management

Today's Industry Leaders: Follow the Stars to Some of the Fastest-Growing Destinations on the Horizon

May 01, 2013 | By: Mary Helen Sprecher

The growth of the sports tourism business is nothing short of phenomenal. Everywhere we turn, catchphrases like 'recession-proof industry' and 'sport-cation' are being tossed around. But before we spend too much time praising our industry, let's remember what actually moves the needle and causes the growth: the professionals behind the scenes.

The sports tourism industry grows, strengthens and shines because of the positive, driving force of the people in it. They're out there on the front lines, convincing municipalities and donors to put up the cash for facilities to be built, and they're out there recruiting the tournaments and showcases that bring those dollars back home again. In between, you'll find them standing on the sidelines keeping a watchful and proud eye on the tournaments, meets and marathons and making sure everyone is having a great time.

Sports Destination Management would like to take a moment to recognize some of the guiding stars in the industry. Their backgrounds are as varied as the destinations they represent, but the common denominator is their unceasing drive for excellence. Need help with your next event? You'll find it in the next few pages.

Just remember. You saw them here first:

Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau: Mary Tricaso, CSE, CSEE
Akron, Ohio

Mary Tricaso
Born and raised in the Greater Akron area, Mary Tricaso is director of sales for the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau. A University of Akron graduate in Sales and Marketing, she began her career in sales at the Holiday Inn in 1986 and has spent the last 20-plus years in hospitality sales in Stark, Medina and Summit Counties.

In September 2005, Tricaso received her CSE (Certified Sales Executive) certification from SMEI (Sales & Marketing Executives International). Additionally, she has served as the president of SMEI/Akron Affiliate, and is currently on the Sales & Marketing Executives International Board of Directors. In March of 2005, Mary received her CSEE (Certified Sports Event Executive) certification from NASC.

Mary volunteers her time for the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational Jr. Volunteers Committee, Summit County Democratic Club, Tallmadge Precinct Committee Person, The University of Akron Medical Assisting Advisory Board, Akron Civic Theatre, Ohio Society of Association Executives, Ohio Travel Association and the National Association of Sport Consortium. She travels throughout Ohio to bring meeting business to the Akron/Summit County area, and across the U.S. to promote it as a destination for youth and amateur sporting events. Learn more at


Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Visitors Bureau: Kate Roth
Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Kate Roth
Sporting events are big business in Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. It takes a solid team to deliver a successful sporting event with strong attendance. The area's central location in the Mid-Atlantic beltway region provides easy transportation via air, land and sea. Baltimore-Washington International Airport offers service by Southwest and other major carriers. The addition of the bureau's new sports manager, Kate Roth, gives a power boost to the existing sales team. Kate played collegiate sports and has experience in sports event management and operations. As a result, she is glad to tell callers about all the things that fans and players can do off the field. Annapolis converts easily to a vacation before or after any sporting event. Kate will be happy to talk about the area's 11 turf fields, 34,000-seat Naval Academy Stadium, 100-plus baseball/softball fields, 200 bowling lanes, state-of-the-art BMX stadium and other outstanding venues. All venues are supported by 11,000-plus hotels rooms. Learn more at


Branson Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: Terra Alphonso
Branson, Missouri

Terra Alphonso
As the assistant director for sports and convention sales at the Branson Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Terra Alphonso has enjoyed the opportunity to work with event organizers responsible for hosting a variety of different events including Mastercraft Pro-Wakeboard King of Wake tour, Bassmasters, FLW to Revolution 3, USSSA World Series, Stage One and JAMFest.

Terra is a graduate of Missouri State University with a Master’s degree in Business Administration. With nearly 15 years of experience in events, her background has included experience on both the planner and supplier side of the industry. Early in her career, Terra worked with a team of five to organize and manage a four-day music festival that hosted approximately 20 artists each year including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tim McGraw and many others.

Offering a world-class convention center, cutting-edge Rec Plex and several versatile theaters equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and sound, Branson has diverse options for sports groups.

Branson’s cold and warm water lakes are the perfect setting for a day of bass or trout fishing or other water sports. As a matter of fact, Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals Lake were recognized among the Top 50 Best Bass Lakes by Bassmaster Magazine in 2012. Information:


Butler County Visitors Bureau: Stephanie Gigliotti, CSEE
Butler County Visitors Bureau
Butler County, Ohio

Stephanie Gigliotti
Stephanie Gigliotti joined the Butler County Visitors Bureau (BCVB) in January 2008, focusing on the sports and events market. Over the last five years, she has been instrumental in securing state, regional, national, and world events.

