Michael Owens began his lifelong career in the hospitality industry while growing up in Atlanta and he made his home in Savannah over 15 years ago. In 2012 he was hired as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Leadership Council. He and his board of directors lead the largest trade organization representing the tourism community. In 2013, he founded the Savannah Food & Wine Festival and he serves as the festival's CEO.

Owens was appointed by Mayor and Council to serve on the Tourism Advisory Committee. He serves on the board of directors of The Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, Savannah-Chatham CrimeStoppers, and the Coastal Center for Developmental Services. He is chairman of the Savannah Technical College Programs Advisory Committee, and serves on Metro Police business advisory council. Michael is Chairman of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Foundation and is State Chairman of the Georgia Travel Association.

He is an active supporter and volunteer for the West Broad Street YMCA, The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire, The Savannah Harbor Foundation and the Coastal Hospitality Education Foundation.

He is married well above his station with two young children: Jackson who is three and Adeline who is two. 


GATA Chairman
President & CEO
Tourism Leadership Council

GATA Vice Chairman
Stone Mountain Park

Stan Morrell’s career with Herschend Family Entertainment Stone Mountain Park began over 10 years ago. In addition to his existing mentoring & leadership roles at Stone Mountain Park, he is the executive producer of the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision® (over 1M guests annually) and the Yellow Daisy Arts and Crafts Festival (voted one of the top arts and crafts shows in the nation with over 500 crafters and over 200k in attendance for the 4 day festival).

Morrell has closed several multi-million dollar entertainment based deals and served as executive producer or producer for several hundred live shows and entertainment experiences including Star Trek the Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton, Star Trek World Tour – Dusseldorf, Germany, parades, laser shows, multi-media productions and events across the US and internationally. Additionally, he has provided technical and entertainment programming on board the top cruise line companies around the globe which include Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Renaissance Cruises to name a few.

Morrell currently sits on the board for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, Georgia Travel and Tourism, IAAPA Entertainment Subcommittee and enjoys traveling. He has visited most of the US and its territories in addition to extensive travel abroad.

GATA Secretary
Executive Director
Visit Sandy Springs

Jennifer Cruce joined Sandy Springs Hospitality & Tourism (now Visit Sandy Springs) as Executive Director in November of 2014.  


Having served previously as senior marketing manager for Turner Broadcasting/CNN Studio Tours, Cruce has over 13 years’ experience in hospitality and tourism.  


At Turner, she directed branding and marketing strategies for the tours, Turner Retail and the restaurant/retail tenants of CNN Center, managing the development of consumer promotional programs, educational programming and social media.  


She served on the board of the Atlanta Metro Travel Association for 8 years. She also served on the PR and Marketing Advisory Council for Central Atlanta Progress and the International Business Development Committee for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.  

Cruce’s prior experience also includes a position with the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism's Film, Videotape and Music Office, promoting the state of Georgia as a location for filming.  


She has a BA from the University of Georgia and an MA in Mass Communication from Georgia State University.

Marcus Margerum joined Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) as vice president of government and community affairs in March 2015.


Margerum is the recipient of the 2018 APEX Award for Distinguished Service from Black Meetings & Tourism for his contributions to the industry. He is also a member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2019 and sits on the board of directors for Atlanta Fire Rescue Foundation, Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and Georgia Travel Association.


He previously served as vice president of marketing and communications during the launch of Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. Prior to that, he worked as vice president of marketing and sales for Zoo Atlanta.


Margerum also served on several boards including Hospitality Industry Professionals, Association of Zoos & Aquariums and ACVB’s attractions taskforce.


Margerum is a graduate of Hampton University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in business management, and Clark Atlanta University, where he received his Master of Business Administration in marketing.

GATA Treasurer
VP of Gov. & Community Affairs
Atlanta CVB


Associate Publisher
Atlanta Magazine Custom Media

Park President
Six Flags

Lanier Islands

Group Director of Retail
Operations & Administration Licensing & Retail

World of Coca-Cola

Visit Savannah

President & CEO
Golden Isles CVB  

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