Laura WhislerLaura Whisler, marketing director at the Springfield, Mo., Convention & Visitors Bureau earned the honor of Certified Destination Management Executive from Destination Marketing Association International.

The certification was presented at the 2011 DMAI Annual Convention July 20-22 in New Orleans, where Whisler also was honored as a DMAI “30 Under 30,” which included free conference registration and hotel accommodations.

The CDME is recognized within the destination marketing organization industry as the highest educational achievement. The certification process includes completion of five courses and a final exam. The program focuses on vision, leadership, productivity and implementation of business strategies.

Whisler has worked at the Springfield CVB since 2002, first as communications coordinator, then partner development manager. She was promoted to marketing director in 2007 where her responsibilities include leading a team of six, managing a more than $1 million advertising budget and overseeing operations of three tourist information centers. Whisler, a native of Eureka, Mo., is a 2001 graduate of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo.

Whisler is the third Springfield CVB staff member to earn the certification. President Tracy Kimberlin earned certification in 2005 and sales director Dana Maugans earned certification in 2009. Whisler is among the youngest in the world to earn a CDME.