To promote Butler County as a premier sports destination, Stephanie has worked diligently to bring in national and world championship organizations. Stephanie has successfully coordinated numerous major sporting events including Amateur Athletic Union, USA Archery, USA Triathlon and International Waterski and Wakeboarding Federation, bringing in over $13 million in economic impact for Butler County.

An active member of the National Association of Sports Commission (NASC), Stephanie received her Certified Sports Event Executive certification in 2011. She is a leader the industry and is serving her second year on the NASC’s Member Mentoring Committee, which helps welcome new members to the association.

Stephanie attended Ohio University and earned her Bachelor's Degree in sport management. As a student, Stephanie excelled in working with the Ping Recreation Center to host a variety of events including 5Ks, Super Bowl parties, and family weekend activities. Following graduation, Stephanie worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the group sales department organizing on-court group activities and mentoring young athletes as a high school girls' soccer coach. To learn more, go to


Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce: Lindsey Newton
Clemson, South Carolina

Lindsey Newton
Lindsey Newton is a native of South Carolina who has made Clemson her home. She serves as the tourism director for the Clemson area and is the force behind bringing sporting and tourism events to Clemson. Lindsey's background in hospitality makes her a natural for the job. In her tenure as the tourism director, she has developed a visitor’s guide, area map, website and promotional DVD.

She is the chair of the Sports Council which is comprised of the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce, Clemson University, City of Clemson including the Parks and Recreation Department as well as the local hoteliers. Top-grossing Sports Council supported events are the Tiger Paw Classic Gymnastics Competition, Bull Frog USTA Southern Section designated Junior Tennis Tournament, Crew Spring Training, and the Resolution Rush 5k.

Lindsey is also integral n recruiting out of state rowing teams to come and train during their spring breaks and take advantage of the open waterways and warm weather. She was recently recognized as one of the recipients of “20 Under 40” which spotlights young leaders in the upstate area. Lindsey is dedicated to improving the events that call Clemson home as well as seeking to bring in new events and visitors to the area. For information, see


Columbia/Lake Murray Country, S.C.: Miriam Atria
Columbia/Lake Murray Country region, South Carolina

Miriam Atria
Miriam Atria is known around the Columbia/Lake Murray Country region of South Carolina for her success in bringing national and regional fishing events to Lake Murray.

Lake Murray offers a variety of water activities for outdoor sporting enthusiasts. From the Russian Sailing Team's decision to practice and train on Lake Murray for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, to the area's ability to host extreme sports, paddle boarding competitions, sailboat regattas, and numerous fishing tournaments, including the Forrest Wood Cup and ESPN Bassmasters, the Columbia/Lake Murray area has proven it is an extraordinary sports destination.

Located in the center of South Carolina, Lake Murray’s 360 miles of shoreline attract a variety of event organizers. These days, Miriam and her staff are preparing for the Red Dragon Boat Races coming in the fall of 2013. This destination marketing organization will continue to be instrumental in securing events for the region.

"Lake Murray's most recent success was hosting the Professional Outdoor Media Association’s conference where outdoor writers, TV and outdoor show producers experienced fine fishing on Lake Murray and numerous attractions in the area, from Live Oaks Sportsman Club to Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden and the famous Congaree National Park,” states Atria. For more information, visit


Columbia Regional Sports Council: Scott Powers
Columbia, South Carolina

Scott Powers
Scott Powers has served as the executive director of the Columbia Regional Sports Council (CRSC) since 2004. The CRSC marketing of the Columbia, South Carolina region (Lexington County and Richland County) as a premier destination for sporting events has been an integral part of the Midlands Authority for Conventions, Sports & Tourism since 2003.

Scott has a great love for the Columbia community and enjoys finding new and exciting events both large and small that can take advantage of the numerous and wide-ranging venues and facilities available in the region. Columbia’s central location in the southeast, access to three interstate highways and a great year-round climate makes 'the new Southern hot spot' the ideal location to host your next sporting event.

