U.S. Space & Rocket Center

Staff Directory

Call: 256-551-2230 or 800-843-0468

The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau team is here to make your next visit to Huntsville a memorable one.  We can help plan your convention, meeting, reunions or tour. 

The Huntsville/Madison County CVB is divided into four major divisions: 
AdministrativeConvention SalesTourism SalesMarketing.

ADMINISTRATIVE

JUDY RYALS

President & CEO

(256) 551-2230

jryals@huntsville.org

Judy Ryals, President/CEO of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, joined the Bureau in 1978 and is the longest serving director of a tourism agency in the State of Alabama. She has been appointed by six governors to serve on the Advisory Board of the Alabama Tourism Department and currently serves as Chairman. She was one of the first females to serve as a board member of the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, which is now Destination Marketing Association International. She has served on the Board of Directors of many statewide boards including the Alabama Council of Association Executives, Alabama Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus and Alabama Travel Council. She received the state’s top award and was inducted into the Alabama Tourism Hall of Fame, the first CVB representative to receive this award. The Huntsville/Madison County CVB was chosen as organization of the year by the Alabama tourism industry as well as by Alabama Mountain Lakes Association, the north Alabama regional tourism marketing organization. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she received a degree in public relations in 1976. Mrs. Ryals, an Alabama native, is married to Davis W. Ryals, Jr. The couple has two sons, Bo and Matt.

CATIE WELLS

Executive Assistant

(256) 551-2283

cwells@huntsville.org

Catie Wells joined the CVB team in September 2010. Her job description is quite multi-faceted and encompasses human resources, proofreading and editing, accounting, working with the Board of Directors, event planning and scheduling. Catie’s previous work experience includes teaching Spanish and English and working in the hospitality industry as the Reservations Supervisor at Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona. She is on the board of directors for Huntsville Community Ballet. Catie enjoys spending time with her horse, and they have recently started the first equestrian vaulting club in Alabama.

LORI DENDY

Administrative Assistant

(256) 551-2263

ldendy@huntsville.org

Lori Dendy’s family moved to Huntsville in the early 60s to become part of the space program. Lori arrived a bit later and is proud to be the native in the family. Her first job helping newcomers transition to the city, led her to appreciate the natural beauty and opportunities of her hometown with new perspective. Now she’s happy to be sharing that information with visitors looking to make the most of their time in the Rocket City. In addition to life with her engineer husband and two adult children, Lori enjoys reading Southern literature, volunteering and experiencing Huntsville’s local music scene.

CONVENTION DEPARTMENT

 

JAMIE KOSHOFER

Vice President of Conventions

256-551-2223

jamie@huntsville.org

Jamie serves as the Vice President of Conventions and oversees all functions of the convention department. He previously served as the director of sales and marketing at the Westin Huntsville. Prior to his tenure at the Westin, Mr. Koshofer moved through the ranks in various Atlanta, GA, hotel positions, starting as a senior sales manager at the Emory Conference Center Hotel and then on to director of national accounts for the Saddlebrook Resort. Jamie moved to Huntsville from the Atlanta area to be closer to family. His wife, Katie, is a physician assistant at Integrity Family Care and they have three children - Connor, Jillian, and Emily. He and his family enjoy the wide variety of family activities Huntsville has to offer.

SHARON SNELL

Senior Convention Sales Manager & Technology Network Manager - Markets: Religious, Corporate

256-551-2233

ssnell@huntsville.org

Sharon Snell joined the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1999. As Senior Convention Sales Manager, she is responsible for marketing Huntsville, Madison and Madison County as a meeting destination to the religious, corporate and multicultural markets. Additionally, Sharon oversees technology operations at the Bureau as well as updating website content. Prior to joining the Bureau, she worked for Intergraph Corporation, a computer mapping and graphics company headquartered in Huntsville. Sharon is a graduate of Tennessee State University where she received a degree in Management Information Systems.

MARK MCCARTER

Convention Sales Manager - Markets: Sports and Education

256-551-2334

mccarter@huntsville.org

Mark McCarter, a four-time Alabama Sports Writer of the Year, joined the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau in the spring of 2018 and works with local, regional and national sports organizations to bring events to the Huntsville area. A veteran journalist and author of two books, McCarter was a columnist at The Huntsville Times for 17 years and his work appeared in many national publications, including Sports Illustrated, Fortune and The Sporting News. He serves on the John Stallworth Celebrity Golf Tournament committee and the board of directors for the local Alzheimer’s Association and Phoenix, Inc. He and wife Patricia, a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Hexagon, are parents of three children, Jordan, Miles and Jackson. McCarter was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in his native Chattanooga in 2012 and the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015 – neither honor, sadly, for his slowpitch softball prowess.

LESLIE WALKER

Convention Sales Manager - Markets: Associations, Fraternal, Family Reunions, Multi-Cultural

256-551-2380

lwalker@huntsville.org

Prior to joining the Convention team in December 2012, Leslie Walker enjoyed a 20+ year career in all facets of sales and hospitality. Working her way up through the ranks beginning as a front desk associate, planning meetings and conventions as a Sales Manager and Director of Sales as well as serving as a General Manager all within the hotel and lodging industry. Additionally, Leslie served as Logistics Planner for a Huntsville-based software company, organizing national and international exhibitions. In her position at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, she works with Fraternal, Association, Cyber Security, Family Reunion, Multi-cultural and Social Media Markets as well as being a regular contributor to the iHeartHsv.com blog. Leslie served on the founding board of the Society of Government Meeting Professionals – Rocket City Chapter, has served as Vice President and President of the Huntsville Hospitality Sales and Marketing Executives and is currently the Board Vice President of Campaigns for United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville & the Tennessee Valley.

