Meet Jennifer Wesselhoff,
Leader of the TEI team

Jennifer Wesselhoff is a Certified Destination Marketing Executive whose 20 years of achievement have won accolades from Switzerland to England, Saudi Arabia, Sedona, Arizona and Park City, Utah.

Jennifer is passionate about authentic marketing, building local economies, identifying your ideal traveler demographic, enhancing a destination’s natural resources and respecting local quality of life. Her tech-savvy, strategic thinking brings fresh insights to every conversation.

  • As Saudi Arabia opens to tourism, Jennifer is winning praise from the Royal Commission on AlUla, a UNESCO Heritage Site, for her cultural/environmental sensitivity and TEI’s customized training programs.
  • Directing development of Arizona’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan in Sedona, Arizona, Jennifer won awards from the Governor’s Office and Arizona Forward, the state’s leading sustainable development advocacy group.
  • Jennifer designed a community-wide team to create Utah’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan, a detailed plan for a balanced tourism future, recognized by the Park City and Summit County councils.

Jennifer is a sought-after speaker, consultant, adjunct professor, mentor, and facilitator. She helps clients define their tourism goals, develop a plan with measurable results and engage stakeholders in a meaningful way. Her experience offers learning lessons and best practices for both emerging and mature destinations.

Jennifer is the former President of the Board of the Destination Marketing Association West and a member of the Utah State Tourism Board, appointed by Governor Spencer Cox.  She was the Film Commissioner of Sedona, AZ, home of the Sedona International Film Festival and is involved in Park City’s world-renown Sundance International Film Festival held in January each year.  Jennifer is gearing up for Utah to be the home of the next Winter Olympics Games on US soil.  Jennifer is a guest lecturer at George Washington University and Middle Tennessee State University and she was recently honored with a 2023 Tourism Trailblazer Award by the Utah Tourism Industry Association.

Meet David Vela
Former Acting Director of the United States National Park Service

Appointed by President Donald Trump, David Vela is the former Acting Director of the United States National Park Service and Founder of Vela Heritage Consulting.

Over the course of his thirty-eight years of public service, David Vela made significant achievements and contributions at the state, national, and international level. During his thirty years in the National Park Service, he led efforts to protect our nation’s most special places while engaging youth and underserved communities.

David was the first Latino to be nominated by the President of the United States to serve as Director of the National Park Service. Prior to his retirement in September 2020, he served as Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority of the Director. He also served as Chair for the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.

While in his position, David led efforts to prepare the NPS for a second century of service. Through the development of “NPS NEXT, A Second Century of Service” initiative, he sought to modernize the business practices of the agency, create a second century visitor experience, generate the next generation of diverse conservation stewards and workforce, and enhance through science the agency’s resource stewardship mission.
Previous executive and leadership assignments in the NPS included Associate Director for Workforce, Relevancy and Inclusion, Regional Director of the Southeast Region, and Superintendent of four national park units to include Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. He also served as Director of the Texas Child Support program under the Attorney General of Texas.

David is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Parks. He is the recipient of numerous awards both within and outside of the National Park Service for leadership and performance excellence to include the U.S. Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award “In recognition of his outstanding performance and strategic leadership for the National Park Service” and the Clemson University Walter T. Cox Award.

In retirement, David serves on a number of national nonprofit boards to include the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation Board of Trustees and the National Park Foundation National Council. He is also a national motivational and public speaker inspiring the next generation of diverse conservation stewards, advocates, and workforce. He is the recent author of Hola Ranger, My Journey Through The National Parks. David and his wife Melissa have two children Christina and Anthony and eight grandchildren.

Meet Ken Lynch,
TEI Associate

Ken’s tourism-related PR experience ranges from serving as a tribal strategist for Prop 201 establishing Indian Gaming in Arizona, directing creation of the first City of Surprise Tourism Plan, organizing Cactus League spring training media events, and developing communications strategy with the Sedona AZ Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau.

