Las Vegas– As Expo! Expo! attendees head for home on December 8, a federal task force chaired by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter will be meeting in Washington to look for ways to make that journey easier in the future.
Ralenkotter, a leading spokesman for tourism in general and the trade show industry in particular, will convene the inaugural meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) at the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters building on December 8-9. The 25-member panel is made up of leaders from a broad range of destinations with varying sizes and priorities. The committee will advise the Secretary of Transportation on their common goal of getting outside visitors to their cities and areas as painlessly as possible.
“It is an honor to serve not only as an inaugural member of this prestigious national committee, but as its chair as well,” Ralenkotter said. “Tourism is reliant on safe and efficient transportation infrastructure, so our industry leaders are excited to have a role in providing our insight to the U.S. Department of Transportation and to transportation agencies across the country.”
Ralenkotter told Trade Show Executive (TSE) that the committee’s first meeting would be devoted to getting acquainted, forming various subcommittees and setting a schedule for future meetings.
No novice when it comes to infrastructure, Ralenkotter has seen explosive growth in Las Vegas over the years that has included the expansion of its interstate highway system and McCarron International Airport. The challenges continue with plans for a new football stadium and possible expansion of the monorail line that services The Strip.
Ralenkotter is a former chairman of the U.S. Travel Association and has been chairman of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He appeared on the cover of TSE in July 2013. This Fall, he was named the inaugural honoree of the Destination Marketing Organization Leadership Award awarded by the Destination Marketing Association International.
The committee will meet approximately twice a year or more frequently if necessary. The members were appointed this Fall by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Fox to a 2-year term.
President-elect Trump, a longtime hotel and casino mogul, has publicly made infrastructure improvements a high priority of his administration, including upgrades to highways and airports used by trade show attendees and exhibitors.
Along with Rallenkotter, the members of the NACTTI include:
- Vice Chair: Mark Begich, President & CEO, Northern Compass Group, LLC
- Rosemarie Andolino, President & CEO, MAG USA
- Todd Davidson, Chief Executive Officer, Travel Oregon
- Brad Dean, President & CEO, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
- James Dubea, Deputy Executive Director, Canaveral Port Authority
- Buddy Dyer, Mayor, City of Orlando
- Camille Ferguson, Executive Director, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association
- Sean Fitzgerald, Vice President, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
- Ford Fuchigami, Director, Hawaii Department of Transportation
- Gladys Gillis, Chief Executive Officer, Transportation Demand Management, Inc.
- Bryan Grimaldi, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, NYC & Company, Inc.
- Mitchell Landrieu, Mayor, City of New Orleans
- Valarie Long, International Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union
- Joseph Lopano, Chief Executive Officer, Tampa International Airport
- Jim Mathews, President & CEO, National Association of Railroad Passengers
- Sean Menke, Exectutive Vice President, Sabre
- Peter Pantuso, President & CEO, American Bus Association
- Sharon Pinkerton, Senior Vice President, Airlines for America
- John Potter, President and CEO, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
- Cathy Ritter, Director, Colorado Tourism Office
- Jim Sayer, Executive Director, Adventure Cycling Association
- Anne Taber Klenke, Tourism Director, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Diana Threadgill, President & Executive Director, Mississippi River Corridor – Tennessee
- Charles Zelle, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation