Mark Everton employed as new President/CEO of Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority


The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) announced this week that Mark Everton will become its new president and CEO, replacing outgoing leader Katherine Kertzman, who announced her resignation last year.

Everton was selected after a nationwide search for the ideal candidate to lead, grow and develop travel and tourism throughout the Seattle Southside Destination. He will work closely with state and regional tourism guides to promote the unique travel opportunities that Washington State and the Puget Sound area have to offer. Everton is committed to maintaining relationships with key Seattle Southside stakeholders to continue the RTA’s efforts to raise awareness, increase visitor numbers and support economic development in the Seattle Southside area.

With over 35 years of travel, tourism and hospitality management experience, Everton joins the Seattle Southside RTA, most recently as President and CEO of Visit Oakland, the Oakland, California convention and visitor bureau. While there, he was responsible for promoting awareness of the Bay Area destination domestically and internationally and ensuring that the travel, corporate and group business grew year on year. Under Everton’s leadership, Oakland was named one of the 24 best travel destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveler in 2019 and a coveted spot on the New York Times’ Top Travel Destinations of 2019 list. He also established an international presence for Oakland in key markets such as the UK, Italy, Spain, Mexico and Canada.

“I am proud to call the Pacific Northwest my new home and love the continued growth and endless possibilities of the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority,” said Everton. “I have been home in California for over 50 years and have been fortunate enough to work primarily in the Bay Area, leading large teams of travel professionals on both the hotel and destination sides. I understand the needs of local hoteliers and the business goals they bring with them, as well as holistic destination offers that are important for private travelers, group meeting planners and congresses. The post-COVID-19 travel environment is constantly changing and exciting, and Seattle Southside is well positioned to grow and prosper, meet and exceed visitor expectations and increased demand to visit the beautiful Northwest region. For us it will be important to put the various possibilities in our region in the spotlight and to welcome people who have not been here yet. “

Everton and the RTA team are focused on re-introducing the Seattle Southside area to travelers, groups and businesses in a new and different setting after the pandemic. Seattle-origin cruises play a huge role in the Seattle tourism industry, and the RTA is focused on marketing the area as a great pre- and post-cruise cruise for travelers. “We are confident that Mark will be the ideal leader for the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority during this next chapter in the region,” said Maureen Huffman, chairman of the board. “His strategic contributions, leadership role and hospitality background will ensure the destination’s future success and bring a new perspective in this dynamic time in the travel, tourism and group business. We look forward to working closely with Mark to continue driving positive economic impacts and job creation in Seattle Southside, and to create the overall appeal of travelers from near and far visiting the Seattle area. “

Prior to his leadership role at Visit Oakland, Everton served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce and as Area Managing Director at Commune Hotels & Resorts for the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Hotels. While in the industry, Everton also served as general manager of the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square and managed three of Oakland’s full-service hotels. He’s proud to call the Seattle area his new home and when Mark and wife Debbie aren’t exploring Seattle Southside, they hike, explore, and show their five children the area.

Via the Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority
The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA) is the official destination marketing organization for Seattle Southside, including the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila, and Des Moines. The organization is responsible for competitively marketing the area as the ideal destination for leisure and business travelers looking to explore western Washington, and as the idyllic place for meeting and event planners to host their events. The Seattle Southside RTA is financed by a self-assessed hotel fund and supported by an accommodation tax from the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines.

For more information, please visit or call 206-575-2489.