The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that Cathy Haas, a Ph.D. student at the University of Utah, will be the recipient of the first-ever Dianne Nelson Binger Scholarship.

The Dianne Nelson Binger Scholarship, honoring the Bureau’s former President and CEO and her legacy to the travel community, is to be given to a female student at the University of Utah in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism of the College of Health.  This year, the scholarship was given in the name of Beth Belt, the 2006 Dianne Binger Sales Leadership Award recipient.

Originally from San Mateo, Calif., Haas earned a degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon before receiving her master’s in Recreation Administration from Cal State Sacramento.  Haas is in her final year of the University of Utah’s 4-year doctorate program, where her emphasis is in Public Parks & Recreation. 

Dianne Binger served the Bureau and Salt Lake for 18 years, becoming President and CEO in 2001.  A great leader and mentor, Binger sadly lost her long battle with cancer in March 2005.

“The passing of Dianne shook the Bureau and the entire Salt Lake community to its core,” said Scott Beck, Bureau President and CEO. “Every person touched by the Bureau felt the great loss of Dianne. She paved the way for travel professionals and women in the industry and her legacy will last for years.”

Funding for the Dianne Nelson Binger Scholarship will become a part of the Salt Lake CVB’s Annual Meeting, with a goal of establishing a $50,000 endowment that will fund the scholarship annually in perpetuity. 

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. Salt Lake is a unique fusion of metropolitan city and quaint mountain town; the towering Wasatch Mountains that embrace Salt Lake offer a dramatic backdrop to the vibrancy and activities of downtown. Having recently undergone a $58 million expansion, the Salt Palace Convention Center now boasts 679,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, ideal for groups of all sizes and needs. For more information on all that Salt Lake has to offer, visit