Ken has served as Marketing and Communication Director/City of Surprise AZ, Video Productions Director and Public Information Officer/City of Phoenix, and Chief Communications Officer for a major Phoenix nonprofit. An Emmy-nominated producer, Ken has managed creative teams in major market news radio stations, PBS-affiliated TV and radio stations, Phoenix-area TV newsrooms and NHK Broadcasting in Osaka and Tokyo.

Ken is a gifted writer, producing award-winning web copy, presentations, press releases, brochures, speeches, blog posts, guest editorials, ad copy, video and radio scripts, white papers – even a ghost-written autobiography.

Meet Amelia Vela, CEO
Destinations Stewards International

Amelia Vela is a highly knowledgeable expert in the realm of visitor services, program management, and community engagement. She has a track record of excellence and proven leadership skills that demonstrate sound judgment, creativity, and forward thinking.

Her extensive career with the National Park Service spans various roles at the park, regional, and national levels. Outside of her tenure with the NPS, Amelia adeptly utilized her expertise to develop, implement, and assess learning at the secondary and tertiary levels. She holds a Master of Education from Roberts Wesleyan University and has held certification in training and coaching in interpretation and education throughout her career. Amelia has received numerous awards including Outstanding Individual Business Partner from Career Academies of St. Johns, Outstanding Educator Award from First Coast Optimist Club of St. Augustine.

Meet Deborah Ostreicher,
TEI Associate

Deborah’s leadership experience stretches over 25 years and two continents. She has served as Events Manager for Prince Charles in the U.K., Marketing Director for a multi-national hi-tech company in Central Europe, and most recently as Vice President of Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, one of the nation’s busiest and most award-winning airports. Today, she is a recognized tourism industry expert and presenter, coaching executives and teams on making an impact through effective communication.

Deborah has received numerous “Most Influential” and “Most Outstanding Awards,” including “Athena” and “Business Woman of the Year” recognition.

Deborah is passionate about sharing the secrets to communication success. She holds a Liberal Arts from the University of Maryland, College Park; and MBA is from the American University, Washington, D.C. and a certificate in Leadership Communications from Harvard University.

Meet Anne Jenkins,
TEI Associate

Anne is a seasoned veteran of all aspects of DMO operation and management.  She has led successful Oregon DMOs in the areas of marketing, product development and organizational management. She has directed brand development and destination marketing, overseen operation of multiple visitor centers and developed and supervised tourism volunteer programs. Her experience includes DMO budgeting and financial analysis, liaising with elected officials and local business communities, and managing campaigns to increase tourism-support revenues from transient lodging taxes.  She is an expert in brand development, including rebranding campaigns that revitalize a destination’s image.  Active on several boards and committees, Anne believes in connecting communities with tourism so residents and visitors enjoy –  and benefit from – the tourism experience together.

Meet Stephanie Nowack,
TEI Associate

Stephanie is a respected leader in Arizona tourism and community circles, recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of three finalists for CEO of the year in 2017 and the grateful recipient of the Spirit of Leadership award from Destination Marketing Association West. For 18 years, Stephanie led the Tempe Tourism Office, home of Arizona State University, as President and CEO, generating tens of millions of dollars in economic impact.

As Senior VP of Valley of the Sun United Way, she spearheaded community outreach for Arizona’s premier charitable fundraising organization, raising awareness of pressing community issues and galvanizing engagement in one of America’s largest metro markets. While directing all external communications for Motorola’s Satellite Communications Division, she built successful business relationships on a global scale. An accomplished presenter, educator, and facilitator, Stephanie is a leader in directing staff training and strategic direction for DMOs and newly developing tourism agencies.

TEI has collected the best of the industry’s best – all supporting you, your destination and your next development steps. ​ Our consultants collaborate with you to create sustainable, community-supported tourism and economic development grounded in an authentic sense of place, producing balanced economic growth, increased tax revenues and an improved quality of life.