VAN BROWN

Convention Services Manager - Welcome Packets: Brochures, Maps etc.

256-551-2226

van@huntsville.org

Van Brown is a Huntsville native who grew up within walking distance of the bustling downtown business district. He loves the history and folklore of the area, much of which was passed on by his grandmother. Van is active in the community and has served on the Huntsville Pilgrimage Association board. He participates in the Maple Hill Cemetery Stoll each year dressed as local bovine legend Lily Flagg. When he’s not at the CVB assisting folks with brochures, maps and other local information, you may find him leading a ghost walk for a local tour company.

MARKETING DEPARTMENT

 

CHARLES WINTERS

Executive Vice President - Marketing, Media & Advertising inquiries

(256) 551-2235

cwinters@huntsville.org

Charles Winters is the Executive Vice President of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, responsible for overseeing the marketing and public relations of the organization. A graduate of Huntsville High, and the University of North Alabama, Charles began his career at the CVB in 1986. He actively serves on several boards including Leadership Huntsville/Madison County, the Huntsville Sports Commission and the University of North Alabama Alumni Association. He has just been appointed to a three year term on the Advisory Committee of the North American Travel Journalists Association. Charles is a past president of the Huntsville-Madison County Hospitality Association, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Executives and received the 2008 Alabama Tourism Employee of the Year Award.

KRISTEN PEPPER

Marketing Manager

(256) 551-2294

kristen@huntsville.org

Kristen Pepper is an Athens, Ala. native who grew up “on the outside looking in” at all of the hustle and bustle of the Rocket City. As Marketing Manager, Kristen supports the marketing, advertising, and public relations efforts of the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. After graduating with a bachelor’s in marketing from Auburn University in 2013, she returned to North Alabama and coincidentally interned at the CVB in 2014. From there, she started her career in the nonprofit sector before returning to the CVB full time in 2016. She is a member of the North Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, serving as a board member as well as planning committee member for events such as Nonprofit University and the BIG Marketing Event.

BETH RIDGEWAY

Social Media Specialist

256-551-2355

beth@huntsville.org

Beth Ridgeway lives in Madison with her husband, toy poodle, and baby daughter. She works as the Social Media Specialist at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau. When she’s not volunteering or working, you can find her binge watching Netflix, reading, or rehearsing improv.

TOURISM DEPARTMENT & VISITOR SERVICES

 

JENNIFER MOORE

Vice President of Tourism

(256) 551-2368

jennifer@huntsville.org

Jennifer Moore is the Vice President of Tourism for the Convention & Visitors Bureau. She has been with the Bureau for approximately 10 years. Her responsibilities include overseeing all aspects of the tourism department including promoting Huntsville and Madison County to leisure, group and international visitors, as well as overseeing the administration and operation of the Bureau’s two Visitor Centers. Jennifer works closely with tourism industry partners locally, regionally and nationally to promote and share information about the community. Jennifer was recently selected to serve on the U.S. Travel Association’s Destination Council Board of Directors representing over 500 Destination Marketing Organizations throughout the country. In addition, she has served as a board member for many local and regional industry organizations. She has been honored to receive several awards including; the 2015 Award of Excellence from the Alabama Travel Council, the 2009 Tourism Employee of the Year from the Alabama Tourism Department and the 2008 Tourism Professional of the Year from the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association. Jennifer graduated with a degree in Economics from Auburn University.

PAM WILLIAMS

Tourism Sales Manager/Educational Escapes Program Coordinator

(256) 551-2204 or 866-ESC-2-HSV (372-2478)

pam@huntsville.org

Pamela Brooks Williams is a Huntsville native who is passionate about her city and sharing its highlights with anyone she can. She has been with the Huntsville/Madison County CVB for 11 years. As tourism sales manager, she works to bring groups of all types and leisure travelers to our community and especially enjoys working with student groups taking advantage of the unique offerings available exclusively through our Educational Escapes program which she coordinates. Pam is responsible for implementing new product and events in Huntsville such as Huntsville Restaurant Week , the Lucky Duck Scavenger Hunt, and Trains on Main Scavenger Hunt. She serves as the liaison to the City of Madison. Prior to joining the Bureau, Pam worked at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center serving in various roles and was active in the local hospitality industry. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama Huntsville with a degree in history and political science. Pam enjoys travel and is frequently on the go. She has three talented, intelligent and very busy teenagers along with a canine baby.

LYNNE WILLIAMS

Visitor Center Manager

(256) 551-2293

lynne@huntsville.org

Prior to joining the Bureau, Lynne Williams was executive director of the Weeden House Museum. Her work during the three years she was at the museum focused on finding ways to engage with the community and getting visitors through the doors of the Weeden House. Lynne is a graduate of Florida State University and her career experience also includes work in the banking industry, marketing a retail shopping center and several years as a small business owner. Lynne manages part-time paid and volunteer staff members who warmly welcome visitors to Huntsville and all of Madison County, seven days a week throughout the year.