Babe Ruth once said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

The Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) staff is a collection of individual stars. Each person possesses unique skills and expertise impressive on their own merit. The real power of our organization, though, is teamwork. Egos are checked at the door every day, and the best of each person’s gifts and talents are invested in the team mission to market and promote Denton.

While the Chamber and CVB family may take our teamwork for granted amidst the day-to-day to-dos, the success it garners is the envy of destination marketing organizations near and far. Sometimes, it takes events like the one Denton CVB staff attended last week as evidence to remind us just how well our team is winning on the field.

The Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (TACVB) provides destination marketing and problem-solving education as well as advocacy for convention and tourism professionals. TACVB held its annual convention in Fort Worth August 15-17, and since the convention was so close to home, the Denton CVB team was there in force. Packed with speakers, panels and sessions designed to strengthen industry professionals, the annual convention is also a forum for competition and recognition of excellence.

This is where our Denton CVB team hit a home run.

Veronica Maldonado and Kim Phillips accept the Judges Choice award for the CVB in the tourism promotion category at the 2017 TACVB Annual Conference in Fort Worth. (Photo by Dana Goolsby)

In the realm of competition, the Denton CVB took first place in three 2017 Idea Fair Categories. The CVB’s virtual reality video suite that comprised our SXSW Interactive campaign won first place in the Tourism Promotion category. Our new promotional video, launched this summer on July 10, won the Video category. And in the National Tourism Week category, first place went to our “I Am One in 1.1 Million” campaign celebrating the more than 1,600 people employed in Denton’s travel and tourism industry.

Perhaps the biggest competition at the annual convention is that between cities bidding to host a future TACVB convention. Out of five bidding cities, the top three, being Amarillo, Denton and San Antonio, were invited to present to the voting membership, some 350 people who rendered the decision for where the TACVB Annual Convention will be in 2019.

Denton wins again! Thanks to a stellar, skit-style presentation featuring a video custom-produced in-house by CVB team members Isabel Deniz and Jake Laughlin, previously-hidden acting skills by staff members Dana Lodge and Jake Laughlin, and sponsorship from Audacity Brew House, the Denton CVB is thrilled and proud that we will be TACVB’s 2019 host city.

As for recognition and awards, three Denton CVB team members were celebrated.

Veronica Maldonado accepts her Texas Destination Marketer (TDM) certification at the 2017 TACVB Annual Conference in Fort Worth (with Shari Lee of Visit Tyler). (Photo by Dana Goolsby)

Veronica Maldonado, Communications Director and 10-year veteran with the Denton CVB, earned the Texas Destination Marketing (TDM) certification, a designation earned only after years of investment in specific destination marketing disciplines. The certification requires a designee to master six out of 12 possible disciplines. Veronica earned hers in Texas Heritage/Cultural Tourism, Administration/Finance, Communication/Technology, Marketing, Tourism Sales and Visitor Services.

Wendy Haun, Digital Marketing Coordinator and 2-year Denton CVB veteran, earned her second discipline certificate toward the TDM certification in Communications/Technology. She received her first certificate in Marketing last year.

And finally, I was surprised and humbled to be this year’s Legacy Award recipient, an honor nominated by my professional peers.

Kim Phillips is presented with the TACVB Legacy Award by Shari Lee of Visit Tyler. (Photo by Dana Goolsby)

“The Legacy Award is presented to an individual that exhibits characteristics of legacy, vision, inspiration, leadership, professionalism, and hospitality. This recipient has greatly shaped the success of the tourism industry in Texas. Through their commitment and influence, they have dedicated years of service to build a strong foundation for TACVB and for future generations.” (

I am still reeling from this honor, thankful for the blessing of many years in an industry and city that I love with all my heart. More than anything, though, I am thankful for our CVB team.

Ours is an away game, played mostly in the marketplace wooing visitors to discover Denton. Dentonites are often oblivious of our work and accomplishments. I believe it’s important that our leadership and citizens realize the caliber of the Denton CVB team.

Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” Our CVB team believes this, every person. We know that it is only together, sharing our talents and supporting one another through every creation, campaign, challenge and success that we are who we are: the Denton CVB, original, independent and winning Texas’ travel and tourism industry!