100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Valencia Bembry


Senior Vice President of Accreditation and Strategic InitiativesValencia Bembry

Valencia joined DMAI in 2013 as the Director of Accreditation Programs with more than 20 years progressive experience in marketing communications and business development.  

She is responsible for the management and marketing of DMAI’s Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP). Under her leadership, the DMAP program performance standards for new applicants have undergone enhancements, reflecting the current ‘best practices’ in destination management and marketing.  She has guided the development and seamless launch of DMAP’s new Accreditation Management System; and improved program operations and educational resources available to Accredited DMOs. Prior to joining DMAI, Valencia was the Manager, Global Marketing & Business Development for the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) in Alexandria, VA.  At HRCI, Valencia researched and managed in-country strategic relationships with global HR organizations to increase their certification awareness.  As a result, she enabled double digit growth in certification applications.  

During her tenure with Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) she led the development and implementation of IHG’s franchisee recruitment and retention program that increased minority and women ownership within IHG’s family of brands.  She began her hospitality career at Choice Hotels, coordinating Choice Hotels franchise development efforts in the Caribbean and non-traditional markets resulting in an increase in Hispanic-Latino, African American and Women franchisees. 

Valencia began her professional career working for non-profit economic development organizations in Michigan and Virginia, where she was directly responsible for business recruitment and retention programs. She has successfully coordinated numerous public-private partnerships that stimulated economic growth and fostered regional collaboration.

She holds a Master’s degree in International Marketing and Management, a BS Degree in Global Business & Public Policy and is currently a MBA candidate.  

Get to know Valencia

Hometown: Detriot, MI

Nickname: V

First job in the tourism industry: Diversifying Choice Hotels Franchisee base

Three things that are always in your suitcase: Sleeping Mask, Noise reduction headphones, Almonds

Best travel tip: Pack the essentials first

Aisle or window: Window always, every trips needs a co-copilot

Planes, trains or automobiles: Train if feasible, otherwise fly me there

What do you do with your free time: Travel, cycle, hang with the kids, including the furry ones

Favorite quoteHappiness is contagious

If you could have a super power, what would it be: Healing

Three most commonly used apps on your phone: Tripcase, Nike Running, Scout