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Board of Directors

 

2011-2012 GWTAN Board of Directors

President - Mary Windham
Past Presidents - Paul Totah ; Beverly A. Bogerty
VP, Events - Emily Hegman
VP, Marketing & Sponsorship - Katie Hansen
VP, Membership - Celestina Sierra
CO-VPs, Student-Alumni Relations - Lisa Jordan & Carolina Escolan
Secretary - Donald Leadbetter
Members at Large - Diane Brooks, Bonnie Edwards-Jackson, Robert Miller, Beverly Bogerty
Department Liaison - Kristin Lamoureux

 

President

Mary L. Windham, CMP, MTA

Education

1998  Bachelor of Science, Travel/Tourism Management – Johnson & Wales University
1999  Master of Tourism Administration, Event Management – The George Washington University
1999  Professional Certificate in Event Management – The George Washington University

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), since 2001
  • International Special Events Society (ISES), member since 2006
  • Meeting Professionals International (MPI), member since 2004

Current Employment

Owner, Occasions, Inc. www.occasionsinc.com

Email: Mary Windham

Mary Windham is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) who has earned her Master’s Degree
in event management from The George Washington University in Washington DC and her Bachelor’s Degree in Travel and Tourism from Johnson &Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

In January of 2006, with over 10 years of experience in the meetings and events industry, Mary, along with her fellow MTA graduate, Beverly Bogerty, launched Occasions, Inc., a boutique meeting and event management company specializing in high quality programs for corporations, government, associations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and private individuals. In 2011, Mary spearheaded the launch of the Occasions, Inc. Travel Collection, the new tour operator service featuring luxury, adventure, and tailor-made journeys across the globe.

Prior to launching Occasions, Inc., Mary has worked in various segments of the meetings and events industry which include destination management companies, convention centers, and an event marketing and management company. She has planned meetings and events for numerous clients from various industries to include such companies as Toyota Motor Sales, Lexus, SCION, Cisco Systems, Siebel Systems, Borland Software, Government of Southern Sudan and the Embassy of Iraq. She has also managed high level events with the President of the United States, high level dignitaries, and celebrities in attendance. She currently serves on the executive board of The George Washington University Tourism Alumni Network (GWTAN) and has been invited several times to be a guest lecturer for the Event Management and Tourism classes at The George Washington University. Mary, with her colleague Beverly, was honored in being the keynote speakers at the 2007 GWU Tourism Department Graduation Commencement ceremony.

In addition to planning event and tour programs, Mary has a great passion for travel, culture, archeology, ancient history, and outdoor & adventure sports. This outdoor enthusiast enjoys volunteering her time to mentoring teenage girls within her community and teaching middle and high school students about the wonderful gift of travel, history, and culture.

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Past President


Paul Totah, MPA, MTA

Education
2000  Bachelor of Arts, Psychology - Boston University
2003  Master of Public Administration - Northeastern University
2010  Master of Tourism Administration - The George Washington University

Current Employment
Senior Sales Manager, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Morristown at Headquarters Plaza

Email: Paul Totah

Paul Totah is currently Senior Sales Manager for Hyatt Morristown, a 256 room hotel with 34,000 square feet of meeting space, located 40 miles east of New York City.  Prior to joining Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Paul was Associate Director of Sales for DC-based Modus Hotels.  His experience also includes roles in operations for Best Western International as well as sales for STA Travel.  Paul started his career in tourism and hospitality in 1996 with a brief 5 year hiatus when he worked for American Political Science Association and Public Broadcasting Service.

In addition to his MTA, Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology from Boston University in June 2000 and a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University in June 2003.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures.  He has lived in two countries and has visited over 40 countries and is always willing to offer travel advice to GW alum.

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Past President


Beverly A. Bogerty, CMP, MTA

Education

1994  Bachelor of Psychology – George Mason University
1999  Master of Tourism Administration, Event Management – The George Washington University
1999  Professional Certificate in Event Management – The George Washington University

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), since 2002
  • International Special Events Society (ISES), member since 2006
  • Meeting Professionals International (MPI), member since 2006
  • GW Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, 2009 recipient
  • GWSB Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, 2010 recipient

Current Employment

Owner, Occasions, Inc. www.occasionsinc.com

Email: Beverly Bogerty

Beverly Bogerty is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) with over 10 years of experience in the events and meetings industry. In addition to a Masters Degree in Event Management from The George Washington University, she also holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

In January 2006, Beverly, along with her fellow MTA graduate, Mary Windham, launched Occasions, Inc., a full-service, boutique event & meeting management company and tour operator specializing in corporate meetings, incentives and special events and customized group tours & excursions. In this role, Beverly applies her extensive event planning experience coupled with her marketing savvy to create customized event and tour programs for clients such as Borland Software, HP, Washington Mutual, the Embassy of Iraq, and Enterprise Rent A Car.

