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Tom Rivera

TomIn every State, there is that one individual that drove the industry and the Destination Marketing sector to the heights they today enjoy.

In Illinois, that person is Tom Rivera. With no disrespect to the scores of other industry luminaries that had a profound impact on that State's sensational run as one of the shining stars in this country's tourism landscape, it was always Tom that paved the path.

Strategic, charismatic and always calm in the face of conflict, Tom was one of my mentors in this business. By observing the subtle way he plied his trade, I learned what it meant to be a DMO pro.

Thus, it was so cool to see him finally (and, may I say, a decade late) honored at the Illinois Governor's Conference Monday night with the Excellence in Tourism Award.

I join my peers in the Land of Lincoln in expressing my undying admiration and thanks to the man who has always been the Rock God of Illinois Tourism.

Photo Credit: This "Charlie's Angels" shot is from our friend Kim Bless (left).

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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