Katherine Kertzman, CEO and president of Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) moved around a lot as a child—she came from a military family and even spent time living overseas. Still, most of her childhood was spent in Spokane and Tacoma. As an adult, she worked in Texas as director of marketing and public relations for a hospital. Then a job brought her back to the Northwest.

“I had the opportunity to join Highline Community Hospital in Burien as the director of women’s health services, where I opened a new childbirth and delivery clinic. Then in 1999, I joined the City of Tukwila as the tourism and marketing manager, where through inter-local agreements with neighboring cities, I developed Seattle Southside Visitor Services. In 2015, our hoteliers helped create a Tourism Promotion Area and established the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority,” says Kertzman.

Kertzman says she loves the regional community spirit of Seattle Southside. “Each city that makes up our region offers their own strengths, and, when combined together as Seattle Southside, make our destination unique and appealing. We have a beautiful beach community, internationally diverse dining and shopping community, and a thriving international airport and hospitality community.”

An avid gardener, one of Ketzman’s favorite inspirational spots to visit is the Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden. “Afterwards, I visit Zenith Holland Gardens, the oldest business in Des Moines, to pick out flowers and vegetables to plant in my backyard. I finish the day off with a meal at one of the international restaurants to remind me of my childhood spent abroad,” she says.

The southside region has more than 350,000 square feet of meeting space and nearly 9,000 hotel rooms. Kertzman says three more reasons for planners to consider a meeting or event in the area are:

» Location: Seattle Southside is ideally located near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, only 15 minutes south of downtown Seattle with three conveniently located light rail stations and free airport shuttles to hotels.

» Value: Seattle Southside is affordable for planners and attendees. Hotel rates are typically 20-30 percent lower than downtown Seattle. 

» Service: The Seattle Southside RTA staff makes it easy to plan an event. With complimentary services like attendance marketing, welcome services, site sourcing, transportation assistance, group rates at attractions and discounts for groups, the stress is taken out of meeting and event planning.

Ventura County Coast, California, is a region that encompasses four unique destinations with surf-town vibes and small-town charm: Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme. Located right off Highway 101 between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, it is a gateway to California’s Central Coast. Natural beauty reigns supreme in the area, with over 20 miles of beautiful beaches and endless panoramic mountain views—it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise.


Planners looking for a destination with an array of venue types, all catering to small-scaled meetings, and fun after-hours entertainment need look no further than McKinney, located just 30 miles north of Dallas. Whether historic, nature-based, modern, or situated in a Croatian village, McKinney’s venues are designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.


Santa Ana, California is an ideal destination in Southern California, centrally located in Orange County. Founded in 1869, Santa Ana is one of the oldest cities in the area, featuring original architecture and a historic downtown. With history comes culture—hosting a community that offers authentic Hispanic flavors and an art scene that is a mix of funky and folk.