Prior to launching Occasions, Inc., Beverly enjoyed a very successful career as a corporate event planner having planned large corporate events for companies such as Geneva Technologies, Convergys, Fairfax County Virginia Government, Celebrate Fairfax, Inc., Capitol Records, and Blue Cross of California. In her continuing commitment to the events & meetings industry, Beverly is very active on several committees of the local chapters of Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the International Special Events Society (ISES). She has been a frequent guest lecturer for several of the Event Management & Tourism classes at The George Washington University Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management. In addition to serving on the board of The George Washington University Tourism Alumni Network (GWTAN), Beverly is also the Chair of The George Washington University Black Alumni Association (GWBAA) and serves on the Executive Board of the GW Black Alumni Philanthropic Society.

In addition to her love for event planning, Beverly has two other strong passions: foreign languages and travel. She currently speaks Spanish, French, and Italian, and has traveled to many foreign countries including Turkey, Egypt, Czech Republic, Vietnam, France, Thailand, Spain, Italy, England, and many others.


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Secretary


Donald Leadbetter, MTA

Education

2001  Bachelor of Business Administration – University of Memphis
2011  Master of Tourism Administration, Sustainable Destination Management – The George Washington University

Current Employment

National Park Service – Commercial Services Program

Email: Donald Leadbetter

After graduating with an undergraduate degree in international business, Donald went to work in the tourism industry and spent the next seven years in a variety of tourism and hospitality jobs. He spent most of that time in the cruise industry, where he worked as a steward, bartender, hotel manager, purser, and cruise director on board small cruise ships sailing throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. He also spent some time as a tour guide leading camping tours across the United States and Canada. After earning his MTA concentrating in sustainable destination management, Donald now works for the Commercial Services Program of the National Park Service, where he assists with the oversight of concessions contracts in parks across the country.


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VP of Programs & Events


Emily Hegman, MTA

Education

2004  Bachelor of Science, Communication, Public Relations and Minor Sociology – Radford University
2004  L.E.A.D. (Leadership Through Experience, Academics, and Development) Honors Academy Program – Radford University
2009  Master of Tourism Administration, Event Management – The George Washington University

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), member since 2007
  • Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP), member from 2006-2008
  • Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, member since 2003
  • Northern Virginia Association of Volunteer Administration (NVAVA), Communications Committee Chair, 2005-2006
  • Marriott International Practicum and Certificate, 2008-2009

Current Employment

Deputy Director of Conference Planning & Special Events Department, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)


Email: Emily Hegman

Emily Hegman is the Deputy Director of the Conference Planning & Special Events Department for SAIC, a leading government contractor based in McLean, VA.  With over 10 years of meeting and special event planning experience, her role includes department operational management, meeting and event planner training, and oversees SAIC’s meeting technology system.  Additionally she plans and implements conferences, meetings and special events throughout the U.S. and abroad using the Strategic Meeting Management Program (SMMP) for commercial and government clients. Hegman previously served as the Director of Programs and Community Outreach at Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. planning and implementing large festivals and private events for Fairfax County. Her prior work included efficiently managing private and public events, extensive communication programs, implementing media events and press briefings, and special events for a full service agency specializing in information technology (IT) and government clients.

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VP, Marketing & Sponsorship

Katie Hansen

Katie Hansen is a marketing, brand, and communications consultant who works with domestic as well as international organizations. Prior to starting her own company, she worked in senior management for The Walt Disney Company and Walker Senior Services. Currently, Ms. Hansen is pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester. Her research area is the concept of brand love within the context of destination brands. She is also an Adjunct Instructor of Marketing at the University of Minnesota. Ms. Hansen holds a Master of Tourism Administration degree from the George Washington University School of Business and a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Macalester College.

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Vice President, Membership


Celestina Sierra, MTA CMP

Education
2002  Bachelor of Science, Business Administration - Seton Hall University
2010  Master of Tourism Administration - The George Washington University
2011  Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

Current Employment
Meeting Coordinator - Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. c/o Maxvantage
Celestina Sierra is a versatile and spirited professional dedicated to learning and giving back to her community. Her event planning and community organizing work as the Assistant Director of Campus Life at Seton Hall University sparked her interest in continuing her education in this field. She was drawn to the George Washington University Master of Tourism Administration Program for its commitment to impressive curriculum, prominent reputation and accomplished alumni base. She is grateful that the MTA Program provided her with a noteworthy academic experience and a strong network of innovative and driven professionals.

