Haslam names Triplett as tourism commissioner

Kevin Triplett (left) and Sande Weiss (right)

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam earlier this month appointed Kevin Triplett as commissioner of the state Department of Tourist Development, and also named Sande Weiss co-chair of the Tennessee Tourism Committee.

Before joining the state, Triplett, 49, was vice president of public affairs for Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn., and previously served in a number of roles for NASCAR. The Charlotte Observer twice named Triplett one of NASCAR’s “25 Most Influential.”

“Tourism is one of our state’s largest industries, providing $16.7 billion in direct economic impact, and Kevin brings a lot of energy and passion to the industry with decades of experience pulling together different stakeholders and constituencies,” Haslam said in a news release. “I appreciate his willingness to serve, and I look forward to working with him to continue building on Tennessee’s globally-recognized brand.”

Triplett starts his new role on April 23. He replaces Susan Whitaker.

Weiss, president of Music Road Resort in Pigeon Forge, fills the role previously held by Ted Miller, president of Dolly Parton Productions. The committee, formed by Haslam in 2011, is chaired by Colin Reed, CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, and co-chaired by Jack Soden, CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

“Sande has been a valuable member of the committee, and I know she will continue to be a great asset as co-chair,” Haslam said. “I’m grateful that she, Colin, Jack and the other members of the committee from across the state are willing to share their talents and expertise as we continue to expand Tennessee’s tourism potential and attract even more visitors to our state.”

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Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.