Foreword: Katherine O’Donnell 

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Congratulations, Q Media, for publishing the 15th issue of Q Virginia magazine! I am truly grateful for the work you do across the commonwealth and beyond and am delighted to write the foreword for this Home issue!  

Richmond is my home. I am tremendously lucky to have spent 17 years of my career sharing my home with visitors. Over the years, Richmond has changed exponentially. We’ve seen an explosion of culinary talent, the birth of an award-winning craft beverage scene and tourism developments from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art to the Virginia Capital Trail. It’s official… Richmond is now cool. 

 

I’m honored to work with talented and passionate colleagues at Richmond Region Tourism who tell the world how wonderful our home is. Some of my proudest moments have been through OutRVA, our LGBTQ tourism campaign. What began 10 years ago as a community-driven idea on a shoestring budget, has generated headlines in The New York Times and landed Richmond as a Top 10 Destination in the British LBGTQ Awards. OutRVA celebrated marriage equality, partnered in the One Love: LGBTQ Families exhibition and helped secure Richmond as the host city for the inaugural Sports Diversity Jubilee—a national, multi-sport tournament featuring LGBTQ athletes. More importantly, OutRVA welcomes LGBTQ travelers to our home.  

 

Richmond is a welcoming destination for all people. Tourism improves the quality of life for our residents by stimulating the economy, generating jobs and supporting the restaurants, attractions and shops that make living here wonderful.  I’m thrilled to welcome all people to Richmond, my home. 

 

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Katherine O’Donnell 

Executive Vice President 

Richmond Region Tourism 

Justin Ayars