Jay Sharplin elected to Louisiana Travel Association’s board

Jay Sharplin, President of Sharpco Hotel Group, and Rebecca Blankenbaker, Executive Director of Cane River National Heritage Area, were installed as Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) Board of Directors during its annual meeting at the Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel.

“I am honored to be serving LTA and the 750 members the association represents throughout the state,” said Jay Sharplin. Rebecca Blankenbaker added, “This organization has worked to lead and strengthen Louisiana’s tourism industry for 59 years, and I look forward to working with my fellow board members to keep the momentum going.”

Returning member on the board of directors representing Natchitoches is Arlene Gould with Natchitoches Parish CVB.

“Our executive committee and board of directors are responsible for helping us meet the needs of our members and making sure we accomplish our goals of providing educational and marketing opportunities while also advocating on the industry’s behalf,” said Jill Kidder, LTA president and CEO. “We are excited to be starting off another year with a great group of industry leaders that represent the entire state.”

About the Louisiana Travel Association

LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $1.9 billion for Louisiana in 2018 and employs more than 237,200 people throughout the state. For more information, visit LouisianaTravelAssociation.org.

Chelsey and Lauryn Sharplin graduate from the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy

Chelsey and Lauryn Sharplin graduate from the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy

Charenton, La. (Jan.31, 2020) – The Louisiana Travel Association (LTA) celebrated the graduation of Chelsey and Lauryn Sharplin, of Sharpco Hotels Group, the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy (LTLA) at the association’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Charenton.

The 22 members of the LTLA class spent all of 2019 developing their leadership skills while learning from seasoned professionals from throughout the tourism industry. The goal of the program is to equip each class member with knowledge and skills that will enrich their tourism-related organizations, therefore strengthening the state-wide tourism industry.

“I’m excited to graduate as part of the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy class of 2019,” said Chelsey Sharplin. “I was exposed to a lot of new ideas and learned so much from established leaders in the tourism industry. I believe I will benefit from this program for years to come.” Lauryn Sharplin reiterated that statement, “LTLA was an incredibly fun learning opportunity. Not only did we gain knowledge about tourism, we did it while traveling across our great state seeing everything Louisiana has to offer. And we got to do with an amazing group of professionals.”

The graduating class of LTLA also includes: Katherine Simon Andry, Zehnder Communications; Jerrica Bennett, Monroe-West Monroe CVB; Buddy Boe, River Parishes Tourist Commission; Alia Casborne, City of Mandeville; Kimberly Chauvin, Down the Bayou Shrimp Tours; Melissa Chiasson-Durocher, Houma Area CVB; Matthew Cope, Louisiana Office of Tourism; Joni Pitre Duet, Houma Area CVB; Kylie Gravois, Ascension Parish Tourism; Serena Gray, Webster Parish CVB; Jessica Henry, Lafayette CVC; Philip Lawrence, Jackson Parish Tourism; Jill Leo, Natchitoches Historic Business Association; Jennifer Mamon, Ruston Lincoln CVB; Colten Miller, Visit Lake Charles; Jason Miller, Louisiana Office of Tourism; William Precht, Visit Lake Charles; Ethan Rodrigue, Laura Plantation; Ann Savage, Alexandria-Pineville Area CVB;; and Carla Tate, Tangipahoa Parish CVB.

Members of the class also gave back to the tourism community by selecting businesses within the industry for pro-bono projects. Collectively, the value of the class’ tourism product enhancement and marketing work exceeded $100,000.

“LTLA has been a tremendous opportunity for those interested in learning more about Louisiana’s tourism industry, and we are proud of the 2019 graduating class,” said Jill Kidder, LTA President and CEO. “Not only has this program individually benefited these emerging leaders, but the LTLA class projects are paying off significant dividends for the entire industry.”

About the Louisiana Travel Association

LTA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana’s vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $1.9 billion for Louisiana in 2018 and employs more than 237,200 people throughout the state. For more information, visit LouisianaTravelAssociation.org.

Sharpco Hotels Welcomes New Sales Manager Elaine Sparks

Sharpco Hotels Group welcomes new Sales Manager

Sharpco Hotels Group welcomes new Sales Manager Elaine Sparks to its team. Elaine comes with 27 years of experience. Now she’s come full circle to work with several properties, including the Best Western where she began her career in the hotel industry.

Sharpco Hotels Group Owner Jay Sharplin said he’s excited to bring a new face on board.