PBN: How were you selected for this recognition?
HODGE: I was nominated by PWCVB President and CEO Martha Sheridan. All nominees had to create a YouTube video addressing three questions regarding the future of the destination-marketing industry. This was then reviewed by a committee of DMAI members and staff.
Creative Services Manager Alissa Bateman helped me put together a fun little video. I went to one of my favorite spots - Chez Pacal's Hewtin Mobile Food Truck, a nod to both Providence's diner history and its current culinary scene.
PBN: You were also recently named to DMAI's new subcommittee on social media. What will be the purpose of this committee?
HODGE: As part of the newly formed subcommittee, I will be asked to help brainstorm, recommend and execute social media strategies that support the destination-marketing industry. So much of today's research, fact-checking and top-layer decisions are made right from people's computers, without taking a site visit or picking up the phone. As such, it's increasingly important for destination-marketing organizations to remain relevant, visible and active online.
PBN: Did you attend the DMAI annual conference? If so, what did you learn while there?
HODGE: I did! Besides learning how humid New Orleans can get in late July, I learned a wide range of best practices, met some of the industry's thought leaders, and gleaned some insights on how Providence can continue to stand out in a competitive global landscape.
I learned that now, more than ever, meeting attendees and visitors want a unique destination, a memorable experience and a city they can really sink their teeth into. •