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NTA Names 2017 Board of Directors

March 22, 2017

ST. LOUIS (March 2, 2017) — The 2017 NTA Board of Directors was introduced to members of the National Tour Association here on the final day of Travel Exchange, the organization’s annual convention. Six of the 17 members are new to the volunteer board, either by election or appointment. The others remain on the board from prior elections.

Jay Smith will chair the board in 2017. Smith, owner of Sports Travel and Tours in Hatfield, Massachusetts, rises to the position after being elected as vice chair last year. “NTA is all about connecting and engaging,” he said. “I’m in this association to build relationships, because the time always comes when I will I need a hotel or attraction or company in a particular place, and I can call on someone I’ve met at Travel Exchange.”

J. Chris Babb, president of The Group Tour Company in Washington, D.C., was elected vice chair from his previous role as secretary. Babb will serve a one-year term before ascending to the office of chair at the end of 2017. Paul Larsen, president and sales manager of Ed-ventures in Rochester, Minnesota, was elected secretary after serving as a director of the board.

Returning to the board’s executive committee are Kelly Dean of Ottawa Tourism, who represents destination management organizations; Jodi Danyluk, Norwegian Cruise Line, representing tour suppliers; and Justin Osbon of Image Tours in Grand Rapids, Michigan, immediate past chair.

Four tour operators were elected to serve as directors: Edita Krunic of Select International Tours in Flemington, New Jersey; John McGlade of Euro River Cruises in Nanuet, New York; Jim Warren of Anderson Vacations in Calgary, Alberta; and Tracie Wingo of Globus Family of Brands in Littleton, Colorado.

They join two tour operators who are returning to the board: Dennis McDonnell of Alaska Coach Tours in Juneau, Alaska, and Misha Jovanovic of Misha Tours in San Diego, California.

Jim Magrath of Delta Air Lines was elected as a tour supplier director, and Frances Manzitto of Visit Clarksville (Tennessee) was elected as a DMO director.

Rounding out the board are three directors at large, appointed to serve one-year terms by Smith. They are Lydia Grieg-Hansen, Destination Southwest in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Dean Jacobberger, Visit California; and Chris Van Meter, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

About the National Tour Association: Founded in 1951, NTA is a global association of packaged-travel professionals who serve customers traveling to, from and within North America. For more information, visit

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