The 2010 Welcome Center Educational Retreat held Nov. 14-15 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Birmingham had record turnout and participation from the Alabama Tourism Partners. The Alabama Tourism Department Welcome Center Division had 42 team members to attend and participate in the planned city tours and receive updates from Alabama tourism partners. The Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau was the host city and coordinated the activities and events for the welcome center staff. The retreat included presentations from Alabama tourism partners including: Embassy Suites Hotel, Birmingham CVB Welcome- Sara Hamlin, Updates & Presentation and Cynthia McHeard of the Greater Birmingham CVB, JP Parsons of Jackson County Tourism, Brenda Cantrell of Unclaimed Baggage, Karen Conner of the USS Alabama Battleship, Dixie Connell of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Patricia Hurston of the Holiday Inn Downtown Huntsville, Cecile Clark of the Mobile Bay CVB, Christy Elmore of the Dothan CVB, Suzanne Parker of the Holiday Inn Express Orange Beach, Brenda Lazenby of the Hilton Garden Inn Orange Beach, Betty Wood of Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism, Jeanette Dunnavant of the Greater Limestone Chamber of Commerce, Mike Galloway of the Calhoun County CVB, Beth Kennedy of the Marshall County CVB, Robert Brantley of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Cindy Chancellor of the Auburn/Opelika Tourism Board, Gretchen Rudkin of FarmLinks at Purcell Farms, Hugh Stump of the Etowah County Tourism Board.
Lynette Rice of the Tuscaloosa CVB, Karen Zelidon of the Sheraton Capstone Inn Tuscaloosa, Carmen Atchison of the Sheraton Capstone Inn Tuscaloosa, Sharon Parker of Stafford Hotels/Holiday Inn Express/ Comfort Suites/Hampton Inn in Fultondale, Squee Bailey of the Decatur Morgan County CVB, Cheryl Bollinger of the Montgomery Chamber CVB, Jeff Pace of the McWane Center, Libby Jordan of Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, Cindy Isaacs of the Huntsville Madison County CVB, Kim Hood of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, Sandee McKee of the Birmingham Garden Inn, Sandi Sartain of the Best Western/Microtel Inn Decatur, Erika Mead of the Cullman Chamber of Commerce, Sheryl Ellis of Springhill Suites Birmingham, Marlo Webb of the Fairfield Orange Beach, Kalvin Harris of the Quality Inn/Holiday Inn Phenix City, Christi Phipps of DeSoto Caverns Park, Randy Jinks of Alabama State Parks, Sandra McGuire of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Chris Nelson of Best Western Carlson Suites, Kim Nall of the Governor’s Mansion Gift Shop, James Potts of Comfort Suites Montgomery, Annette Scarborough of Hyatt Place Inverness, Shawanda Jones of Hyatt Place Inverness, Jameka Brown of Hyatt Place Downtown Birmingham, Hina Patel of the Hampton Inn Hoover, and Connie Bainbridge of the Prattville Chamber Commerce also attended.
Special Presentations included: Jennifer Leonard, Retirement Education Counselor, Great -West Retirement Services and Danny Ducksworth and Randy Westmoreland from the National Teachers Insurance Company. The 2011 Welcome Center Educational Retreat is set for Prattville and will be hosted by the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce.