Key Speakers

Dennis W. Archer, Jr.

CEO, Ignition Media Group & President/Founding Partner, ACS

The Honorable Debbie Dingell

U.S. Representative (MI-06)

Geoff Freeman

President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association

Molly Harris

Managing Director, Airport Customer Service, Delta

Tori Barnes

EVP, Public Affairs & Policy, U.S. Travel Association

Todd Bettison

Deputy Mayor, City of Detroit

Dave Lorenz

Vice President, Travel Michigan

Claude Molinari

President & CEO, Visit Detroit

Terry Rhadigan

VP, Global Comms & Corporate Giving, GM

The Honorable Joe Tate

Speaker, Michigan House of Representatives

Rod Alberts

Executive Director, North American International Auto Show

Patricia Mooradian

President & CEO, The Henry Ford Museum

Michelle Street

General Manager, Detroit Marriott Troy

Andrew Leber

Vice President of Hospitality, Bedrock

Karen Totaro

General Manager, Huntington Place/ASM Global

Mark Wallace

CEO, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy


  • The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, a prominent cultural institution that celebrates and embodies the spirit of resilience and progress that Detroit represents, aligning with the city’s diverse and vibrant identity.
  • The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Huntington Place, which provides an opportunity for attendees to witness the tangible benefits of hosting large-scale events and how they benefit local economic growth, job creation and community development.
  • The Detroit Riverfront, a location that symbolizes the crucial role of transportation in boosting commerce and underscores the importance of investing in robust travel infrastructure to foster economic growth.
  • The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, which showcases how innovation in the past has shaped the present and can guide the direction of future transportation solutions.
  • Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), Delta Terminal, for a tour and demonstration of Delta Air Lines’ brand new PARALLEL REALITY™ technology, a must-be-seen-to-be-believed experience that demonstrates the company’s spirit of innovation and commitment to customers.

Key Topics

  • Travel’s impact on the city’s cultural and economic landscapes
  • Economic growth
  • Mobility and innovation
  • Seamless and secure travel (biometric technology)
  • Community development
  • Transportation

Discussion Summary

Our roadshow commenced at the renowned Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, where we were joined by more than 50 Michigan residents. The morning was filled with engaging panel discussions from leading industry experts on the future of travel mobility and the industry’s lasting impacts on communities and local businesses. We were also joined by elected officials at every level of government, including our three keynote speakers: U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate and Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison.

From there, we headed to Huntington Place for a behind-the-scenes tour of the North American International Auto Show where we were shown both Detroit’s historical role as an epicenter of innovation as well as the tangible benefits that come with hosting large-scale events and how they boost local economic growth, job creation, community development and so much more. The following morning took us to the Detroit River Walk where we learned about the area’s transformation into a unique tourist and family attraction that welcomes over 3 million visitors annually. Soon after, we rode in Model Ts through Greenfield village and explored the evolution of transportation at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Following an informative lunch with Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud at a charming family-owned Lebanese restaurant, we concluded the day at Detroit Metro Airport. There, we were joined by leaders from Delta Air Lines and Wayne County Airport Authority who provided us with the opportunity to experience the cutting-edge Digital ID and PARALLEL REALITY technology—underscoring Delta’s strong commitment to a seamless and secure travel experience for its customers.


  • Tori Barnes, EVP, Public Affairs & Policy, U.S. Travel Association
  • Geoff Freeman, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association
  • Eric Fryer, Manager, Grassroots and PAC, U.S. Travel Association
  • Laura Holmberg, SVP, Marketing & Industry Communications, U.S. Travel Association
  • David Lorenz, Vice President, Travel Michigan
  • Chris Moyer, Sr. Director, Communications, Visit Detroit
  • Claude Molinari, President & CEO, Visit Detroit
  • Nick Nerbonne, Media, Digital & Industry Relations Director, MEDC
  • Nolan Nichols, Manager, Video Production, U.S. Travel Association
  • Nicole Porter, Vice President, Political Affairs, U.S. Travel Association
  • Jennifer Shehan, Manager, Meeting and Event Services, U.S. Travel Association
  • Greg Staley, SVP, Strategic Communications, U.S. Travel Association

Member Testimonial

Bipartisan leaders have identified the importance of retaining and attracting talent to our state to ensure the long-term vitality of Michigan. While there are no simple solutions to complex problems, attracting people to Michigan starts with a visit. Today’s tourist is tomorrow’s talent.”

Claude Molinari, President & CEO, Visit Detroit

Policymaker Testimonial

In Michigan, travel is our third largest industry. We need to invest in the people that are keeping us safe and our skies safe. We need to build up the TSA workforce. We want to reduce carbon emissions, but we need to invest infrastructure. We should be advocating for all the things—we need to keep this industry strong.”

U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-06)

Speaker Testimonial

Visitors become evangelists. Once they visit, they help us to reverse that narrative that many people may think of Detroit. We aren’t the old Detroit.

Dennis Archer, CEO, Ignition Media Group 

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