Governor Kate Brown has appointed two new members to the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon): Erin Stephenson, founder of a boutique lodging company in McMinnville, and David Penilton, owner of America’s Hub World Tours and Oregon Tour Experts.
Erin Stephenson is the founder of a boutique lodging company with two brands: the award-winning luxury Atticus Hotel, and 3rd Street Flats, a curated collection of vacation rentals in two historic buildings in downtown McMinnville. Erin earned a degree in History from the University of Oregon before spending the early part of her career in non-profit management as the executive director of McMinnville’s Habitat for Humanity and then directing the charitable giving program for a regional bank.
Erin continues to indulge her passion for nonprofit work through her role as board chair of Visit McMinnville and by volunteering with various local organizations. She was named Business Leader of the Year in 2015 by the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce; Woman of the Year through the Distinguished Service Awards in 2019; and received the Pillar of the Community award from McMinnville’s mayor in 2020.
For more than 15 years, David Penilton has been helping visitors from all over the world explore the wonders of Oregon though his tour companies America’s Hub World Tours and Oregon Tour Experts. David is passionate about building an all-inclusive community in the tourism ecosystem to educate and expose Oregon residents and visitors about all the state has to offer. Through his business he is committed to making sure the economic impact of tourism reaches all corners of the state, supporting local businesses, health and education.
David serves on the Boards of Travel Lane County, Our Children Oregon, Travel Portland, Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy and Clackamas Tourism Development Council. In his free time, David enjoys being in the outdoors – running, camping, fishing, hiking and golfing around the state are some of his favorite past times.
“The travel and tourism sector plays a critical role in Oregon’s economy, and will be a vital component as we continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic,” said Governor Kate Brown. “That’s why I’ve appointed the two newest members of the Oregon Tourism Commission – David Penilton and Erin Stephenson. Each brings to the commission a deep understanding of the economic value of tourism and a sense of pride and devotion to the state and its local communities.”
Scott Youngblood, Manager of Embassy Suites hotel at Washington Square has been reappointed to the commission where he currently serves as Chair. Richard Boyles, President of Sycan B. Corporation, a real estate development firm, serves as Vice Chair. The two new appointees will replace Nigel Francisco, CEO of Ninkasi Brewing who has served on the commission since 2013, and Kenji Sugahara, owner of A-Cam Aerials who has been on the commission since 2014.
Travel Oregon thanks Nigel and Kenji for their service and dedication to Oregon’s tourism industry and looks forward to welcoming Erin and David as the newest members of the commission on November 19.