Virginia native Justin Kerns is a playful traveler, having visited 49 of the 50 states and number of European and Asian countries. After growing up on a farm in Rustburg, Virginia and spending his high school years in the Manassas area, he spent time living in North Dakota, Colorado, Massachusetts and Southern California before returning to his home state of Virginia in 2013.
He earned a Bachelor of Science with Honors and Master of Science with Distinction in Tourism Management from California State University, Northridge, where he also co-founded the student-run Recreation Management Association.
After graduation he formed Sustainable Tourism Management, a research-based tourism development consulting company which helped a number of Southern California cities develop their initial tourism strategy and infrastructure. He has also worked for AmericanTours International (ATI) and on the product development team at Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
Justin found his true calling in the DMO/CVB world upon returning to Virginia. As the director of the Tourism Office in Mecklenburg County he quickly invested in professional photography and non-traditional marketing, as well as robust efforts to engage the local community, businesses and elected officials in tourism. Regional efforts included co-creation of the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway, co-creation of the Distinctly Southern Virginia collaborative, and chair of the Virginia’s Retreat regional DMO.
He is currently the Executive Director of the Winchester-Frederick County CVB and is helping lead an exciting 11-locality collaborative effort to rebrand and promote Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.