Destination Colorado is a nonprofit organization designed to provide resources and information for meeting and event planners.
Among our more than 130 members, you’ll discover the solutions to every requirement and planning challenge.
Destination Colorado Meetings is a nonprofit organization providing time-saving resources, budget-friendly options and valuable connections between meeting and event planners and suppliers for over 30 years.
Our members represent the most in-demand amenities as well as off the beaten path destinations, venues and service providers that offer inspiring experiences and value-focused options to make the most of your next program. Our mission is to be the premier resource for meetings and events in Colorado.
Destination Colorado Meetings informs informs and connects meeting and incentive planners with one of America’s most beloved and desirable destinations. We accomplish this through relevant and current content, industry trade shows, cooperative advertising programs, RFPs, and strategic partnerships.
You’re invited to capture the “Spirit of Colorado” and our beautiful Rocky Mountain playground. The fantastic variety and choices offered by Destination Colorado Meetings guarantees a memorable and productive experience every time.
Ellen Collins, CMP
2022-2023 Past Board President
Ellen is Associate Director, National Group Sales Team representing Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek and Crested Butte resorts in Colorado for Vail Resorts Meetings & Events. She leads her sales team to best serve Colorado-based planners in fulfilling their meeting objectives and aspirational goals. This team will help secure ground transportation needs on Epic Mountain Express, hotel rooms, traditional and outdoor/ on mountain meeting space and dining, golf, skiing, lift tickets and much more. Ellen has been in hotel sales for twenty plus years. Her career started at Swissotel Boston, followed by sales at The Loews Anatole in Dallas, now a Hilton Hotel. In 1995, she moved to be Director of Sales and Marketing for the Loews Denver Hotel. In 2005, Ellen joined Vail Resorts and RockResorts in their Colorado national sales office. She is an active member of MPI, CSAE, PCMA and CWCC (Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce). Ellen is proud to have received the Industry Legacy Award in honor of Sandy Gerety through MPI’s Rocky Mountain Chapter in 2018. Ellen is honored to have been recognized by Colorado Meetings + Events magazine as their Lifetime Achievement recipient for 2020 and is equally honored to have received the 2019 Leadership Award from the Meetings Industry Council. She looks forward to connecting with you and can be reached at email@example.com and 303.881.7167.
2022-2023 Board President
Brady Johnson is the Director of Sales and Marketing, making him responsible for all marketing and advertising efforts at the C Lazy U Ranch along with selling real estate, booking group events, and retreats. On top of these efforts, you can always count on seeing him taking guests on guided mountain bike rides in the summer and skiing in the winter. C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect place for Brady as an avid outdoorsman because he gets to show guests a unique experience from the moment they find us online or through friends, to the day of their departure.
2022-2023 Board Vice President
Meg is the National Sales Manager for The Steamboat Grand. The best part of her job is sharing her love of Steamboat & introducing meeting planners to this amazing destination. Her career started with Marriott International, which led her to working at Marriott Hotels in Denver, Chicago, Dallas & Minneapolis. Being a Colorado native, the mountains were calling her home and The Steamboat Grand was the perfect place to combine her passion for Steamboat and hotel sales. She enjoys tubing the Yampa River in the summer, skis every opportunity she has and loves spending time with her Family and Friends. Meg can be reached at 970-871-5537 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 – 2023 Board Treasurer
Thad worked the operations side of hospitality for 4 years as Front Office Manager before moving into sales for the past 12 years and currently is the Senior Director of Sales Manager for Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa. During that time, he worked both sides of a wide variety of events. Thad’s experience has taught him both the planning process, execution of events and team leadership for a luxury mountain resort. Through benchmarking, industry events, and various hospitality associations, he has learned how properties of all different kinds operate. Thad’s passion for his career has created a unique understanding of the hospitality industry. Thad can be reached at 970-726-7011 or at email@example.com.
