Tourism group gets new leader
by Angela Thomas
Nov 27, 2013 | 519 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Philadelphia Gay Tourism Caucus held its annual meeting last week, at which members elected new leaders, celebrated current membees and looked to the future.

The Nov. 21 meeting was held at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia.

The caucus elected Thom Cardwell as the new executive board president after former president Lauren Tosti stepped down. Tami Sortman was re-elected as vice president and Caitlin Smith was elected as secretary.

Sortman said Cardwell, who is a founding PGTC member, is a strong leader in the LGBT community.

“Thom brings a wealth of knowledge from all of the work he has done in the community and through the Greater Philadelphia Professional Network,” she said. “He also comes to us well-connected in local, national and international groups and organizations from all of his film-festival background.”

The executive-board roles are usually two-year terms, but because the former president stepped down due to a new job opportunity, the position had to be filled mid-term; Cardwell will finish out the term through next year.

The board also elected five new members — Kathleen Titus, Tim Adams, Jonathan Esten, Anthony Geistwite and Michael Sheridan — and re-elected four: James Delmar, David Jefferys, Russel Kice and Sortman.

Sortman said the treasurer position is open and will be available until the position is filled. The ideal candidate should have some financial background in accounting, she said.

“We would also just love a dedicated person who will roll up their sleeves and truly want to get involved in this history-making organization,” said Sortman.

Also at the meeting, the caucus gave out its 2013 AB FAB award to Titus, former executive director of tourism for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Sortman said PGTC, which just celebrated 10 years, completed its strategic-planning session for the next five years and has developed new language for its vision and mission.

The redeveloped vision is “to make the Philadelphia region the premier gay-friendly destination in the world,” and it aims to accomplish that through its mission of “collaborating with business and community organizations. We are a resource in the tourism and hospitality industries that builds connections which educate, assist and promote a gay-friendly destination for visitors to and residents of the Philadelphia region.”

Sortman said the caucus is creating new partnerships with organizations that fit its revamped mission and will release more information soon.

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