Gathan D. Borden is the Vice President of Marketing for VisitLEX, the Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this role, he oversees the advertising, branding, marketing, public relations, social media, visitor services and web strategies for the city of Lexington as it relates to travel and tourism.
Gathan spent the first seven and half years of his tourism career at the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau in various marketing roles, before accepting the role of Vice President of Marketing at VisitLEX in July of 2015, where he oversees the Marketing department and the Visitors Center. As a much sought-after industry speaker, he speaks frequently at local, regional and national tourism conferences across the country on various marketing topics and trends, and is consistently ranked among the “Most Influential Tourism Professionals on Twitter”.
He received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a double major in Business Management and Business Marketing from the University of Kentucky in 2001, and in May of 2009, he received his Master’s of Business Administration at Webster University. He is a board member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Destination Council Board of Advisors, the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross, the American Cancer Society, and an Advisory Council Member of the eTourism Summit,. And given his love for bourbon, he is a founding member of the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild which seeks to honor the history of minority’s contributions to the bourbon industry and increase the representation of minority cultures in the spirits industry.
In 2013, Gathan was honored to be a “40 under 40” recipient from Business First of Louisville, given to the top forty leaders under the age of 40 in the city of Louisville, and in that same year, he completed the Certified Hospitality Digital Marketing (CHDM) program through Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). In 2011 he was recognized as a “Top 40 under 40” recipient by both CONNECT and Rejuvenate magazines, as one of the hospitality industry’s up and coming future leaders. He has been featured in the Who’s Who in Black Louisville publication, honoring the city’s professional, community and civic leaders, and in 2008, he was awarded the “Hot Ten Award” by the American Advertising Federation of Louisville, given annually to the top 10 local advertising professionals under the age of 30 in Louisville. He is a graduate of the Ignite Louisville program at the Leadership Louisville Center, which is a program that prepares the community’s emerging leaders to build a better Louisville, and is a Commissioned Kentucky Colonel.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity.”