Scott came to the Columbia Regional Sports Council from the Plantation Club in Blythewood, South Carolina, where he served as Director of Membership/Activities. Previously, he spent 10 years in college athletics with Host Communications and ISP Sports at the University of South Carolina. Scott is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Sport & Entertainment Management. When Scott is not working, he enjoys reading, Gamecock Athletics, outdoor activities, traveling and competitive shooting. Learn more at


Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau: B.J. Harris
Pittsburg, Kansas

B.J. Harris
B.J. Harris has been the Director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau since November of 2011. Based in Pittsburg, Kansas, the area is largely known for delicious fried chicken, abundant outdoor recreational opportunities and football. As the home of the Pittsburg State Gorillas, the most successful Division 2 football program in the country, Pittsburg and Crawford County are marketed as “The Football Capital of Kansas.”

It’s B.J.’s strong relationship with his alma mater that has led to some of the recent success of the Crawford County CVB. Recent achievements include being awarded the 2014 Kansas Shrine, and the continuation of one of NJCAA’s premier bowl games. B.J. was also part of a recent partnership with PSU and the City of Pittsburg to fund a new state-of-the-art indoor track & field facility and event center, set to open in 2016.

As a Crawford County native, B.J. has a lifetime of connections to the community, allowing event organizers full access to potential sponsors, facilities and promotional opportunities, guaranteeing success.

Pittsburg’s central location within the region, Pittsburg State’s incredible facilities and B.J.’s strong community ties are why the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau continues to grow and become a premier sports destination. Learn more at


Ocean Center: Tim Buckley
Daytona Beach, Florida

Tim Buckley
Working 400 feet from Daytona Beach sounds like a dream, but for Tim Buckley, Ocean Center sales manager, it’s a reality he never takes for granted. Before joining Ocean Center, one of Florida’s largest sports, entertainment, and convention venues, Buckley was doing what he loves—playing baseball.

Buckley played four years of college baseball before graduating from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in business management. He began his professional career in corporate sales and hospitality at Daytona International Speedway, home of the Daytona 500.

Six years later, with plans finalized for the $82-million-dollar expansion of Ocean Center, Buckley recognized the opportunity to be part of an unmatched experience for event planners and attendees.

“Our priority is to work with organizers to create events as efficient and effective as possible,” said Buckley. “The logistical experience across large and small events that I can provide to organizations, along with our local network of marketing and destination planning experts, enable us to create memorable experiences that deliver positive results.”

In 2009, the Ocean Center expanded to 205,000 square feet including an arena seating up to 9,000. Its 95,000-square-foot exhibit hall and 14,000-square-foot ballroom have hosted a wide range of sporting events. Learn more at


Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau: Jodi Jackson
Effingham, Illinois

Jodi Jackson
Jodi Jackson was born and raised in the Effingham, Illinois area. As the executive director for the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, she is now leading the effort to build Effingham into a statewide and regional destination for sports.

Jodi pursued her love of marketing, communication and event planning with a Bachelor’s degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, before pursuing her Master of Arts in Communication Studies from Eastern Illinois University. Since joining the bureau, Jodi has assisted in the development, marketing and growth of many events, which has helped to increase the economic impact of tourism for Effingham. Jodi has really focused on turning Effingham into a must-see sporting, leisure and convention destination.

“We really have a unique opportunity with Effingham. We are located on the intersection of Interstates 57 & 70, which makes for easy access. Because of this, we truly have exceptional partners in the tourism industry, including 17 hotels, over 60 restaurants and unique attractions,” Jodi noted. “Effingham offers several great sporting venues, facilities and fields. Our vibrant city promises to give visitors big city options while focusing on small town charm. Let us help you plan to play in Effingham!” For more information, visit


Georgetown County Parks & Recreation: Anthony Maffei
Georgetown, South Carolina

Anthony Maffei
Anthony Maffei is tournament and event coordinator for Georgetown County Parks & Recreation in South Carolina. Fresh out of the University of Maine, Maffei’s experience includes a three-year broadcasting career at the campus radio station, with FOX Sports Maine providing a comprehensive understanding of sporting events at both the high school and NCAA Division 1 levels. Maffei enjoys a wide range of sports including baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, fishing and lacrosse.

Georgetown County, one of the nation’s oldest beach resort communities, is new to the sports tourism market. Currently, $40 million has been invested into indoor and outdoor sports facilities, providing opportunities to host baseball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, fresh and salt water sport fishing and other events at new, state of the art facilities.

It is Maffei’s responsibility to attract and coordinate a variety of sporting events generating overnight visits to Georgetown County. Events hosted include the 2012 Dixie Darlings and Dixie Angels Softball World Series as well as a number of regional and state football, basketball, baseball, softball, tennis and soccer tournaments.

