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NYSTIA Introduces new BOD Members

Nov 6, 2018

The Annual Meeting held Thursday, October 18 in Lake George included a vote for a slate of five new members to the NYSTIA board. The addition of these five board members increases the board from seventeen to twenty-one. We also said good bye to Meg Vanek who will be retiring in December.
NYSTIA is honored to have these dedicated tourism professionals from across the state on the board.

Heather Bagshaw, Tourism Director, Greene County Tourism, has an extensive marketing background with over 20 years' experience in the advertising, marketing and strategic planning. She manages the Greene County Visitor Center and staff, administers the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County Destination Marketing plan, heads up the Tourism Advisory Committee, and sits on tourism related boards, like Catskill Association for Tourism Services, Hudson Valley Tourism and the Mountain Clove Scenic Byway, to name a few. In addition to her work experience, she is very active in her community and currently sit on many boards; such as the Catskill Rotary Club, Fortnightly Club of Catskill and the Catskill Education Foundation.

Talia Cass, Director of Marketing and Communications, Discover Saratoga, has a extensive background in tourism and hospitality and is passionate about the economic impact the tourism industry has on New York State. Talia's tourism career began as a Tourism & Convention Manager for Visit Schenectady (now Discover Schenectady), where she grew the organization from a small tourism promotion agency (TPA) to full convention & visitors bureau. NYSTIA played a major role in this transition by providing ongoing support and the connections needed to succeed. Talia eventually joined the board, representing the Capital-Saratoga Region at the table, and becoming a major influence in the organization's choice to host New York State Tourism Conference at the Rivers Casino in 2018.

Talia oversees all marketing, PR and branding initiatives for the Saratoga DMO. Over the past year she has successfully managed a website relaunch, produced multiple promotional videos with partners and changed the way the department functions and communicates to the public.

Kelly Ann Curtin, Executive Vice President, NYC & CO. Ms. Curtin has been in the membership, sales and meeting & event industry for over 20 years. Her current responsibilities include oversight of NYC & Company's membership growth, retention, and programs in addition to the convention and destination services strategy. After years of association experience in the Washington, DC area, she joined NYC & Company's DC office in 1997, selling New York City as the meeting destination of choice for the professional association and government markets.

In 1998, she moved back to her home of New York to direct trade show management and meetings and events for NYC & Company, then called the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau. In January 2004, Curtin assumed her current responsibilities of leading membership development and sales. In 2008, she oversaw the rebranding of NYC & Company's convention services division as destination services and implementation of new strategies to assist conventions and meetings booked in New York City including attendance building, welcome desks and delegate programs. She also oversees NYC & Company's official publications which include the NYC Official Meeting Planner, the NYC Official Travel Planner and the NYC Official Visitor Guide. In 2011, oversight of the NYC & Company Foundation was added to her responsibilities.

Before joining NYC & Company, Curtin served as meeting manager for the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, and planned meetings and directed the membership department for the Society for Neuroscience—increasing their membership from 21,000 to 30,000 during her tenure—both in the Washington, DC, metro area. Curtin became a Certified Meeting Planner in 2002 and serves on several Boards including: the Broadway Association, the Javits Center Customer Advisory Board, the Lower Manhattan Marketing Association, Big Apple Greeter, the LaGuardia Community College Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Program Advisory Board, and the School for Hospitality and Tourism in the Bronx. She is a member of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association, the Greater New York Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, Destination Management Association International, the Event Services Professionals Association and International Association for Exhibitions and Events.
Curtin graduated from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, with a BA in psychology.

Beth Duane, Chief Marketing & Community Relations Officer, Corning Museum of Glass. Beth joined the Corning Museum of Glass in 2001 as the marketing manager, became the director of marketing and community relations in 2008, and chief marketing & communications officer in 2017. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and directing all marketing and communications strategy and initiatives, plus tourism sales, guest services, events & programs, and membership, to achieve attendance, revenue and publicity goals. She is a member of the Museum's Leadership Team, and serves as the Museum representative to regional, state and national tourism and economic development partners. Duane served as project manager for the March 2015 opening of the new Contemporary Art + Design Wing. She championed and authored a third round Consolidated Funding Application which resulted in a $1.5M grant for the Museum's International Motor Coach Entrance, plus sixth and seventh round Market New York grant applications earning awards totaling over $300K.

Beth received her bachelor's degree in Marketing and Management from Alfred University in New York. She has previously held positions at The Statler Hotel & J. Willard Marriott Executive Education Center at Cornell University, The Sheraton Inn & Conference Center, and the ARC of Schuyler, and is actively involved with several professional and community organizations.

Sara Poe, Vice President for Marketing and Communication, The Strong Museum. Sara has been with the Museum since April of 2018. Sara has previously worked in the advertising agency business with clients in the entertainment, healthcare, telecom and financial services sectors. Prior to that, she worked for Disney Theatrical Productions and was the Tour Marketing Manager for the National Tour of The Lion King. Sara also has experience as Director of Marketing for the Rochester Broadway Theatre League managing subscriptions and ticket sales for a 2500 seat touring Broadway roadhouse. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Rochester and an MBA from St. John Fisher College. She is currently on the Board of Directors for Flower City Habitat for Humanity on their ReStore Committee and is excited to be appointed to the New York State Tourism Industry Association Board of Directors.

Phil Royle, Development Director, LEGOLAND Developments managing New York, Goshen, NY USA. This project is now in construction with Royle leading community and project relations relating to all aspects of the development to open the $500 million dollar park development in 2020. His previous responsibilities cover all aspects of Operations, Guest Experiences, Product Development, VIP Experiences development and community relations.

Royle has over 17 years of experience with Merlin Entertainments Group PLC, the parent company of LEGOLAND New York and is a native of the UK. Previously holding senior roles within LEGOLAND Resorts, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, Madame Tussaud's, SEA LIFE Aquariums and the London Eye before joining LEGOLAND Florida Resort. His experience covers a wide variety of disciplines including Operations, Health & Safety, Brand management and Corporate Events.

His studies have included Business Management, Information Technology, Project Management and Health & Safety.

Royle lives in Goshen, New York but has previously resided in Florida, Texas and California after moving from the UK 9 years ago. When not working, Royle enjoys archery, spending time with his rescue dog Busby, road biking and kayaking with his wife Charlotte.

Board & Community positions held:
Board Director - ACE Architecture Construction Engineering Mentoring Program, NY - CURRENT
Board Director - New York State Tourism Industry Association, NY - CURRENT
Board Director - Pets Alive Animal Sanctuary, NY - CURRENT
Board Director - Orange County Chamber of Commerce, NY - CURRENT
Board Director - Goshen Chamber of Commerce, NY - CURRENT
Board Director - BOCES Educational Advisory Board, NY - CURRENT
Advisory Committee Member - Give Kids the World, FL