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GLIN==> Southwest michigan legislative tourism conference

Posted on behalf of Sara Ballard <Sballar@house.state.mi.us>

Legislative tourism conference scheduled for May
Southwestern lawmakers to discuss future of important industry

The director of Travel Michigan and speaker of the Michigan House are among
those highlighting a special tourism meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., on May

House Speaker Chuck Perricone and other lawmakers will share their
policy-making insights at the third annual Southwestern Michigan Legislative
Tourism Conference.  Travel Michigan Director Susy Avery, appointed last
year by Gov. John Engler, is giving the luncheon keynote address.

The Kalamazoo Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau is serving as the host
organization. Bureau officials and lawmakers have developed a series of
informative roundtable discussions to help build a legislative agenda for
regional tourism.

"The emphasis will be on grass-roots interaction between community leaders,
business owners, elected officials and residents," said Perricone,
R-Kalamazoo Township.  "We've got a great lineup.  Thanks to the talent and
expertise in our region, discussions should be lively and informative."

One of the most popular portions of previous conferences has been a question
and answer session with a panel of southwestern Michigan legislators.  It
has been included in this year's program.

"Area lawmakers must join forces with job providers to promote this region,"
Perricone said. "A strategy coordinated by public and private sector leaders
is sure to succeed."

Perricone heads a coalition of southwestern Michigan legislators involved in
the event.  Other lawmakers participating are Reps. Patty Birkholz,
R-Saugatuck Township; Cameron S. Brown, R-Fawn River Township; Terry Geiger,
R-Lake Odessa; Ron Jelinek, R-Three Oaks; Jon Jellema, R-Grand Haven; Wayne
Kuipers, R-Holland; Charles LaSata, R-St. Joseph; Mary Ann Middaugh, R-Paw
Paw; and Jerry Vander Roest, R-Charleston Township.

A $50 registration includes conference workshops at the Radisson Plaza Hotel
at Kalamazoo Center, 100 W. Michigan Ave.  The conference fee does not
include room accommodations.  For room reservations, call (616) 343-3333.

"We're offering an informative yet interesting program at an affordable
price," Perricone said.   "I encourage individuals and organizations
involved in the travel industry to attend this worthwhile event."

For more information, call Sara Ballard, Michigan House of Representatives'
staffer, at (517) 373-9039 or the Kalamazoo Convention & Visitors' Bureau at

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