Colorado Tourism Office Announces Inaugural Leadership Class of 2018

The Colorado Tourism Office has announced that Angela P. Hollingsworth, of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, is among the inaugural class for the Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey, a brand-new, yearlong executive training program aimed at building the state tourism industry’s bench strength.

Angela Hollingsworth with MTM cohort at the State Capitol for Tourism Day 2017.

Angela was the Chamber, Visitor Center, and Marketing Director for Hinsdale County and Lake City Colorado from 2009 to 2015 as well as an avid volunteer for the Lake City Downtown Improvement and Revitalization Team and the Hinsdale County Museum for many years. She and her family came back to Fort Collins in early 2016 following her graduation of and to become the program planner for the Masters of Tourism Management program at Colorado State University. She is currently involved with developing programing, experiential learning opportunities and advising for students interested in becoming the next generation of tourism industry leaders. She is both honored and humbled by her own opportunities to work with students and to be part of the CTO’s inaugural Journey Leadership program.

The Class of 2018 includes 20 participants from tourism settings as diverse as Expedia, YMCA of the Rockies and the National Park Service. Their yearlong experience will begin at the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference Oct. 25-27 in Grand Junction.

“Our hope is that this program creates value not only for participants and their employers, but for

Angela Hollingsworth receiving the 2013 Colorado Governor’s Award for Individual Contribution to Colorado Tourism from former CTO Director Al White.

Colorado,” said CTO Director Cathy Ritter. “In a state with just 1.7 percent of the nation’s population but 7.7 percent of U.S. tourism jobs, it’s vital to ensure that the tourism industry has access to talented leaders who can keep growing our competitive edge.”

To lead the tuition-based program, CTO has engaged the Keystone Policy Center, a public policy group with offices in Keystone, Denver and Washington, D.C. Under the guidance of the CTO and a statewide Leadership Committee, Keystone is designing a curriculum that encompasses facilitated sessions, required reading, one-on-one mentoring, action learning projects and experiential learning opportunities in three different Colorado locations.

“This program is an innovative way of addressing an issue that is on the minds of hotel operators who are constantly faced with staffing challenges at all levels, including leadership positions,” said Amie Mayhew, president & CEO of the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association.  “With an increase in retirements from within the leadership ranks, finding leaders to catch the reins is becoming increasingly more difficult. There’s a real concern about where that next generation of leaders is going to come from, which is why CHLA is excited about this program.”

Mayhew serves on the CTO’s Leadership Committee and took part in an industry interview panel that spent three days conducting 30-minute virtual interviews with 32 applicants last month.

The highest-scoring candidates ultimately represented a cross-section of Colorado’s tourism industry, including the ski, casino, hotel and beer industries as well as academia and several of the state’s destination marketing organizations.

CTO officers include two alumni from the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. These alumni include: HDNR undergrad alumnae Liz Birdsall is the Marketing Manager for the Americas & Asia and MTM graduate Mateo Henderson is the Director of Visitor Services.