Brand USA Announces New and Reappointed Members to the 2021 Board of Directors

Brand USA New Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, DC – Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, has announced the appointment of two new board members and the reappointment of one member to the Brand USA board of directors.

Coming off the heels of an unprecedented year in travel, the appointed members will bring fresh and diverse perspectives to the board comprised of representatives from the tourism industry’s various sectors. The board provides leadership and overall guidance - aiding Brand USA’s mission, operations, and this year, the recovery of international travel to the United States. The newly appointed and reappointed members include:

  • Noel Irwin Hentschel, chairman and chief executive officer of American Tours International, LLC (reappointed, representing the travel distribution sector)
  • Kristen Esposito, principal, Esposito Global Partners (newly appointed, representing the small business/retail sector)
  • Keiko Matsudo Orrall, executive director, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (newly appointed, representing one of two seats for an official of a state tourism office)

“We're pleased to welcome both Kristen and Keiko to the Brand USA Board of Directors. During these unprecedented and challenging times, we look forward to drawing on the wealth of knowledge and experience these leaders bring to the table as we work to build the future of U.S. tourism,” said Chris Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA. "Additionally, we're fortunate to continue to leverage Noel's leadership and guidance for another three years. This combination of proven leadership and range of perspectives will certainly strengthen our resolve and ability to act on our mission during this critical phase in Brand USA’s history.”

Brand USA is governed by an 11-member board of directors appointed for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms. Appointments to the Brand USA board of directors are made by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of State and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, as provided for in the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2009.

In addition to the new appointments, the Brand USA board of directors has elected its board officers with Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, taking the helm as board chair. Edmiston, who joined the Brand USA board of directors in 2015, succeeds John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, who served on the board for two terms from 2015-2020. The board also confirmed Paul Brown, co-founder and CEO of Inspire Brands, as the newly elected vice chair replacing Alice Norsworthy, chief marketing officer of Universal Parks & Resorts, who will assume the role of treasurer. Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, is re-elected to serve as vice chair.

"As we enter 2021, the presence and marketing efforts of Brand USA across all continents will be more important than ever in restarting visitation into the United States,” said Edmiston. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members, CEO Chris Thompson, the team at Brand USA, and partners around the globe to maximize the efforts and effect of Brand USA."

The newly appointed and reappointed board members will convene with the current board members at upcoming board committee meetings and the next quarterly board meeting on March 1-2, 2021. More information about the board meetings is available at Fiscal Year 2021 board officers and additional members of the Brand USA board of directors are:

Brand USA Board Chair:

  • Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau

Brand USA Vice Chair:

  • Paul Brown, co-founder & chief executive officer of Inspire Brands

Brand USA Vice Chair:

  • Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation


  • Alice Norsworthy, chief marketing officer of Universal Parks & Resorts

Additional Members:

  • Todd Davidson, chief executive officer of Travel Oregon
  • Dean Kantaras, owner and managing attorney at K. Dean Kantaras, P.A.
  • Donald Moore, senior vice president of business rental sales & global corporate accounts at Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
  • Tom O’Toole, associate dean for executive education and clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University

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