2022-2023 Board Secretary
Jason is the Associate Vice President, Convention Sales at VISIT DENVER where his primary role is managing the citywide convention sales efforts. He started working for Denver in 2007 as the Washington, DC-based sales director and moved to Colorado in 2011. Prior to joining the Denver team, he worked for a conference center, as a meeting planner, for a DMC, and for Visit Baltimore. Jason is a member of PCMA and ASAE. He also serves on the Destinations International Sales and Marketing Committee and on the Editorial Advisory Board of Colorado Meetings + Events magazine. Some of the most cherished aspects of his position are cultivating relationships and sharing the exciting story of Denver and Colorado as a guest speaker at MSU and various industry events. In his down time, you can find Jason singing with the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus or traveling. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and 303-571-9424.
Board Member Since 2020
Dave is the Senior Sales Manager at Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center in Breckenridge. He worked at Beaver Run for several years in all areas of hospitality, eventually landing in sales which, according to him, is the best department! With a solid understanding of both sales and operations, Dave has an understanding of and appreciation for exceptional customer service.
During winter lunch breaks, you can find Dave on the slopes. In the summer, he’ll be on his bike or in his tent. Dave also enjoys giving back to his community; he’s on the Town of Breckenridge Events Committee and the Sustainable Events Task Force, and he volunteers in the community. You can reach Dave at email@example.com.
Board Member Since 2021
Sara Mercado-Lawrason is Program and Account Manager for Operation Altitude. She moved from Arkansas to Colorado after college and never looked back. Her background is in hospitality, specifically restaurant and event management. She started with Operation Altitude in 2017 with roles in networking, marketing, sales, program development and management. Event production is her passion, and creating unforgettable experiences is her ultimate goal. Sara’s clients are primarily corporate groups specializing in conferences, retreats and incentive programs. In her free time, Sara enjoys weekend trips to the mountains, dining at all the incredible restaurants around Colorado and cuddling with her cats! Sara can be reached at 720-231-1722/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Member Since 2021
Dean is a keynote speaker, manager trainer, facilitator and executive coach. A +25-year veteran of the meetings and events industry,
This is Dean’s second stint as a Destination Colorado board member, having served in 2002-2003. He’s also served as Chair of the Meetings Industry Council (MIC), Chair of the Cherry Creek Chamber of Commerce, and President of the National Speakers Association, Colorado.
Weekdays you’ll find Dean networking on the golf course or in one of Denver’s coffee shops. Weekends you’ll find him and his family above 6000 feet on a mountain bike, ski or snowshoe trail.
Returning Board Member, 2022
Sharon has over 25 years’ experience in hospitality, starting in the Banquets Department of Copper Mountain. Sharon has been an involved member of our industry having been the President of Rocky Mountain Chapter of MPI, a Board member of CSAE, a founding member of Destination Colorado, and a member of the CTO Board as well as participating in other committees and organizations. She is currently a National Sales Manager for the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon, CO. She and her husband have raised 2 boys in Breckenridge and is an avid lover of all outdoor activities that Colorado offers, winter and summer. A strong belief in the value of “Alone we are strong, but together we are stronger”; being part of the Destination Colorado Board is fulfilling the philosophy she lives by.
Returning Board Member, 2022
Lindsey was born and raised in the Tourism hub of Estes Park, Colorado. Her grandparents and parents built, owned, and operated multiple lodging properties in Estes Park the past 50 years. As a part of the past three properties in her adolescence, her foundation was built on hard work ethic, customer service and a passion centered around Colorado Tourism. Lindsey represents Visit Boulder, CO bringing over 12 years of experience in Destination Marketing. As a utility player she has had the opportunity to represent multiple destinations in Colorado bringing added value in strategic partnerships, conference services, group sales, and destination development. Destination Colorado shares her passion for exceptional hospitality, collaboration, community involvement and her love for the Colorado Mountains! In her free time, she enjoys jet setting to visit new landscapes, taking in live music, or sharing a glass of whiskey with old and new friends alike.
