Mary Kay Vrba Honored as an Outstanding Woman in Destination Management/Marketing

Women in Travel and Tourism International (witti) recently announced the recipients of the 2017 Women in Travel and Tourism International Awards. The awards are the first of their kind in which women are honoring their peers for outstanding contributions to the travel and tourism industry.

Dutchess Tourism, Inc. President and CEO Mary Kay Vrba, was named an Outstanding Woman in Destination Management/Marketing by Women in Travel and Tourism, International (WITTI), for her efforts to promote tourism in Dutchess County. Also honored in this category were:  Stephanie Klett, Wisconsin Department of Tourism; Gretchen Hall, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Donna Allen, Visit Norfolk. Read about all of the 2017 winners on the Witti Award Winners Bio Page.

“Witti is about connecting, supporting and promoting women’s contributions in travel and tourism. It’s difficult to find organizations focused on advocating for women in travel, so it’s important to recognize and encourage their efforts,” said Mary Kay. She continued, “It’s such an honor to be recognized by this fine organization as they highlight women’s contributions to our industry.”

The awards were presented in June at the annual brunch of Women in Travel and Tourism International during the IPW conference of the U.S. Travel Association in Washington, D.C. For more information about the Women in Travel and Tourism International 2017 Awards, visit its page here.

Women make up the bulk of travel industry employees, ranging from travel agents and advisors to hotel managers and concierges, and yet they remain disproportionately under-represented in the most senior ranks of travel and tourism organizations.

Witti’s mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways to serve women in the travel. Visit them at

Witti was founded by Laura Mandala, Managing Director of Mandala Research, LLC, and former VP of Research with the U.S. Travel Association. Laura is passionate about women’s causes and helping women achieve success by building a network of outstanding professional women providing support to other women building their careers in travel and tourism.

Tourism brings $568.3 million in annual visitor spending into Dutchess County, and contributes more than $40.9 million in local sales tax. It sustains 10,484 jobs and is responsible for 6.7% of all employment in the Hudson Valley. Dutchess Tourism highlights countless #distinctlyDutchess attractions, attracting more than 4.5 million visitors annually from around the world. These summer weekends are a great time check all there is to see and do in Dutchess County. Visit their website to plan your visit at