Destination Marketing Association International has terminated nine staff members, including COO Charles Jeffers, who will continue with the organization until the end of May. Jeffers had served as DMAI’s COO since September 2015. DMAI Chairman Bob Lander and new President and CEO Don Welsh announced the “strategic realignment” of the organization in a news release issued April 4.
The eight other staff members who have been terminated are Valencia Bembry, senior vice-president of accreditation strategic initiatives; Nancy Elder, executive vice-president of professional development and meetings; Linda Andreani, vice-president of education and professional development; Mitchell Gehrisch, director of member relations; Alan Lotenberg, manager of member relations; Vickie Singer, senior vice-president of marketing and communications; Tonia Williams, customer service/receptionist; and Stephanie Russell, executive assistant to the president and CEO, who has also agreed to stay until the end of May to help with the transition.
“Following significant analysis, discussion and deliberation, the timing of this organizational realignment is appropriate and essential,” said Lander. “The executive committee fully supports the strategies and initiatives that Don plans to implement in the very near future. On behalf of the board of directors, we thank Charles for his commitment to DMAI and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
“This organizational realignment will allow the team to accomplish the key tasks that will help take DMAI to the next level,” said Welsh. “We exist for the benefit of our members and, moving forward, we will provide the services and products that they want, need and are willing to financially support. I echo Bob’s thanks to Charles and look forward to working with him over these next few weeks.”
The DMAI leadership team currently includes Welsh; Christine Shimasaski, managing director of empowerMINT and EIC; Julie Hart, chief financial officer; and Paul Ouimet, executive director of DestinationNEXT.