Georgetown County is known for pristine beaches, picturesque waterways, world-class golfing, historic scenery, intimate dining and quaint shops. This well-established tourism infrastructure combined with new sports facilities make Georgetown County an exceptional sports tourism destination. Information:


Sports Hampton: Tiffany Carr
Hampton, Virginia

Tiffany Carr
Goal-oriented Sports Hampton applies keen attention to detail and a team approach to make every event held in the city a winner. Tiffany Carr, Sports Hampton group sales manager, and Brooks Hierstein, senior services manager, are industry veterans who work with event planners across the country to effectively execute events held in Hampton’s multiple indoor and outdoor venues.

From the 344,000-sq.-ft. Hampton Roads Convention Center, Hampton Coliseum and the Boo Williams Sportplex, to outdoor venues like Langley Speedway, Buckroe Beach, and Darling Stadium, Hampton has an exceptional venue for nearly every type of competition. During time-outs, athletes and coaches enjoy shopping and dining at Peninsula Town Center, the Power Plant of Hampton Roads, downtown Hampton and historic Fort Monroe. Hampton is home to world-class attractions and recreation, such as the Virginia Air & Space Center, moat-encircled Fort Monroe, harbor tours of Hampton Roads, deep sea fishing, Chesapeake Bay beaches, golf on award-winning courses, historic tours and museums and much more.

Hampton is located in the center of Coastal Virginia, near Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, the world’s largest naval base, the Chesapeake Bay and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Visit to reach Tiffany Carr and for more information planning events in Hampton.


Harlingen Convention and Visitors Bureau: Courtney Junkin
Harlingen, Texas

Courtney Junkin
Courtney Junkin is the events coordinator for the Harlingen Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). As events coordinator and a former volunteer youth sports coach, Courtney knows that Harlingen is the ideal location for any sporting event. Harlingen is only 26 miles from the South Padre Island so the tropical climate is perfect for enjoying year-round, sports-friendly opportunities.

“Today, you can find just about every sport and every type of sports-rated facility in Harlingen,” Courtney said. “Harlingen combines its vacation appeal with its sports capacity to become one of Texas’ most in-demand destinations; Harlingen prides itself on being an outdoor destination 365 days a year.”

The Harlingen Soccer Complex, Harlingen Sports Complex, Harlingen Country Club, Treasure Hills Golf Club, Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course and the HEB Tennis Center are just a few examples of the wide array of sports facility resources available in Harlingen.

Courtney was born and raised in Harlingen, and she earned her of Bachelor of Arts with a major in Communications from Phoenix, Arizona’s Grand Canyon University. She is actively involved in community events and loves to explore area attractions. Learn more at


Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau: Larry Williams
Kankakee County, Illinois

Larry Williams
Larry Williams was born and raised in Murfreesboro, NC and studied at the Philadelphia Art Institute. He completed his associate degree in fashion merchandising at Chowan University, and his B.A. in communications and literature at the University of North Carolina, Durham. He joined the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau as convention sales coordinator, managing tradeshow sales and marketing. After five years there, Williams landed a position with the Kankakee County CVB and now holds the position of executive director.

Williams’ vision for Kankakee County has created much buzz throughout the Midwest region. He has spent the last three years branding Kankakee County as a leisure and sports destination, ands states, "I can say without hesitation that the secret is out."

Williams is passionate and dedicated to developing and marketing Kankakee County’s tourism. Due to his passion for the arts and culture, his vision to create and promote the counties rich heritage won him this year’s Illinois Governors Conference on Tourism award for Best Tourism Marketing Campaign for their Heritage Promotion.

Williams enjoys the arts, planning events, music, working with people who are underprivileged and community development. Williams hopes to continue his career discovering and developing destinations and communities. To learn more, visit


Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: Tamara Parker
Macomb, Illinois

Tamara Parker
Tamara Parker, president of the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (MACVB), is a 2009 graduate of Western Illinois University with a Bachelor's degree from the College of Education and Human Service in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration. While attending Western, Tamara was hired as an intern for the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Upon graduation, she was hired as full time destination marketer. After working with CVB for two years, she made the transition to become the interim president, and after six months as interim president, Tamara was promoted to her current position as president of the Macomb Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Tamara is the person to contact for all sporting events in the Macomb Area. Tamara will do what is necessary to assure your event is a home run! ‘Make it Macomb!’ Information:


Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau: Amanda Davis
Miami, Oklahoma

Amanda Davis
Amanda Davis is executive director of the Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has an extensive background in tourism and has been instrumental in the development of sports marketing in Northeast Oklahoma.

