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Destination DC recognizes First Annual Ambassador Circle Award winners

  • Destination DC

Honors community partners who promote Washington, DC.

WASHINGTON, DC – Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, announced its inaugural Ambassador Circle Award recipients. Honorees include some of the leading medical experts in the region, and one of the city’s leading venues.

The awards recognize distinguished leaders, innovators and researchers who position Washington, DC as a premier destination for global excellence and innovation. These ambassadors have helped to attract and shape prestigious international conferences, meetings and business events in the greater Washington, DC region with an impact of $51 million (includes forecast for meetings booked through 2029). The recipients were recognized during a luncheon at the Riggs Hotel in downtown Washington.

“We know how important it is to compete for global market share and in doing so, we rely on the advocacy and intellectual capital of our Ambassador Circle members who champion the city as a destination for meetings and events,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president and CEO, DDC. “By engaging the academic community, medical community, universities and research centers to attract investments in innovative and knowledge sectors, we’re able to sustain our city’s reputation for advocacy, excellence and global standing. These ambassadors help connect Destination DC to the networks for their organizations and associations. The result is more international conferences in the nation’s capital, significantly impacting the local economy.” 

Founded in 2010, the Ambassador Circle program partners with local experts, top innovators, researchers and scholars in a variety of sectors (medical, biotech/pharma, technology, sustainability, education, transportation, financial and tech) to target international meetings. The network is a noteworthy group of professionals in the region who are experts in their respective fields and share a common goal of showcasing the city as a business hub for the international community.

“We are grateful to have a strong network of private and public partners who are championing DC as a great place to visit and do business,” said Nina Albert, Acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “Together, we will tell our story about why there’s Only One DC and ensure we continue to build a vibrant and diverse economic ecosystem here in the District.”

The 2024 awards and awardees:

Business Attraction Ambassador Award

Awarded in partnership with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

Recognizes the contributions and support of an ambassador for the District’s business attraction, retention, and expansion activities. Serves as a champion for promoting DC as a place to do business.

  • JLL

Partner Award
Recognizes a DDC member business (or team of businesses) that has leveraged resources, reach and credibility to support international meetings sales and attract visitation to DC from around the world.

  • Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Impact Award

Recognizes an ambassador leading a bid or program associated with a recent or upcoming conference that will have a positive economic and social impact on the city.

  • Andrew B. Wolff, MD | Orthopedic Surgeon | Washington Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Chairman of the Annual Scientific Meeting for ISHA-The International Hip Preservation Society

Connector Award
Recognizes an individual in the community who eagerly helps DDC make connections through their existing networks. A champion of DDC’s work and a steadfast supporter of the Ambassador Circle program.

  • Cattleya Wongkongkatap, CMP, M.B.A. | Director, University Events | The George Washington University

Leadership Award
Recognizes an ambassador who has demonstrated outstanding guidance, strategic vision and impactful leadership in the organization of a conference.

  • Mitchell Cohen, MD, FACC, FHRS | Co-Director of the Heart Center and Chief of Pediatric Cardiology | Inova Children’s Hospital Clinical Professor of Pediatrics | University of Virginia School of Medicine Chair Scientific Committee, 8th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

Ambassador of the Year
Recognizes an ambassador who has excelled in chairing a major conference and passionately represented our destination, significantly enhancing its profile and appeal.

  • Gil Wernovsky, MD, FAAP, FACC | Cardiac Critical Care Physician and Pediatric Cardiologist | Children’s National Hospital, Professor of Pediatrics | George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Co-Chair, 8th World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery
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