CARY, NC – Randolph County Tourism Development Authority Executive Director, Tammy O'Kelley was re-elected to chair the NC Travel & Tourism Board at the regularly scheduled meeting of the board in Cary on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. O’Kelley was reappointed to a two-year term on the board in December representing the Office of the Speaker of the House. 

As Executive Director of the Tourism Development Authority, O'Kelley leads the efforts of the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, which serves as the official destination marketing organization representing Archdale, Asheboro, Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur, Randleman, Seagrove, Staley, and Trinity; and oversees the staffing and operations of the I-73/74 Visitor Centers in Seagrove, a partnership with the NC Department of Transportation. She has been employed with the authority since June 2001 and was promoted to executive director in August 2006. 

“It is truly an honor to serve on the NC Travel and Tourism board, and particularly to work alongside Sec. John Skvarla who has brought a new energy to the board that is very exciting,” said O’Kelley. “We have a lengthy legislative agenda this session, but I feel confident that we have the right people in place at Visit North Carolina to lead the industry to new heights this year.” 

The North Carolina Department of Commerce works to develop and promote North Carolina as a primary travel destination. In 2014, O’Kelley chaired the board through the transition of the NC Division of Tourism, Film, and Sports Development to Visit North Carolina, a unit of the new public-private organization contracted to lead North Carolina's marketing programs, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. 

The tourism industry is a vital component of North Carolina's economic stability as benefits of tourism touch each of the state's 100 counties. Direct tourism employment continues to grow in lodging, transportation, food service, and retail employment sectors to help serve visitors that spend more than $55 million per day in North Carolina. In 2013, domestic travelers spent a record $20.2 billion, up from $19.4 billion in 2012 – an increase of 4.1 percent. This record visitor spending supported more than 40,000 North Carolina businesses and directly supported nearly 200,000 jobs across the state. 

O'Kelley also serves on the boards of the NC Travel & Tourism Coalition, Piedmont Triad Film Commission, and the Piedmont Triad Host Group, which she also chairs. She holds professional memberships in Destination Marketing Association International, US Travel Association, Southeast Tourism Society and the NC Restaurant & Lodging Association. A life-long resident of Randolph County, O'Kelley lives in Asheboro with her husband, Mike. 

The Randolph County Tourism Development Authority is a public authority created by the NC Legislature that operates solely on occupancy taxes generated by overnight guests in Randolph County. For additional information, call (336) 626-0364 or go to