IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, announced Keith Stephenson has joined the organisation as director, public affairs, IAAPA North America. Stephenson will lead IAAPA’s government relations and advocacy initiatives on key issues impacting the attractions industry in the U.S. and Canada.
Stephenson has 25 years of public affairs and trade association experience representing the hotel and lodging, food and beverage, and retail segments of the hospitality and travel and tourism industry at local, multi-state, federal, and international government levels.
He served as a lobbyist for the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, executive vice president for the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, and director of state government affairs for the American Resort Development Association. In his most recent role, Stephenson has served as the director of state and local government affairs for the National Restaurant Association, where he managed a complex portfolio of policy issues in many of the largest consumer markets in the U.S.
“Keith is a great addition to our public affairs team,” said John Hallenbeck, vice president and executive director, IAAPA North America. “As we continue to educate lawmakers and regulators to gain their support on issues critical to our industry, Keith will lead the team and guide our strategic efforts. His association background and vast public affairs experience at all levels of government, coupled with his collaborative approach will be key assets as he serves our members in North America.”
Stephenson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from the Ohio State University.
Reporting directly to Hallenbeck, Stephenson will be traveling the US and Canada to address federal and state/province affairs with his home base at the IAAPA’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida. He will join the IAAPA team in May.