David Teel has given notice that he will be retiring thus stepping down as TTIA President & CEO at the end of 2018. Once we received his official notice, officers of the Board appointed a Leadership Transition Task Force to discuss the process and timeline for a leadership transition. Serving on the Task Force with me were chair-elect Brandon Steinmann, and past chairs Terri Adams, Steve Atkins, Jim Brothers, David Dunham, Frank Morogiello, and Davis Phillips.

The Task Force convened in June to discuss the transition process. It was a very thoughtful discussion in which a variety of topics and options were considered, including: should we conduct a national search for the next President & CEO; what characteristics are essential for this position. We asked David Teel to be a part of that meeting to provide us with an historical perspective of his transition when he was named CEO. The outcome from that meeting was a recommendation to the Executive Committee to name Dan Decker, current TTIA Chief Operating Officer, as the sole candidate for the position, and to allow the Task Force to subsequently meet with Dan for a comprehensive interview. The Executive Committee voted in agreement with our recommended process.

Task Force members met with Dan on Thursday, August 2. As a result of that interview, Task Force members were in full agreement to recommend Dan Decker as the next President & CEO for TTIA. That recommendation was submitted to the Executive Committee for approval and their vote was unanimously in favor. The full Board of Directors then voted unanimously to ratify the Executive Committee's decision to appoint Dan Decker as the next President & CEO of TTIA.

While many of you know Dan, some may not be aware of the depth and breadth of his experience; here are some highlights from his background:

  • 36 years in the Travel Industry in all primary segments (hotels and attractions);
  • Corporate and Association experience; Extensive Leadership, Strategic Planning, Government Relations, Communications, Brand, Marketing, and Financial performance experience in public, non-profit and private sector organizations.
  • TTIA experience includes: current COO of TTIA, Past Chair of TTIA Board, 2012 Tall in Texas Award Recipient;
  • 20 years of work with state tourism organizations and destination marketing organizations;
  • 26 years in attractions leadership with operations, marketing, culinary, retail, human resources, finance, and government relations.

With the approval of the Board, chair-elect Brandon Steinmann and I have made an official offer of the President & CEO position to Dan Decker.

"TTIA will be in very capable hands with Dan Decker stepping into the President & CEO leadership role next year. His decades of dedication to the Texas Travel Industry will serve the Association and our members well, and position TTIA for continued growth." David Teel, TTIA President & CEO.

Additionally, I want to make you aware that TTIA will continue to work with David Teel during the upcoming Legislative Session to assist in government relations and to ensure a smooth transition.

I am pleased to share this news with you and look forward to working with Dan Decker as the next President & CEO of TTIA, starting January 2019, to advance the goals of the Travel Industry and our members.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Casandra Matej
Chair of the Board