ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Nov. 23, 2015 - The Visit Albuquerque (Visit Albuquerque) has announced changes in leadership. Dale Lockett will be transitioning out of his role as President/CEO at the end of his contract, Jan. 5. The Visit Albuquerque Board of Directors unanimously voted today to select Tania Armenta as the new President/CEO beginning Jan. 6.

"During the past 12 years, there have been many accomplishments by the talented Visit Albuquerque team. I am proud of my role in helping nurture the environment to attract and keep dedicated team members capable of marketing, promoting and selling Albuquerque's hospitality industry assets," remarked Dale Lockett.

Some of those accomplishments include:

- over $750 million-including $85 million in the past year-in convention and meeting business that brought needed revenue to hotels, restaurants, attractions and other small businesses with association attendees, business employees and trade shows;

- attracting millions of leisure visitors who have contributed billions of dollars to our economy;

- showcasing our destination as a significant player in sports tourism by attracting and hosting numerous NCAA major events and national championship events, as well as being a leader in partnering with ESPN to create the Gildan New Mexico Bowl-the only nationally televised event in New Mexico providing over two hours of primetime television exposure of Albuquerque and the state.

Additional accomplishments include:

- Visit Albuquerque attaining status as one of the first accredited Destination Marketing Organizations in the nation;

- 12 years of clean external audits;

- solid financial standing and performance in achieving budgetary goals;

- partnering with the Sunport to attract the Aviation Forecasting Summit here, which brought the leadership of domestic airlines to experience our destination first-hand and helped set the stage for new airlines providing service in Albuquerque.

"I am especially proud that Tania Armenta-a creative, dedicated and hard-working New Mexican-will now lead Visit Albuquerque as CEO, providing a seamless transition and stability for the organization. Having worked with Tania for 12 years, I believe she is one of our city's and state's most valuable assets," said Lockett.

"I am looking forward to my next chapter and wish only the best for the thousands of professionals who work in our hospitality industry, one of the few industry sectors that has added jobs in Albuquerque coming out of the Great Recession," he said.

"Most importantly, I want to thank the dedicated, professional staff members of the Visit Albuquerque and the board who deserve recognition for Visit Albuquerque's many accomplishments and achievements during the past 12 years," Lockett concluded.

Tania Armenta is the organization's current Chief Operating & Marketing Officer and has been with the organization for more than 17 years. Armenta is a forward-thinking and proven marketing leader known for building partnerships to reach goals, as well as developing strong and talented teams that have received numerous international, national and local awards in addition to driving significant economic generation. She is a native New Mexican that returned home after college and has a strong background in hospitality, marketing and publishing.

"I am grateful for the confidence of the board in my skill set and approach. I believe in this organization, industry, city and state. I've been honored to work with Dale for the last 12 years, learning from him and many other wise mentors along the way. I'm excited to begin this new era with our tremendous Visit Albuquerque team. The industry is currently a very bright spot for the economy, and we have an opportunity to build on that momentum and move forward aggressively working with our partners," said Tania Armenta.