Two Cabarrus County CVB Team Members Earn ‘Travel Marketing Professional’ Certification from Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College

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Three-year program recognized nationally for continuing education

CONCORD, NC (March 31, 2014) – Kathleen Temple, Web Marketing Manager and Lauren R. Simpson, Partnership Manager, have both earned certification as a “Travel Marketing Professional” (TMP) after completing the three-year program of the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Marketing College.

Temple and Simpson were two of 57 new TMPs recognized at the STS spring meeting in Lexington, KY. STS Marketing College started in 1992, and 804 people have earned TMP certification.

“This achievement is a direct reflection of the outstanding work Kathleen and Lauren do at the Bureau every day,” said Donna Carpenter, President/CEO of the Cabarrus County CVB. “We’re very proud to have the two of them represent the organization and the community.”

The STS Marketing College is a professional development program that for one week each summer turns the facilities of University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Ga., into a laboratory to teach tourism marketing.

Instructors are working professionals in the travel industry such as convention and visitors bureau executives, public relations practitioners, sales and marketing consultants and research experts.

“This is not another program like ours in the country; we are the envy of travel professionals in other regions,” said Bill Hardman, president and chief executive officer of STS.

Tourism ranks as the first, second or third-largest industry in the 12 STS states that stretch from Virginia to Louisiana.

Course topics include special events marketing, media relations, tourism advertising, vacation research, crisis management, branding and community/rural tourism. After the classroom work, students also must complete a project that relates to their employment.

“Our curriculum is practical. What students learn can be put to use as soon as they get back to their workplaces,” Hardman said.

The newest group of TMPs raised enough to fund eight scholarships for future STS Marketing College students.

About Southeast Tourism Society (STS)
Founded in 1983, the Southeast Tourism Society ( promotes and develops tourism in its 12 member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Its headquarters are in Atlanta. The membership includes state travel offices, attractions, hotels, motels, resorts, convention and visitors bureaus, airlines, car rental agencies, newspapers, magazines and other travel-related organizations.

About the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau
As a destination marketing organization, the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau is dedicated to promoting Cabarrus County as a visitor destination and enhancing the complete visitor experience. We also represent and support the interests of the local tourism industry and promote public awareness of the importance of tourism. For more information, visit our website ( or find us on Facebook (, Twitter and Instagram (@SpeedCityUSA).


Media Contacts:
Julie Hinson, Cabarrus County CVB

Suzanne Moon, Southeast Tourism Society