IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, has announced that Keith Stephenson will join the team as director of public affairs for IAAPA North America. In this role, he will lead the organisation’s governmental relations and advocacy initiatives.
Stephenson has a 25-year long career in public affairs and trade associations behind him, with experience representing the hotel, food and beverage, and retail segments of the hospitality and travel and tourism industry, at local, multi-state, federal, and international government levels.
Tourism and hospitality experience
During this time, he worked as a lobbyist of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, executive VP of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association and director of state government affairs for the American Resort Development Association. Before joining IAAPA, Stephenson was the director of state and local government affairs for the National Restaurant Association.
“Keith is a great addition to our public affairs team,” says John Hallenbeck, vice president and executive director, IAAPA North America. “As we continue to educate lawmakers and regulators to gain their support on issues critical to our industry, Keith will lead the team and guide our strategic efforts.
“His association background and vast public affairs experience at all levels of government, coupled with his collaborative approach will be key assets as he serves our members in North America.”
Stephenson attended Ohio State University where he achieved a Bachelor of Arts qualification in Political Science and Economics. He will be based at IAAPA HQ in Orlando, reporting to Hallenbeck, and travelling to the US and Canada as required.
Earlier this month, IAAPA announced that its EMEA Spring Summit will be postponed by three weeks, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was originally scheduled for 8 – 10 June 2021 but will now take place from 29 June to 1 July.