Nearly 500 people from Illinois and the greater Midwest gathered at the stunning Palmer House Hilton Feb. 26-28 for the annual Illinois Governor’s Conference on Tourism. During the three-day event, attendees had the chance to hear from key industry officials, including an opening keynote from Carroll Rheem, vice president of research for Brand USA; a luncheon talk on crisis management and tourism security from Dr. Peter E. Tarlow, founder and president of Tourism & More; and an address by Cory Jobe, director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, at the closing breakfast. Dynamic, thought-provoking breakout sessions included topics like pitching your destination to the media, secrets to better selling and creating a video marketing strategy. On Tuesday evening, a networking after-party at the SNL Experience inside Museum of Broadcast Communications was a hit.
An empowering approach to leadership makes Jill Torke, director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, a superwoman in the city’s hotel scene.