ACED Executive Director among travel and hospitality leaders who advance leadership skills ...

Iowa Travel Industry Partners (iTIP) gathered statewide partners to host the iLEAD Leadership Symposium February 8-9. Sessions taking place at Eagle Point Park Lodge in Clinton focused on the growth of leadership skills for Iowa’s tourism organizations. Among those attending the symposium was Val Reinke (pictured second from left in seated front row), executive director of Allamakee County Economic Development and Tourism.

The group learned that leadership is about taking risks and challenging the status quo, and that leaders motivate others to achieve something new and better. The last few years have proven that tourism leaders need to innovate and collaborate in order to grow their organizations. The goal of the iLEAD Leadership Symposium is to allow anyone in Iowa’s tourism industry to advance growth of leadership skills. Attendees ranged from someone only a few months into their position to individuals who have been leading their organizations for years.

“The small, intimate nature of iLEAD is designed for Iowa’s tourism professionals to advance their leadership skills while networking with new partners,” stated iTIP Executive Director Chelsea Lerud. “Watching the relationships of partners grow over the course of the one-and-a-half-day event is so powerful. I’m looking forward to continuing to watch the growth of the careers of those that attended the event.”

Reinke shared, “Taking the time for leadership training is so worth it, but so easy to put off. Kudos to the iTIP program committee for providing valuable topics and speakers and to the Clinton Community for sharing their hidden gems. I look forward to the leadership symposium next year.”
Sessions for the 2024 event included: Using creative placemaking to transform underutilized Spaces, by Gabi Torres; Strategies for leadership and communication excellence, by Brenda Clark Hamilton; Skills for communicating about difficult workplace issues, by Brenda Clark Hamilton; Foundation for a successful career and a fulfilling life, by Jeff Kappen and Matthew Mitchell; Overcoming workplace obstacles for success, by Andy Sokolovich; and How do leaders take care of themselves, by Dr. Brian Kelly.

The iLEAD Leadership Symposium was supported by Catch Des Moines, McDaniels’ Marketing, and The Group Travel Leader. iTIP is committed to forming a united front with collaboration essential to continued growth of the industry. Iowa Travel Industry Partners (iTIP) is a statewide tourism association dedicated to supporting Iowa’s travel and hospitality industry through resources, education, advocacy, and marketing initiatives. For more information, visit Submitted photo.