Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization Recognized as part of Annual List

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has selected Gathan Borden as one of the “The HSMAI Top 25: Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization33” for 2020. 

The nineteenth annual list recognizes the “best of the best” in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries. Recipients will be honored virtually on March 16, 2021.

The 2020 “Top 25” recipients were judged by a panel of senior industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation, cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns, triumph in challenging situations, and/or sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.

“The ‘Top 25’ is our annual hot list that celebrates the sales, marketing and revenue optimization leaders and innovators in our industry,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President and CEO of HSMAI. “Throughout the pandemic, these extraordinary professionals have risen to each challenge and met unprecedented circumstances with creativity, strength, and ingenuity. These leaders will be a guiding light along the industry’s road to recovery.”

Gathan Borden, Vice President of Marketing at VisitLEX, has dedicated more than a decade of his career to the tourism industry. Prior to  his current role as head of the marketing department and Visitor’s Center for Lexington tourism in Kentucky, he held various marketing roles just an hour away at the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. His influence and industry acumen reaches far beyond the boundaries of his CVB: Gathan is a board member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Destination Council Board of Advisors and an Advisory Council Member of the eTourism Summit. A much sought-after industry speaker, he is a go-to source for marketing trends and is consistently ranked among the “Most Influential Tourism Professionals on Twitter.”

Mary Quinn Ramer, President VisitLEX said: “This past year challenged those of us in tourism in ways we never thought possible. As soon as stay at home orders were put into effect, Gathan and the marketing team used every closure, cancelation and travel restriction as fuel to find creative ways to pivot and provide locals and future visitors with a bit of escapism from the stresses of life under lockdown. I’m delighted to have him as part of our leadership team at VisitLEX and proud of the outstanding work he and our marketing team produce.

Gathan Borden, VP of Marketing VisitLEX stated: “I’m humbled and honored to be a recipient of the HSMAI Top 25 Award during a year that tested the entire hospitality industry, and I’m extremely grateful to my team at VisitLEX, who created an environment for us to be creative and extraordinary.”

Gathan’s achievements will be honored by HSMAI virtually on March 16, 2021.

In addition to the virtual ‘Top 25’ celebration, Gathan will be featured in an HSMAI article, receive a personalized award, and hence forward will be recognized as a Top 25 Mind in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Optimization.


The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals & their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization comprising more than 5,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at hsmai.orgHSMAI FacebookHSMAI InstagramHSMAI Twitter, and HSMAI YouTube.

About VisitLEX
VisitLEX is a destination sales, marketing, and service organization charged with promoting Lexington's Bluegrass Region for the purpose of attracting visitors and growing the economy.  For more information:  

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