Readers often ask, “Don’t you ever run out of ideas to write about?” Honestly, no. There are limitless nuances about our culture and the way we go about life here in Denton, not to mention a never-ending parade of colorful characters, past and present. I mean that in the most positive way.

Some of these characters are the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) team members. We are a small staff, but incredibly diverse in our passions, interests, backgrounds and areas of expertise. No doubt, our differences are the magic ingredients that make us strong together. Sound familiar? We are original, independent individuals who make a unique whole in the same way Dentonites make Denton on the grander scale. The result? Denton enjoys widespread notoriety for our uncommonly cool sense of place. Likewise, our team leads Texas tourism as the most creatively progressive among Texas CVBs.

Dana Lodge, our Director of Sales, is the CVB’s most recent shining star. This month, Dana was named to the Dallas Fort Worth Area Tourism Council (DFWATC) Board of Directors, nominated and elected by our colleagues across North Texas to lead and represent our region.

“DFWATC allows us to sell Denton as part of the bigger picture,” Dana says. “Because of our active involvement, we host travel writers, tour operators, group leaders, meeting planners and others. These people coming to explore the DFW area for future tourism business may otherwise never discover Denton.”

Forged 35 years ago, DFWATC is Texas’ longest-running regional marketing association, 144 organizations strong including giants like the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Fort Worth Stockyards, Billy Bobs and Six Flags. One third of DFWATC’s membership is municipalities. Those 48 member participants are the marketing arms of city government, the CVBs.   Dana is one on a board of only 17 leading DFWATC going forward, a stellar endorsement of her as a professional and of Denton as a key leader among our regional partners.

“Dana has been a long-time, active participant in the Council,” said Traci Mayer, DFWATC Executive Director. “She has lead sales missions and chaired our Sales Committee. We are delighted she is coming on the board this year.”

As Ms. Mayer said, Dana is not new to DFWATC. In fact, Dana is a veteran in our regional travel and tourism industry. She is the second-longest tenured member of the Denton CVB team, now in her 11th year. Before Denton, she spent 25 years as the director of sales and brand delivery for the Trail Dust Restaurant chain during which time she served an 8-year term on the DFWATC board. Her competent leadership and experience along with the wildly successful track record enjoyed by Trail Dust under her expertise made Dana an incredibly fortuitous add when we recruited her to Denton more than a decade ago. Since then, she has done in Denton what she did with Trail Dust.

Case in point: In her personal life, Dana is a well-known breeder, handler and AKC judge for English Springer Spaniel show dogs. No kidding, she is a top dog in that world (pun totally intended), some of her clients even international. Her dog life has spanned more than 30 years.

When Dana joined our team in 2005, we had a fledgling, newly hatched concept called the North Texas Horse Country Tour. Developing the tour as an attraction on which to build Denton tourism was her first major CVB assignment, and she ran with it. Without real forethought about the connectivity between the two, Dana’s love for and proficiency in the canine world transferred immediately and beautifully to the equine world. She has single-handedly driven the horse county into the top echelon of Texas tour experiences. Her network within national circles like the American Bus Association drives more than half of the 50-some-odd motorcoach tours that visit the horse country every year

I do not exaggerate regarding the top-quality talent that tells the world about Denton and invites all kind of interests and pursuits to visit. The best summarization way is that the Denton CVB rocks, because every member of the team is excellent. No one settles for “good enough.” Each invests every ounce of talent and energy into our projects. There is not a slacker one in our midst, and that makes our work fruitful and fun.

If you see Dana out and about, fist-bump her and say, “Congrats!” We are proud of her and excited for Denton and DFWATC, because she absolutely will make an impact. She always does. That’s how our CVB rolls.