Larry Johnson, former event coordinator for the Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau, was one of seven people honored during the 2015 Kansas Tourism Conference Oct. 26 through 28 in Wichita for achieving a Kansas Destination Specialist (KDS) certification.

Johnson recently resigned from his position with the CVB. His last day was Friday.

The Travel Industry Association of Kansas (TIAK) established the KDS certification program in 2003, which is designed to familiarize and further knowledge of the state of Kansas, tourism marketing and leadership. Since its inception, 46 people from the Kansas hospitality industry have been named a KDS recipient.

“We are pleased that seven TIAK members were honored this year for achieving their KDS certifications,” said Marlee Carpenter, executive director of TIAK. “The hard work and dedication it takes to obtain this designation shows true leadership in our industry.”

TIAK is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of travel and tourism in Kansas. For more information, visit