Under Amanda’s leadership, the Miami CVB has hosted the Oklahoma Eight-Man Football All-Star Game for the past 11 years. In 2011, Amanda became the first female to be inducted into the Oklahoma Eight-Man Football Associations Hall of Fame for her outstanding work on this event and for the tremendous growth the game as experienced under her guidance.

Amanda served on a local organizing committee that worked to pass a vote approving an $8.8 million dollar renovation to transform NEO A&M College’s Red Robertson Field into a multi-purpose facility.

Rodeo Miami has been named the ACRA Rodeo of the Year since 2010, and sports events that have grown under Amanda’s leadership include the Oklahoma BMX State Championships and the NEO College Basketball Tournament, a 3-day event held in five gymnasiums.

Amanda loves community activities that involve her son and daughter. She looks forward to seeing the sports event market in Miami grow and is excited about adding a new sports coordinator and the growth that is to come. To learn more, go to


North Little Rock Visitors Bureau: Shannon Harris
Little Rock, Arkansas

Shannon Harris
Shannon Harris has been with the North Little Rock Visitors Bureau for eight years and focuses on the sports and special events market. He is responsible for showcasing some of the best sports facilities in the country, assisting tournament directors with their planning needs and helping as many people as possible experience North Little Rock.

North Little Rock is home to Burns Park, the largest municipal park in Arkansas. With more than 1,700 acres, Burns Park includes soccer, softball, tennis and baseball complexes as well as two disc golf courses and two 18-hole golf courses. North Little Rock has hosted the U.S. Youth Soccer Regional and National Championships and the U.S. Tennis Association’s National 14s Open and Boys 12s Championships. Harris recently secured North Little Rock as the host of the 2013 and 2014 American Legion Mid-South Regional Baseball Tournaments.

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate with a bachelor’s in marketing, Harris has also earned a Travel Marketing Professional Diploma from the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College. To learn more, go to


Overland Park Sports Alliance: Justin Stine, CSEE
Overland Park, Kansas

Justine Stine
The love of sports started early for Justin Stine, which paved the way for a baseball career at the University of Missouri and with the Toronto Blue Jays. His hard work and dedication on the field transitioned into the hospitality industry where he worked in hotel sales and for the Branson Lakes Area CVB before joining the Overland Park Sports Alliance (a division of the Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau).

Overland Park, Kansas is located in the heart of the country just 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City. For more than a quarter of a century, this area has played host to an excess of 1 million youth in national and regional competitions, representing 20 different sports at some of the nation's finest amateur athletic facilities.

As the Overland Park Sports Alliance director since 2011, Justin oversees a flourishing sports market and helps attract hundreds of sporting events to Overland Park annually. He assists sports rights holders and tournament organizers with finding the perfect Overland Park athletic facility and accommodations.

Last year, Justin earned his Certified Sports Events Executive (CSEE) certification through the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) and completed the Leadership Overland Park program through the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce. Learn more at


Palm Beach County Sports Commission: Kris Pursell
Palm Beach County, Florida

Kris Pursell
As director of operations at Palm Beach County Sports Commission, Kris Pursell has been successfully bringing sporting events to the area since 2008. With over 25 years of event development, corporate hospitality and sales experience, Kris has helped develop one of the finest sports commissions in the country, supporting over 110 events annually, contributing over 165,000 hotel room nights and $128 million in economic impact for the county businesses.

Palm Beach County, Florida, is a sports paradise with incomparable world-class playing and training facilities. With extraordinary year-round climate and destination amenities, the area offers athletes and coaches the best of everything. Located 70 miles north of Miami and 150 miles south of Orlando on the Atlantic Coastline, Palm Beach County has the convenience of Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike for travel efficiency as well as an international airport.

