Leadership Team

 

Kim Bumpas, CDME, CMP

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.

At 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 Hotel Knoxville) 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.

With over 20 years’ experience in hotels, venues and destination marketing, Bumpas earned the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Classification 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 and Secretary;  Rotary Club of Knoxville;  Tennessee Society of Association Executives (TSAE) – Board Member;  Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Classification - 2003;  40 Under Forty – Class of 2008;  Facilitated accreditation with the Destination Marketing Association International’s (DMAI) Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) – 2008;  Introduction Knoxville – Class of 2010;  Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) - 2011;  Tennessee Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau (TACVB) - Board Member (2011-2014) and FYE14 Chair;  Leadership Knoxville – Class of 2012;  Tennessee Tourism Committee (TTC) (appointed by the Governor, 2012-current) and Chair of the TTC Knowledge Driven Sub-Committee (2017-current);  Formed the Visit Knoxville Film Office - 2013/2014;  Destinations International, formerly known as Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) Speaker and Education Committee Member (2014-current);  Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association (TnHTA) – 2014-current);  Executive Women’s Association (EWA) - 2015;  East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association – Class of 2015;  Destination Marketing Association of the Year - 2016;  Formed the Visit Knoxville Sports Commission - 2016;  Ijams Nature Center - Board Member and FYE16 & FYE17 Chair;  Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association’s (GKHA) Women in Hospitality & Tourism of the Year award - 2017;  Tennessee Theater Board Member (2017-current);  University of Tennessee Chancellors Associates Program – Class of 2018;  Knoxville Public Arts Committee (Mayor appointment 2019-2021) and other various committees.

 

Angie 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

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 Rowan

Senior Director of Sales

Sarah Rowan joined the VK Team in 2013 as a Sales Director where she focused for two years on recruiting associations and groups within the scientific, engineering, trade, hobby and agricultural markets to meet in Knoxville. In September 2015, Rowan stepped into the role of  Senior Director of Sales and is responsible for overseeing all convention sales efforts. Rowan and her team of destination sales experts and support staff are tasked with selling Knoxville as an ideal destination for conferences, conventions, meetings and trade shows, increasing group and convention business into the City of Knoxville and Knox County, producing the highest possible economic impact as a result.

Rowan has been a lifelong East Tennessee resident. Originally from Johnson City, Tennessee Sarah earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from East Tennessee State University and began her career in tourism and hospitality as Director of Sales for the Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau. Her favorite thing about working for Visit Knoxville is the ability to add value and make a difference in her community. Her favorite thing about the tourism industry is the opportunity to meet so many people from all over and share her passion of Knoxville with them!

 

Kelli 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 Culver

Senior Director of Sports Commission

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 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.

 

Lynn Dwyer

Senior Director of Finance and Administration

Lynn comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where she spent her last 12 years as the Director of Finance with The Legal Aid Society of Columbus and Ohio State Legal Services.  Prior to her time with legal aid she was a partner in the local CPA firm of Pigman, Walter and Associates in Bucyrus, Ohio.  She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Tiffin University.  Lynn is a CPA and has over 25 years of experience working with small businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations.