Principal, The HTC Group
Cheryl M. Hargrove is currently Principal of The HTC Group. For the past three years, Hargrove has directed the UK media relations program for Travel South USA, America’s oldest and largest regional travel promotion company. Prior to founding the company in 1995, Ms. Hargrove served as the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s first heritage tourism director after successfully implementing their demonstration program from 1989-1993.
During her more than six years with the National Trust, Ms. Hargrove developed successful partnerships with major travel industry companies, including American Express and Best Western International. Getting Started: How to Succeed in Heritage Tourism, a 48-page primer on the steps and principles for sustainable heritage tourism, was produced along with a subsequent video entitled Preserving our Past…Building our Future under Hargrove’s direction.
A travel industry veteran, Ms. Hargrove was named to the 1995 White House Conference on Travel and Tourism Task Force, where she served as a member of the Product Development Committee. As a delegate, she participated in creating and approving a national tourism strategy for the United States which includes the protection and appropriate development of America’s unique historic, cultural, and natural resources.
Ms. Hargrove also helped in the formation of a national cultural tourism coalition to join federal and national non-profit agencies together, and later facilitated forums to develop a uniform definition for cultural and heritage tourism.
Ms. Hargrove is an associate member of the Society of American Travel Writers. She is also a member and former chair of the Travel Industry Association of America’s Communications Council, a prestigious group of public relations practitioners. Active in the International Association of Business Communicators, Ms. Hargrove has served as President of the Atlanta (Georgia) and Knoxville (Tennessee) chapters, as District Director and member of the international board.
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Ms. Hargrove has written numerous articles for U.S. and international publications on heritage tourism, the travel industry and marketing communications, including Media Relations Tips and Techniques for the Travel Industry Association of America; Heritage Tourism Trends for the American Association of State and Local History, and the American Planning Institute. She has spoken at more than 200 state, regional, and national conferences including the Canadian Museums Association annual meeting in 1998.
The HTC Group
Founded by Cheryl M. Hargrove in 1995, The HTC Group specializes in heritage, tourism, and marketing communications. The Group also consults for the Ohio Heritage Tourism Program, the Illinois Heritage Tourism Initiative, Trenton, New Jersey, and the National Endowment for the Arts.