Brian Douglas Stanwood
Board Member Since 2022
Hailing from Vermont originally, Brian Douglas Stanwood (BDS) has a long history of community and service including Kiwanis, Up with People and his hometown Chamber of Commerce. He began his hospitality journey in Colorado in 1999 including positions with Holiday Inn downtown, Renaissance Denver Stapleton, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco and Cheyenne Mountain Resort. In December 2017 he joined Visit Aurora where community involvement meets customer service. Being a part of an amazing destination that is changing and offering so much is his passion. He also serves on the board of MPI’s Rocky Mountain Chapter. Equally important is his personal life including time with John Craig, his spouse of 19 years, also in the Hospitality Industry with Visit Denver, and their 8 year old daughter.
Board Member Since 2022
Dina Worthen is a Senior Sales Manager for Visit Colorado Springs, and has been with the organization since 2017. Her markets include Corporate and Association by territory, Government, Education, and is the sole contact for Maritz, HPN Global, American Express Meetings & Events, and various other third parties. She is a member of PCMA, MPI, CMCA, SGMP, and is the current Board President of HSMAI Southern Colorado. Dina was raised in Southwest Florida, graduated from the University of Central Florida, and spent a few years in Raleigh, NC before moving to Colorado Springs. Dina enjoys cooking, traveling, live music, cheering for the Chicago Bears, and getting outdoors with her husband Danny and their dog Adeline.
Board Member Since 2022
Tracy Blair has served as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel since 2014. Her leadership and passion for expanding new ideas and implementing innovation helps drive the vision, progress and bottom line of the hotel through continuous excellence with every meeting and event, all while elevating the hotel brand. In her role, Blair develops and executes the sales and marketing strategy for the property, while also managing the marketing and communications for the hotel. Feeling a personal responsibility for every member of her staff, she mentors, coaches and manages directors, associate directors and hourly associates, in addition to acting as the liaison between the General Manager, Revenue Manager, Sales, Reservations and Events teams, and her outside marketing agencies. Blair has been recognized with numerous awards over her career including “Team of the Year” awards in 2015 and 2016 from Starwood Hotels & Resorts and 2017’s Top Influential Women: Top Innovator by Smart Meetings, 2019 Leader of the Third Quarter from Marriott International.
Board Member Since 2022
Stacy Daeffler serves as the Associate Director of Sales at The Charter at Beaver Creek in the heart of Colorado’s Vail Valley. She previously served as the Manager of Destination Colorado Meetings, a statewide association that provides group travel services throughout the Centennial state. Daeffler had many different responsibilities at the non-profit organization over the past 10 years – including membership, events, sales & marketing and facilitating connections between Colorado-based suppliers and meeting & event planners nationwide. You can find Stacy riding her horse in the summer and her snowboard in the Winter.
Returning Board Member, 2023
Lauren serves as the Director of Sales for Winter Park Mountain Lodge. She has been in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years, previous to her current role she has worked for properties in Vail, Telluride and Keystone. Starting her career in catering/sales, then conference services, she quickly moved into sales in 2007. She is an active member of MPIRMC, SGMP, and CSAE. Native to Colorado, she grew up skiing, hiking, fishing and camping with her family. She now shares these same experiences with her husband and 2 young children. She is passionate about sharing all the wonderful places Colorado has to offer and is excited to be serving on the Board of Destination Colorado for a 2nd time.
Board Member Since 2023
Chris is currently the Director of Sales for the iconic Hotel Colorado, in Glenwood Springs. He oversees the sales and catering/conference efforts for the hotel. Prior to his leadership role here, he served as a National Director of Sales for the Southeast and Texas region for The Broadmoor, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort in Colorado Springs. He joined this team as Executive Meetings Manager for the East Coast in October 2017. Before that, Chris was a Sales Manager for the historic Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Chris is excited to use his passion & energy to assist Destination Colorado grow their presence on the Western Slope of Colorado.
