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American Experience Foundation Team

The American Experience Foundation benefits from the support of the entire Destination DC team and professionals at its 1,000 member businesses.


AEF Leadership Committee

Michael Akin, Co-Chair, President, LINK Strategic Partners
Greg Casten, Co-Chair, President, Oceanpro Industries
Nizam Ali, Co-Owner, Ben's Chili Bowl 
James Riley, ‎General Manager, Big Bus Tours DC
Michael Borris , Regional Account Manager, PSAV
Elliott Ferguson ,President & CEO, Destination DC
Abby Himmelrich, Teacher, McLean School
James MacGregor, VP Local Markets, American City Business Journals, Inc
Gregory McCarthy, Vice President Community Engagement, Washington Nationals
Thomas Penny, President, Donohoe Hospitality Services
Gauri Sarin​, Strategist of Eat+Drink, Streetsense
Stacy Smith, General Manager, Hyatt Place National Mall
Gail Smith-Howard, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill


AEF Staff

Claire Carlin
Executive Director, American Experience Foundation
VP, Partnerships & Alliances, Destination DC
[email protected]


Lisa Waldschmitt

Foundation Manager


[email protected]