Heather SavoieHeather Savoie, senior vice president of finance at Visit Lake Charles, received the tourism industry’s highest individual educational achievement, the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation from Destinations International this month. Savoie was one of 23 CDME recipients that were recognized at the association’s annual convention, which took place in Toronto, Canada, earlier this month. 


“Pursuing the CDME certification has been a truly rewarding experience. The program has not only prepared me to be a leader in destination management, but it has also afforded me the opportunity to connect with destination professionals across the nation and internationally,” said Savoie. “I am looking forward to implementing the knowledge and leveraging relationships gained to further support the future of Southwest Louisiana as a premier destination.” 


The program focuses on vision, leadership, productivity, and implementing business strategies that start or propel the professionals’ knowledge, skills, and professional credibility. The CDME program requires four courses, written assignments, two elective courses, and a final exam. Savoie is one of six employees at Visit Lake Charles to earn the certification. 


“Heather’s 12-year commitment to Visit Lake Charles speaks volumes to her dedication and professionalism in the tourism industry, and we are proud to have her,” said Kyle Edmiston, president/CEO of Visit Lake Charles. “Our organization sees significant value in professional growth and will continue to encourage our team members to expand their skills and industry awareness.” 


Destinations International is a definitive resource for professional development and destination management, offering its prestigious CDME program to industry leaders across the world. For more information about the association, visit DestinationsInternational.org.  


For more information about things to eat, experience, and explore in Southwest Louisiana, go to VisitLakeCharles.org.