In 2011, Celestina moved back to her home state of New Jersey to continue her career in the pharmaceutical sector of meeting planning.  She currently is a Meeting Coordinator for Daiichi-Sankyo, a Japanese pharmaceutical company. She is an active member of the New Jersey Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and a committed event coordinator volunteer for a nonprofit organization, Loving Day.

Celestina is excited at the opportunity to utilize her experience of event and meeting planning, project management, and cultivating partnerships with the George Washington Tourism Alumni Network.

Email: Celestina Sierra

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VP of Alumni-Student Initiatives


Carolina Escolan, MTA

Education

2005  Bachelor of Public Relations and Advertising – Universidad de Navarra Pamplona, Spain
2011  Master of Tourism Administration, Concentration – The George Washington University

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • Student Academic Excellence Award, The George Washington University
  • Beta Gamma Sigma, International Honor Society
  • Marriott Foundation Endowment Scholarship in Tourism Administration
  • Graduate Assistantship - Full Scholarship, The George Washington University
  • Former member of  Vital Voices - board of directors, El Salvador
  • Former member of Salvanatura -  board of directors - non-profit organization focused on environmental conservation in El Salvador

Current Employment

Feasibility and Investment Analysis, Hilton Worldwide, McLean, Virginia

Email: Carolina Escolan 

Carolina has worked in the hospitality industry for 5 years in the area of Marketing and Corporate Image in El Salvador, where she is from. She decided to continue her career path by coming to Washington DC to pursue her Masters Degree in Tourism Administration. In addition to her MTA, Carolina has earned a Bachelor of Arts, Public Relations and Advertising in 2005.

Carolina is currently working at Hilton Worldwide in the Feasibility and Investment Analysis, overseeing the new and existing development of Hilton portfolio of brands. Prior to joining Hilton Worldwide, Carolina worked at Choice Hotels International in the Performance Analytics department and at George Washington University at the International Institute of Tourism Studies as a Research Assistant while she was pursuing her MTA.

Carolina speaks Spanish, English and basic Portuguese. She loves to travel and to learn different cultures and traditions. She is very happy to be joining the GWTAN as Co-VP of Student-Alumni Initiatives to help keep the connection between students and alumni.

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VP of Alumni-Student Initiatives


Lisa Jordan, MTA

Education

1994  Bachelor of Arts, Sociology – The University of Texas at Austin
2007  Master of Tourism Administration, Sustainable Destination Management – The George Washington University

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • 2006 President, GW Tourism for Tomorrow
  • 2011-2013 Board Member, Hyattsville Community Development Corporation

Current Employment

Senior E-marketing Manager, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, www.sabrehospitality.com  

Email: Lisa Jordan

Lisa Jordan is a project and people manager with a passion for tourism, sustainable communities and business, and communication. Her professional background includes over 15 years of project management, marketing and client relationship building.Currently she is a Senior E-marketing Manager with Sabre Hospitality Solutions, a global company providing technology, marketing and distribution solutions to hospitality industry leaders such as Marriott International, Destination Hotels & Resorts, and Preferred Hotel Group. Lisa leads a team of marketing managers and consults with hotel and destination marketing organizations to craft and execute their online marketing strategies.

Lisa moved from Texas to the Washington, DC area in 2005 to attend graduate school at the George Washington University and earned a Master of Tourism Administration focusing on sustainable destination management. Her graduate work included writing marketing plans for a tour operator and a gateway community by a national park in Montenegro, research in community-based tourism, and assessments of tourism destinations for National Geographic Traveler’s annual Destination Stewardship survey.

Prior to her move to Washington, DC, Lisa managed tradeshows and events for IBM, worked as a producer at an interactive media company, and owned a graphic design business.

Lisa is very interested in the principles of sustainable “place” management & planning, whether applied to a tourism destination or to a community aiming to improve the quality of life for its citizens, and using them in concert with the regular engagement of stakeholders to guide recommendations and decision-making. She currently serves on the Board of the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization and sustainable development of Hyattsville, Maryland. 


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Member-at-Large


Bonnie Edwards-Jackson, MTA

Education

Bachelor of Business Administration  – Howard University
Master of Tourism Administration, Event Management  – The George Washington University

Current Employment

Finance and Loan Analyst, USDA Rural Development Program

Email: Bonnie Edwards-Jackson

Bonnie Edwards-Jackson is currently employed as a Finance and Loan Analyst with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Program.    She has been an active member of employee and social related organizations including the USDA’s Secretary of Diversity Advisory Council, Employee Services and Recreation Association, and Women Employee Advisory Council (WEAC).  She played a significant role in the planning and organizing of the WEAC Education and Training Forum held at USDA.

