The Team

Peggy Bendel

Peggy Bendel, headed the Tourism Division of Development Counsellors International (DCI) from 1985 to 2008, working with such clients as Australia, California, Denver, Dubai, South Africa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Scotland and Tasmania.

A principal in the seminal I Love New York campaign, Peggy began her career as a travel writer for the State of New York, and worked in economic development and international trade as well as tourism.

Her crisis communications experience includes working with Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic; with the US Virgin Islands pre- and post-Hurricane Hugo; a murder-suicide at a hotel client, undiscovered for a week; and the reintroduction of South Africa to North American travelers, before and after President Mandela’s election.

She has conducted crisis communications and media training for the Arizona Office of Tourism; Hershey Entertainment and Resorts; the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau; and the Texas Office of Tourism, among others, and has taught at PRSA, DMAI and other conferences.

In 2006, Peggy received The Winthrop Grice Lifetime Achievement in Public Relations award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). She sits on the Boards of the Association of Travel Marketing Executives (ATME) and the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Travel & Tourism section – which she Chairs in 2011 – and is an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).

Peggy also served on the Board of the International Ecotourism Society for five years, and provides pro bono advice and counsel to Ecology Project International.

A frequent speaker at conferences around the U.S. and internationally on the topics of branding, crisis communications, marketing and public relations, Peggy is also a media coach and trainer.She is also the author of the forthcoming book “It’s a Crisis! Now what?” A step- by- step crisis communications handbook for the global hospitality industry.