Ned Blair is the newest addition to the State's dynamic Tourism Sales and Marketing Team assembled ten months ago by Linda Parkowski, Director of Tourism, State of Delaware. With the recent out-of-state relocation of Susan Graham, Ned became the new sales development leader for the meetings and conventions targeted market segment.
"Meetings and conventions are big business for the tourism industry," says Parkowski. "Ned is a great
asset to the team and brings with him an extensive sales background in the hospitality and hotel
Originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ned began his hospitality career at the Mountain Lake
Hotel located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia-the infamous property where the movie
classic, "Dirty Dancing," was filmed. Over the past decade, Ned honed his sales skills at several hotels
and a Convention and Visitors Bureau located in the Delmarva peninsula including the Rehoboth Beach
Atlantic Sands Hotel and Conference Center, Lewes Inn at Canal Square, Kent County Convention and
Visitors Bureau, Dover Downs Hotel and Casino and, most recently, the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake
Bay Golf Resort Spa and Marina.
Ned has been actively involved in many industry professional organizations such as Meeting
Professional International (MPI), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and Hospitality
Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). Most notably, Ned was the recipient of the
Potomac Chapter of MPI's Rising Star Award, representing the second largest MPI chapter in the
"My diverse background has given me a good understanding of how industry partners operate, which
will enable me to best serve them as a representative of the State," says Ned Blair.
The Delaware Tourism sales force is very focused on particular market segments to attract large
volumes of visitors to Delaware including Meetings and Conventions, Group Tour, Sporting Events,
and Leisure. "There is untapped opportunity with attracting meetings and conventions to Delaware.
With Ned's expertise and established contacts in the industry, Ned is positioned to make a positive
impact," said Parkowski.
"We want visitors to know that Delaware is an ideal location to hold a meeting, sports tournament, or
group tour," says Parkowksi. "Delaware is affordable, easily accessible, and offers diverse options
including resort and coastline venues."
Through collaborative efforts with the tourism and hospitality industries, the Delaware Tourism Office
has launched an aggressive sales and advertising campaign. Over the past ten months, the Delaware
Tourism Office has been instrumental in establishing the Delaware Sports Commission, kicking off the
Delaware Geocaching Trail and, more recently, launching the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail.
The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., a division of the Delaware Economic
Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit
the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.