Board Member Since 2023
As GM of the Infinity Park Event Center, Bobbi manages the marquis venue and exceptional staff at the 16-acre Event, Sports and Entertainment Complex in Glendale, Colorado. This is just the latest post in a carefully crafted career creating and managing special events around the globe in corporate, agency and government arenas. A specialist in Client/Patron Experience and Hospitality, Bobbi is an explorer that looks for a new vision, is excited by the chance to create something unique, and is not afraid to work without a roadmap. With a BA in Marketing and a lifetime of exceptional mentors, Bobbi’s quest for knowledge and rewarding adventures continues.
Kelly is a Colorado native and has been in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years including Director of Marketing for the Vail Chamber and Tourism Bureau (now VVP) and Marketing Manager with the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail. Before joining Destination Colorado in 2021 as the Executive Director, she delivered exceptional group incentive experiences throughout the state and promoting Colorado as a group destination for meetings and events in her role with Operation Altitude, a Colorado destination management company. Outside of work, she enjoys finding new ways to embarrass her teenagers, hiking with friends, developing her photography skills and riding her horse. She can be reached at 970-390-8334 or email@example.com.
Marie, our newest member of the team, is no stranger to Destination Colorado. Having participated as a member in numerous Destination Colorado events, she is now excited to work with our board in reaching our membership goals while maintaining a focus on planner & member engagement, quality programming, and breakout marketing. She & her husband owned and operated Carlos & Maria’s (aka Chuck & Marie’s) Mexican Restaurant in Winter Park prior to her joining the YMCA of the Rockies as Senior Group Sales Manager. She has been a member of the Winter Park Fraser Valley Marketing Council and served on the Grand County Tourism Board. After almost 40 years in the mountains of the Fraser Valley, she has recently moved to sunny Grand Junction. Her Colorado lifestyle includes rafting (favorite river Yampa) mountain biking, (favorite trail Mary’s Loop) cross country skiing (favorite trail Blue Ridge) golf (favorite course Pole Creek) and downhill skiing (favorite run Trestle). She can be reached at marie@destinationcolorado.
Colorado’s Premier Resource for Meetings & Events
We are growing our community by:
- Recruiting our ideal members
- Providing a mountain of value for the price of a pebble
- Engaging members with relevant education and meaningful connections that grow their business and themselves
- Community & Collaboration
- Industry Leaders
- Relevant Education
- Providing Connections
#We Play With Purpose
Destination Colorado has established strategic relationships with leading meeting publications, professional organizations, and sponsors to help us advance our mission to make your planning experience easier.
Please visit their web sites for more information.
Colorado Meetings & Events
Colorado Meetings & Events magazine is a quarterly publication reaching meeting planners as well as all levels of professionals who plan meetings and events, from an administrative executive planning a board retreat to the vice president of marketing organizing a client golf outing. The magazine is specifically written and circulated within the state and throughout the surrounding region to expose readers to cultural events, service providers, venues and industry resources available in each market to assist in planning a meeting or creating the next extraordinary event. The magazine is available in print and digital and online at Visit www.meetingmags.com
The Colorado Tourism Office
The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) was created by the Colorado legislature to promote Colorado as a tourism and travel destination. The CTO oversees the Colorado Welcome Centers, advertising and public relations, promotional materials and customer response services including 1-800-COLORADO and www.Colorado.com. The Colorado Tourism Office is a Founding Partner of the Care for Colorado Coalition of which Destination Colorado is a proud partner. Learn more at https://www.colorado.com/CareForColorado.
Meeting Professionals International
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting and event industry’s largest and most vibrant global community, helps members thrive by providing human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships and marketplaces. MPI membership is comprised of more than 24,000 members belonging to 71 chapters and clubs worldwide. For additional information Visit www.mpiweb.org