• Dutchess Tourism Welcomes New Board Members

    Dutchess Tourism, Inc. (DTI) is pleased to announce the addition of eight accomplished professionals to its Board of Directors at their annual meeting held on January 25, 2024. The new members bring a wealth of experience and expertise to further enhance the nonprofit’s initiatives. As the designated destination marketing organization (DMO) for Dutchess County, DTI provides business education and support to the local travel industry and globally promotes the region as a premier destination for the economic benefit of the county’s residents.
    The newly elected board members are:
    • Zach Betkowski, General Manager, Hudson Valley Renegades, Wappingers Falls
    • Melissa Dvozenja-Thomas, Executive Director, Arts Mid-Hudson, Poughkeepsie
    • Seif Fakhoury, Sales Executive, Marriott International, Poughkeepsie
    • Maureen Gittleman, Assistant Professor of Management; Hospitality & Tourism Program Chair, Dutchess Community College, Poughkeepsie
    • Suzanna Hermans, Co-Owner, Oblong Books, Rhinebeck and Millerton
    • Susan Johnson, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Denning’s Point Distillery, Beacon
    • Wade McEnroe, Executive Chef, McEnroe Organic Farm, Millerton
    • Pavan Naidu, Director of Government & Community Affairs, MidHudson Regional Hospital at WMC, Poughkeepsie
    These individuals join a dynamic and committed board of directors and staff that advocates for over 1,200 tourism-related businesses and more than 9,500 employees in Dutchess County’s travel and hospitality sector to create a sustainable and prosperous industry in our community. The executive officers returning for the 2024 term are:
    • Chairperson: Kevin Allan, CEO, Changing Our World
    • 1st Vice Chairperson: Gaye Mallet, Community Volunteer
    • 2nd Vice Chairperson: Brandon Walker, Chef/Owner B&L Hospitality, Essie’s
    • Treasurer: Brent Caster, General Manager, The Grandview & Shadows on the Hudson, Bonura Hospitality
    • Secretary: Danielle Strauch, Esq., Partner, Van DeWater & Van DeWater, LLP
    Melaine Rottkamp, President & CEO of Dutchess Tourism, Inc., expressed excitement about the upcoming travel season and the opportunity to collaborate with the new members. Rottkamp stated, "We are thrilled to welcome Zach, Melissa, Seif, Maureen, Susanna, Susan, Wade and Pavan to the board. Their diverse backgrounds and skill sets will help us execute our strategic plan to tackle the challenges that hold our industry back. We hope to build upon our prior success with over half a billion dollars in visitor spending fueling the local economy. She added, “We’re launching several exciting campaigns in 2024 to highlight our diverse tourism offerings while fostering greater community engagement. 
    Allan also extended a warm welcome to the new board members, highlighting their crucial role in the success of the local tourism industry. He remarked, "The dedication and expertise of our board members are instrumental in shaping the narrative of Dutchess County as a vibrant destination of choice for visitors from across the globe. We look forward to the contributions of our new members as we collectively work with county government, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, our tourism partners and residents."


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