She has been a member of the USDA Toastmasters Club, where she served as the Vice President of Membership, and conducted orientation for new members.  Through the years she has been a speech contest participant and has also held officer positions such as the Vice President of Education, Sergeant of Arms and Secretary.

She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University and her Master of Tourism Administration from George Washington University.

As the George Washington University Tourism Alumni Network (GWTAN) Board Member at Large, she promises to utilize her organization and communication skills while serving as a dedicated member who does her best to work with GWTAN members to provide information on the events and activities involving all fellow GWTAN alumni.

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Member-at-Large


Robert J. Miller, Esq., CMP, MTA

Education
1998 Bachelor of Arts, Psychology & Communication - The George Washington University’s Columbian College
1999 Master of Tourism Administration, Meeting & Events (Valedictorian) - The George Washington University
2006 Juris Doctor - Seton Hall Law School

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), since 1999

  • Excellence Award in Tourism, 1999 recipient

  • GW Alumni Association Board of Directors, 2007-2009

  • Sage Tourism and Hospitality Industry Award, 1999 recipient

  • Successful Meetings Magazine, named “An Up and Comer”, 1999

  • The inaugural “Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award”, 2009

Current Employment
Owner, TravelAdvocates www.traveladvocates.com

Email: Robert Miller

Mr. Miller has over fifteen years experience in the hotel and travel industries. He owns three travel companies: TravelAdvocates, a global hotel site selection company focusing on group travel; HBK Travel, a full service travel agency, specializing in individual travel; and grouphotels.com, a website which allows groups to book rooms online.
In 1999, he became one of the youngest people ever to earn the designation of Certified Meeting Professional. Mr. Miller has been featured on programs on CNN and Fox Business News. He has taught travel and tourism classes to aspiring industry leaders and was elected to his local Board of Education all by the age of 23. Mr. Miller is the only person to receive both the Sage Tourism and Hospitality Industry Award and the Academic Excellence Award in Tourism. He also received the inaugural Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from GW’s Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management.
Mr. Miller graduated cum laude with his Juris Doctor in 2006 from Seton Hall University Law School. He is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey. Mr. Miller earned a Masters Degree in Tourism Administration in 1999 from The George Washington University’s School of Business, where he graduated first in his class. Mr. Miller earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communication in 1998 from The George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

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Member-at-Large


Diane Miller Brooks, MTA

Education

  Bachelor of Business Administration  – Hotel & Catering Management University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
  Master of Tourism Administration,  Individualized Studies – The George Washington University

Professional Affiliations and Accomplishments

  • Freeman of the City of London, since 1997
  • Institute of Hospitality (IH), fellow since 1992
  • Institute of Hospitality (IH) (20,000 members worldwide), first woman elected President 1996-97
  • Marriott Hotels, Resorts & Suites Special Achievement Industry Award, 1996 recipient
  • Master Innholder since 1997
  • President GWTAN – 2009-2010, Board member since 2007

Email: Diane Brooks

Diane is a seasoned hotel leader with more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry with operational experience in all departments up to and including 11 years as a Hotel General Manager with Trusthouse Forte and Marriott International in both city center and airport locations in London, Glasgow, as well as the South East of England. Diane has a consistently successful track record in turnaround situations, focusing on growth in revenue, improvement in margins, cost controls, customer relations and associate/guest fulfillment. She also has experience in life-cycle project management with major capital expenditure programs in excess of $2 million. She is currently involved in event & fundraising projects in the not for profit & education sectors.

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Departmental Liaison


Kristin Lamoureux, Ph.D.

Education

1994  Associate of Science – La Universidad Catolica del Ecuador
1997  Bachelor of Science, Travel and Tourism – Johnson and Wales University
1998  Master of Tourism Administration, Destination Management – The George Washington University
2008  Ph.D., Business Administration – The George Washington University

Current Employment

Director, International Institute of Tourism Studies, The George Washington University

Email: Kristin Lamoureux  

Dr. Lamoureux is a faculty member and Director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS) within the Business School at the George Washington University. Dr. Lamoureux specializes in niche tourism such as ecotourism, adventure, and volunteer tourism. She also specializes in international development through sustainable tourism. She currently oversees all IITS projects including serving as the GW liaison to the USAID Global Sustainable Tourism Alliance. Dr. Lamoureux completed her Ph.D. in Business Administration/Strategic Management at GW with a focus in volunteer tourism partnerships in federal lands.

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