Alexandria, La. (Feb. 9, 2022) – Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles was recently installed as Chair of the Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) Board of Directors at the association’s annual meeting.


“I am so excited to be elected to this position by the membership of LTA. It is an honor to serve as chair of the board for the Louisiana Travel Association, a path that has been walked by many strong leaders that I have admired throughout the association’s 61-year history. I am looking forward to moving the industry forward alongside the many thought leaders and talented individuals who comprise the board and the excellent staff that is in place in order to boost membership across the state and strengthen the travel industry in Louisiana with innovative promotional programs and educational opportunities,” said Edmiston.


Additional new officers installed on the board’s executive committee include the following travel professionals: Alana Cooper, President/CEO with Monroe-West Monroe CVB, vice chair; Ralph Ney, General Manager of Baton Rouge Marriot, treasurer; Donna O’Daniels, President/CEO of Louisiana Northshore CVB, secretary; and Dickie Brennan, founder and owner of Dickie Brennan & Company, as immediate past chair.


New members on the board of directors are Ralph Calhoun, with the Biedenharm Museum and Gardens of Monroe; Cody Gray, with the Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou; and Aaron Dirks, with the Louisiana Livery. 


Returning members on the board of directors include two members of the Lake Charles hospitality industry – Mike Buckley of Golden Nugget Casino and Resort and Nimesh Zaver with Hotels of Lake Charles.  Other returning directors are Jeremy Cooker, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.;  Kevin Dolliole, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; Joanna Folse-Alexander, Sunrise Hospitality; John Crook, Vernon Parish Tourist Commission; Stephen Watson, National WWII Museum; Jady Regard, Cane River Pecan Company; Morgan Moss, The Myrtles Plantation; Chris Landry, LBA Hospitality; Jay Sharplin, SharpCo Hotels; Stacy Brown, Shreveport- Bossier CTB; Carla Tate, Tangipahoa CVB; Stephen Perry, New Orleans & Company; Paul Arrigo, Visit Baton Rouge; Sondra Corbitt, Houma Area CVB; Ben Berthelot, Lafayette CVC; Rebecca Blankenbaker, Cane River National Heritage Area; and Nelson Gumm, AJR Media.


“Our executive committee and board of directors are responsible for helping us meet the needs of our members and making sure we accomplish our goals of providing educational and marketing opportunities while also advocating on the industry’s behalf,” said Jill Kidder, LTA president and CEO. “We are excited to be starting off another year with a great group of industry leaders that represent the entire state.”


Officers on the executive committee and members of the board of directors are elected during the annual meeting. Each year, the chair of the board selects a nominating committee that is comprised of members who are not up for re-election and who are not seeking office. This committee is responsible for presenting a slate to the members of the association that recognizes all regions of the state and all segments of the tourism industry.



About the Louisiana Travel Association

LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $1.92 billion for Louisiana in 2019 and employed as many as 242,200 people throughout the state, pre-pandemic. For more information, visit