The U.S. Travel Association has promoted Tori Barnes to executive vice president of public affairs. She is stepping into the role previously held by Jonathan Grella, who is starting his own firm, JAG Public Affairs. Grella led U.S. Travel's advocacy arm since 2013.
Barnes joined U.S. Travel in November of 2017 as senior vice president of government relations. Under her watch, U.S. Travel's CEO Roundtable, a biannual meeting of the industry's top corporate leaders, met for the first time with President Donald Trump, and the organization's leaders have sat down regularly with members of his cabinet and top leaders in Congress. Barnes' tenure also has seen a favorable government decision in the debate over Open Skies aviation agreements, the passage of an FAA bill with numerous pro-travel provisions and, most recently, the passage and signing of the public lands bill package to protect and enhance national parks.
As EVP, Barnes will oversee the organization's Government
Relations, Communications, Research, Marketing and Grassroots/PAC
"We have always prioritized a deep bench of talent, so promoting Tori was about the easiest and most obvious decision I could have hoped for," said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow. "I am completely confident that our advocacy agenda won't miss a single beat."
Prior to joining U.S. Travel, Barnes served as a lobbyist for General Motors.
U.S. Travel will retain Grella in a consulting role.