The county is no stranger to hosting some of the most prestigious events in sports including the 2012 USA Field Hockey National Festival, American Youth Soccer Organization’s (AYSO) National Games, USA Baseball Junior Olympics, Delray Beach International Tennis Championships and USA Water Ski National Championships. You’ll find everything you need in Palm Beach County. Join other elite events when you “Just Bring Your Game." Learn more at


Round Rock, Texas Convention and Visitors Bureau: Nancy Yawn, CSEE, CDME
Round Rock, Texas

Nancy Yawn
Nancy Yawn is the director of the Round Rock, Texas, Convention and Visitors Bureau. She started the bureau in 2004 when the City of Round Rock developed a long-range tourism plan as part of their economic diversity strategy. Previously she had served as the director of economic development for the city from 2000 until forming the bureau in 2004.

Nancy received the Destination Management Association International’s designation of “Certified Destination Marketing Executive," the highest certification in the tourism industry. She was also awarded the “Certified Sports Events Executive” designation through the National Association of Sports Commissions organization of which she is a board member. In 2010 and 2012, Sports Events Magazine named her as one of the top 50 planners in the United States. Nancy is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. Learn more at


San Angelo Convention & Visitors Bureau: Jenni Hutcherson
San Angelo, Texas

Jenni Hutcheson
Jenni Hutcheson has worked for the San Angelo Convention & Visitors Bureau for 10 years and is its director of sales and servicing. She also handles all sports sales for the bureau and is currently working on her Sports Event Executive Certificate (CSEE) through the NASC. Jenni has been awarded bids for top events such as the Texas Fire Fighter Olympics, National Reined Cow Horse Association, Texas State Gymnastics Tournament, NCAA Tournaments that are hosted at Angelo State University and most recently, the new 50/70 Division for the West Texas Little League State Tournament.

Jenni was instrumental in bringing the Lucas Oil National Drag Boat Race Series to San Angelo, thus creating “Showdown in San Angelo” which has become a favorite race location for many drag boat racers. Her work with Lucas Oil now has us working on a new National Off Road racing series with Lucas Oil and this will be their first race in the state of Texas.

She works hard in all areas of sports: Equestrian groups, water sports, professional, college, high school, and youth sports groups and is currently contracting for a first-time National Remote Control Boat Association race in San Angelo. Learn more at


Martha Norris, Sevierville Convention Center
Nikki Harrell, Wilderness at the Smokies
Sevierville, Tennessee

Martha Norris and Nikki Harrell
Martha Norris has spent the last seven years of her 25-year sales career at the Sevierville Convention Center, which opened late 2007. She has worked with diverse events, including large religious conferences, smaller association meetings and sports competitions of all types. Martha’s focus is always on serving the client and providing the best possible arrangements for each event within the 108,000-square-foot exhibit hall and the 19,000-square-foot banquet hall. Martha can also help clients coordinate golf tournaments and events at The Sevierville Golf Club’s two new championship courses, located just outside the convention center doors.

Wilderness at the Smokies adjoins the Sevierville Convention Center. Nikki Harrell serves as the property’s key sports sales person. She has worked in the hospitality industry for almost 10 years and joined the Wilderness at the Smokies team just over three years ago. In her short tenure at Wilderness, she has brought in events like the Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon and large volleyball tournaments. Wilderness is an ideal fit for sporting events, featuring two outdoor water parks and the indoor Wild WaterDome. During competition, the resort provides a unique entertainment experience for participants and their families.

To learn more, visit Sevierville Convention Center, Wilderness at the Smokies and Sevierville Golf Club


Snohomish County Sports Commission: Tammy Dunn
Snohomish County, Washington

Tammy Dunn
For eight years, Tammy Dunn has been the Sports Marketing Manager of the Snohomish County Sports Commission. The Snohomish County Sports Commission is the sports division of the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau. She is dedicated to enhancing Snohomish County’s image as a sports destination.

Located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Snohomish County, Washington, is 15 miles north of Seattle. Bordered on the west by Puget Sound and on the east by the Cascade Mountains, Snohomish County offers the perfect backdrop for any sporting event.

“When Snohomish County hosted the 2004 National Softball Association Western World Series Girls Fastptich and then again in 2006, we realized that Snohomish County has a great opportunity to host other sports events and tournaments. We have the community support and assets to host more tournaments”, Tammy states. With her passion and dedication for sports, Snohomish County has hosted a wide array of sports events. i.e. Skate America, USA Triathlon Youth & Junior Elite Race Series, MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, Kellogg’s Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, and Triple Crown Sports Memorial Baseball.

She is involved with Rotary Club of Everett, Snohomish County Parks Advisory Board, and NASC Board of Directors. In her spare time, she officiates girls’ basketball. For more information, visit

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