NORMAN — Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Stephen Koranda earned a designation as a certified destination management executive at the Destination Marketing Association International conference July 18.
The CDME process requires that participants complete three core classes presented by DMAI, along with two elective courses and a final exam within a four-year time frame. Koranda was one of 23 who earned the honor this year.
According to DMAI, CDME is the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the Destination Marketing industry. As the DMO industry’s highest educational achievement, the CDME program seeks to enhance business acumen.
The content discussed helps DMO leaders to more effectively adapt and manage increasing change and competition.
“The CDME program is recognized as the highest educational achievement for destination management professionals,” said Kristin McGrath, CDME and chair of DMAI’s Education Committee. “By earning this designation, these graduates join an elite group of professionals who seek to elevate the industry and its standards.”
Koranda, who began working at the Norman CVB in December 2008, received the CDME at a presentation during the conclusion of the 2013 DMAI conference in Orlando, Fla., the group’s 99th convention. He has previously earned the Certified Tourism Ambassador designation and is a graduate of Leadership Norman and Arts Leadership Oklahoma.
“The entire CDME process has been enlightening and educational,” Koranda said.
“I look forward to applying what I have learned throughout these courses to work with community leaders and city officials to enhance Norman as a premier destination.”
Two primary areas of the courses’ concentration that Koranda said will be most beneficial to Norman include a deeper understanding of the key factors and new initiatives that make destinations and DMOs successful along with gaining solutions to current destination issues and challenges such as branding, funding, performance accountability, community relations and visitor relationship management.