At Visit Raleigh, our diverse teams hold themselves to high standards as experts in the tourism industry. We are proud to be trusted partners and advocates of the tourism industry, thus, continued learning and industry involvement are essential aspects of our roles. Credentials and involvement in industry groups especially allow our Destination Services and Convention Sales teams to better serve meeting planners by staying on top of key trends and the latest best practices.

Below is a list of the advanced credentials and leadership positions currently held. Plus, recent major awards are also mentioned for staff members!


Convention Sales

Malinda Harrell Headshot

Malinda Harrell, CMP Fellow, CASE, Director of Sales

Malinda has completed two comprehensive credential programs—the CMP Fellows Programme through the Events Industry Council and CASE designation (Certified Association Sales Executive), a certificate program offered through the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

To earn the CASE certificate, Malinda completed a course of study that focused on the association market; the program allows students to enhance their selling skills, learn new strategies and become a member of an elite group of sales professionals. While CMP Fellows are tenured Certified Meeting Professionals (CMPs) who have made significant advancements in their careers and have contributed to the industry through service and education.

Malinda serves in the following roles:

  • Chair, Anti-Human Trafficking Committee, Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
  • Past Presidents Council, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Board of Directors, Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC)
  • Awards Committee, AENC


Stephen Jackson Headshot  Loretta Yingling Headshot

Stephen Jackson, CMP, Associate Director of Sales, and Loretta Yingling, CMP, National Sales Manager

Stephen and Loretta have earned their CMP credentials from the Events Industry Council. The CMP is widely recognized as the standard for meeting planners and high-achieving suppliers throughout the industry.

Those who complete the program have to pass an exam that demonstrates a comprehensive body of knowledge in the meetings management profession and show support and promotion of industry standards and practices. Stephen completed his CMP in 2011 and Loretta in 2009. 

Additionally, through Loretta's involvement in the MPI Chicago Area Chapter, Loretta was named the Eleanor H. Woods Supplier of the Year in 2022. 

Stephen serves in the following roles:

  • Emerging Professionals, PCMA Capital Chapter
  • Recruitment and Retention Committee, MPI Potomac Chapter
  • Annual Event Committee, CVBReps
  • Membership Committee, Washington, D.C., Chapter, International Association of Exhibitions and Events®
  • Hospitality Tourism Advisory Board, North Carolina Central University

Loretta serves in the following roles:

  • Vice President of Membership, Board of Directors, MPI Chicago Area Chapter
  • Awards Committee, PCMA Greater Midwest Chapter
  • IDI Committee, PCMA Greater Midwest Chapter
  • Holiday Showcase Tradeshow Advisory Group, Association Forum
  • 2022 MPI Chicago Supplier of the Year


Nicole Keshler Headshot

Nicole Keshler, National Sales Manager

Nicole received MPI Carolinas' Hall of Fame Award in 2022. The Hall of Fame Award recognizes a long-standing MPI Carolinas Chapter member who has continually contributed to the chapter with their ongoing commitment and a strong sense of leadership and volunteerism. This person has exemplified professionalism, dedication and overall excellence in the chapter, the meetings industry and in the community in which they serve.

Nicole serves in the following roles:

  • Chapter Membership and Advisory Council, MPI
  • Community Advisory Board, MPI
  • Past Presidents Council, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Silent Auction Committee, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Silent Auction Committee, PCMA (Southeast)


Kathryn Hollomon

Kathryn Short, Sales Manager

Kathryn serves in the following roles:

  • Treasurer, N.C. Society of Government Meeting Professionals
  • Volunteer Engagement Committee, MPI
  • Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Board of Directors, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Finance Committee, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Volunteer Engagement Committee, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • FUEL Committee, AENC
  • Co-Chair, Membership Task Force, Young Professionals Network, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce


Marc Dooner Headshot

Marc Dooner, National Sales Manager

Marc serves in the following roles:

  • Community Service Committee, PCMA Philadelphia Chapter
  • Board of Directors, Membership Engagement, MPI Greater New York Chapter
  • Membership Committee, MPI Greater New York Chapter


Maria Lopez Headshot

Maria Lopez, Convention Sales Coordinator 

Maria serves in the following role:

  • Anti-Human Trafficking Committee, MPI


Destination Services

Each member of the Destination Services team has earned the CGSP® certification (Certified Guest Service Professional) from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. The CGSP® is the highest acknowledgment of award-winning guest service for those who are employed in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Tammy Jeffries headshot

Tammy Jeffries, CGSP®, Director of Destination Services

Tammy serves in the following roles:

  • Board of Directors, Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA)
  • Continuing Education Committee, ESPA
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, ESPA
  • Education Committee, MPI Carolinas Chapter
  • Co-Chair, Community Activation Committee, International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Local Organizing Committee
  • Accessibility Task Force, Downtown Raleigh Alliance
  • City of Raleigh Special Events Task Force


Dana Canby headshot

Dana Canby, CGSP®, Destination Services Manager 

Dana serves in the following roles:

  • Co-Chair, Community Activation Committee, IBMA World of Bluegrass Local Organizing Committee
  • Annual Conference Committee, ESPA


Christina Laskorunsky headshot

Christina Laskorunsky, CGSP®, Destination Services Manager 

Christina serves in the following roles:

  • Co-Chair, Volunteer Committee, IBMA World of Bluegrass Local Organizing Committee

Have questions or want to know more about planning your next meeting in Raleigh, N.C.? Contact our sales team today!