Dr. Jason SwansonYoung professionals from Virginia to California have been chosen for the first class of "Forty for the Future: Travel's Leading Talent."  Those chosen are all younger than 40, and they represent businesses and organizations in 14 states.  The Southeast Tourism Society (STS), an Atlanta-based professional association in the tourism industry, organized the recognition.  

Included in this year's inaugural class is Jason Swanson, Assistant Professor for Hospitality Management and Tourism in the School of Human Environmental Sciences' Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles.  Swanson joined the faculty at UK in August, 2009. 

"All of them have demonstrated leadership in their careers and communities and are beacons for others," said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society.  

STS will recognize the Forty for the Future Class of 2012 during a special presentation at the STS Fall Forum in Virginia Beach, Va., Oct. 31-Nov. 2.  

"Our objectives with ‘Forty for the Future' are to recognize leadership, demonstrate how varied tourism jobs are and inspire even younger people to consider tourism as a career," Hardman said.  

A panel of tenured professionals representing numerous components of the tourism industry evaluated the nominees. "We wish we could have recognized even more, but this group lives up to the program's name. They truly are ‘Forty for the Future,' and we expect even bigger accomplishments and leadership from them," Hardman said.