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Greater Boston CVB and Stowe Area Association Executives Added to 2022 Travel Unity Summit Northeast as Keynote Speakers

Nov 2, 2022

Hilina D. Ajakaiye and Carrie Simmons will share insight into their organizations' work in DEI

Auburn, N.Y. – Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB) Executive Vice President Hilina D. Ajakaiye and Stowe Area Association Executive Director Carrie Simmons will deliver keynote speeches during the 2022 Travel Unity Summit Northeast, which will be hosted Dec. 7-9 in Auburn, N.Y. Ajakaiye and Simmons will each discuss their organizations' work in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion, tying into the Summit's theme of “Leading Inclusive Growth in Tourism."

Hilina D. Ajakaiye is the first woman of color to take on an executive role with the GBCVB. She is passionate about initiatives and causes to advance young women, and women empowerment overall, especially in underserved communities. Ajakaiye serves as president and founder of the R.I.S.E. Women's Leadership Conference, an annual event created to help inspire, connect, recognize and support women of all ages in the workplace, entrepreneurship and beyond. Additional organizations she's worked with include The Network of Executive Women (NEW), Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Progreso Latino, and the Woodward School for Girls. Ajakaiye is also co-chair for the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee for Destinations International.

Carrie Simmons is a leader, strategist and creative problem-solver with expertise in values-driven, integrated brand and marketing approaches. She is the executive director of the Stowe Area Association, outwardly known as Go Stowe, serving approximately 250 business members by promoting the Stowe, Vermont brand through effective public relations, social media strategies, and operating a visitor information center and central reservations service for hotels and inns. Prior to Go Stowe, Carrie was the owner and creative director of New Ground Creative, a creative firm that built brands through engaging design, dynamic campaigns and authentic messaging.

“We're excited to have these two influential voices contribute to our engaging agenda during the Summit," said Roni Weiss, Executive Director of Travel Unity. “Hilina and Carrie are working to make important strides in DEI within their respective organizations, and we can't wait for attendees to absorb their learnings and apply it in their own practices."

In addition to Massachusetts and Vermont, the Travel Unity Summit will also see panelists and sponsors from states including Rhode Island, New York and Maine. Summit topics include understanding overlapping identities, integrating DEI into organizational foundations, how to avoid performative DEI marketing, community engagement and more. Registration and Summit details can be found at

About Travel Unity

Founded in 2016, Travel Unity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on increasing diversity in the world of travel through individual and community empowerment. Travel Unity works with organizations within the world of travel to broaden their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts through certifications, education, training, DEI audits and other services. Additionally, Travel Unity connects community groups and individuals with travel, cultural, and educational experiences to promote personal and professional growth.

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About Cayuga County

Located near the heart of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga County is Harriet Tubman's chosen home – where she brought her family, owned property, lived the last 50+ years of her life, is laid to rest – and where her legacy lives on. We invite you to walk in Harriet Tubman's shoes across the streets and the floors of the landmarks that welcomed her to live her life as a free woman. Established in 1995, the Cayuga County Convention and Visitors Bureau is the County's official tourism promotion agency. Its mission is to promote, support and increase tourism and thereby stimulate economic growth and quality of life.

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