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by Andrea Doyle | October 21, 2011
Geoff Freeman has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of the U.S. Travel Association.

"Over the past five years, Geoff has built a very talented team that has greatly increased the effectiveness and prominence of our industry among elected officials, media, and decision makers," says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Earlier this year, he was promoted to executive vice president and under his leadership, our overall team has increased our focus on member relevance and value. This promotion recognizes the role he has been playing and will enable his aligned team to achieve even more on behalf of our members." 

Toward that objective, Washington veteran Blain Rethmeier will be joining the U.S. Travel Association as its new senior vice president of public affairs, overseeing the industry advocacy group's management of government affairs, communications, grassroots initiatives, and research activities.

Rethmeier joins U.S. Travel on Nov. 7. He has valuable experience as an association executive at the American Insurance Association, as well as keen political instincts honed on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and at the U.S. Department of Justice. Beyond his record of success in managing public affairs, he has key knowledge of economic and homeland security issues.

"Blaine's arrival is an important step for the travel industry and sends a message to Washington of our seriousness in pursuit of policies that will increase travel to and within the United States," adds Dow.

In other U.S. Travel news, with Chief of Staff Bryan Lewis joining the Corporation for Travel Promotion as its vice president, operations, and general counsel, Rebecca Shafer has been promoted to director of executive operations.