Reservation Hotline: 800 256 4024
Reservation Hotline: 800 256 4024

 

Leadership Team


Kim Bumpas, CDME, CMPKim Bumpas

President

Kim Bumpas is a national and regional leader with strong hospitality experience and nearly two decades of experience in senior management, sales and marketing. A community leader and volunteer, Bumpas serves as a tourism leader for East Tennessee and the Knoxville community.

Within Visit Knoxville, Bumpas is focused on promoting Knoxville as a travel destination for leisure travelers and conventions. Bumpas serves as a liaison for Visit Knoxville with the Knoxville Convention Center (KCC), City of Knoxville (COK), Knox County and Knoxville venues/properties. Her teams within Visit Knoxville solicit conventions for Knoxville, secure all marketing placement for the City/County of Knoxville and then service the conventions upon entering Knoxville to make sure the experience lives up to what is sold.

Bumpas is a 1994 graduate from the University of Tennessee Knoxville with a degree in Marketing. Her hospitality career began in college at the Holiday Inn Cedar Bluff. Upon graduation, she transitioned into operations and sales with the Holiday Inn Select Downtown and the Hyatt Knoxville (now the Knoxville Marriott) before moving to the next level of destination sales. Employed by the Knoxville Convention & Visitors Bureau (now Visit Knoxville) since 2001, she has advanced from Sales Manager to Director of Sales to Vice President of Sales to Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing and is currently President.

Bumpas’ nearly 20 years of experience in hotels, venues and destination marketing earned her the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Classification, which she attained in 2003. In 2008, Bumpas spearheaded Visit Knoxville’s accreditation with the Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) - Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP). In 2011, Bumpas completed DMAI’s elite certification of Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME). This distinction is awarded based on coursework completed at the national level over a period of three years. Bumpas is one of only two candidates in the state of Tennessee to achieve this honor.

Bumpas’ appointments and awards include: East Tennessee Meeting Professional (ETMP) – Supplier of the Year; 40 under Forty – Class of 2008; Tennessee Society of Association Executives (TSAE) – Board Member; East Tennessee Meeting Professionals (ETMP) – Secretary; Tennessee Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (TACVB) – Board Member and 2014 Chair; Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Speaker and Education Committee Member; EWA (Executive Women’s Association); Rotary Club of Knoxville; University of Tennessee Chancellors Associates Program; Introduction Knoxville – Class of 2010; Leadership Knoxville – Class of 2012; East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association – Class of 2015; Tennessee Tourism Committee (appointed by Governor); Ijams Board Member and FYE16 Chair and other various committees.

 

Kathy WilliamsKathy Williams

Chief Financial Officer

Kathy Williams is the Chief Financial Officer at Visit Knoxville. Visit Knoxville is a private, not-for-profit corporation that has contracts with Knoxville and Knox County to strengthen the area of economy by marketing Knoxville as a destination for conventions, events and leisure travel. Kathy Williams graduated from Dickinson State University, North Dakota with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. She then went on to receive her Master's in Business Administration from Bristol University, Tennessee. Kathy previously worked at Oak Ridge Utility District as a controller, supervising accounts and having multiple responsibilities throughout the company.

 

Angie WilsonAngie Wilson

Senior Director of Marketing

Angie Wilson is the Senior Director of Marketing. A Knoxville native, Wilson earned a BS in Communications from the University of Tennessee and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. Prior to joining the team at Visit Knoxville, Wilson served as Communications Director at Asen Marketing and Creative Director at what is now Cumulus Radio Knoxville. Wilson enjoys contributing her creative marketing concepts to help promote travel and tourism in the city she loves.

 

Laney Palmieri, PDM, CTTP Laney Palmieri

Senior Director of Operations

Laney Palmieri is the Senior Director of Operations for Visit Knoxville. Palmieri began in the tourism industry in 2002, beginning with convention sales at a downtown full-service property in Knoxville and has been with Visit Knoxville since 2007, beginning with convention sales. Palmieri began managing the visitor services department for Visit Knoxville in 2010, while also obtaining her Certified TN Tourism Professional (CTTP), then taking on operational aspects for the company in 2012. Most recently she has added information technology under her direction in the summer of 2016 and completed a Destination Management Association International certification as a Professional Destination Manager (PDM). Palmieri grew up in South Carolina, but has been in the beautiful state of TN since 1994, beginning in Johnson City, TN where she earned her Bachelors of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in marketing, from East Tennessee State University.

 

Sarah RowanSarah Rowan

Senior Director of Sales

Sarah joined Visit Knoxville in 2013 as a Sales Director and has spent the past 2 years focused on recruiting the scientific, engineering, trade, hobby and agricultural markets to Knoxville. Prior to joining the Visit Knoxville team, Sarah served as the Director of Sales at the Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Originally from Johnson City, Tennessee, Sarah earned a degree in Mass Communication from East Tennessee State University. During her free time, Rowan likes to cook, travel, and spend time with her husband John, daughter Haven Marie, and her four-legged children Hershey Kiss (a Corgi mix) and Blue (a Blue Pit Bull). Her favorite things about Knoxville are the great local shops and restaurants and UT football in the fall.

 

Kelli GibsonKelli Gibson

Senior Director of Convention Services

Gibson began her stint at Visit Knoxville in 2007 as Director of Event Operations. A Greeneville, TN native, she graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Education, with a concentration in Sport Management and a Master’s of Science in Sport Administration. Prior to joining Visit Knoxville, Gibson served as the Assistant Manager of the Tennessee Theatre, Event Operations Manager at the Greater Louisville Sports Commission and as Program & Media Relations Coordinator at the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission. Gibson enjoys showcasing Knoxville by creating unique experiences for planners and convention attendees.

 

Chad CulverChad Culver

Sports Commission Senior Director

Culver is a Chattanooga native with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management from The University of Tennessee. He has over 15 years of experience in the sports industry in recruiting and managing events. Prior to Visit Knoxville, Culver was employed by Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau where he served as Director of Sports Marketing. Culver also served on staff with the University of Tennessee Athletics Department from 2001-2005.

 

 

Shera PettyShera Petty

Senior Director of Marketing Partnerships

Shera Swanson Petty earned a BS in Business Administration with a Major in Marketing from the University of Tennessee. Shera has been with Visit Knoxville since 2014. Prior to that she was Senior Media Consultant for E.W.Scripps company and was Senior Cosmetic Buyer for Saks Inc/Proffitts. Shera builds on her long standing relationships with members of the Community to connect local business and organizations with ways they can partner with Visit Knoxville to promote themselves to visitors, groups and the local community.