DCI Welcomes Two New Destination Marketing Partners to Agency

October 10, 2023
Group photo of DCI leadership and partners

It’s not every day an agency can celebrate one inspiring leader, and this year DCI is celebrating two as it welcomes new members to its partnership team.

Susan Brake and Daniella Middleton are both stepping up as partners, combining their more than two decades of dedication to DCI to help guide the next generation of destination marketers.

Let’s take a closer look and get to know DCI’s newest partners.


Susan Brake: DCI’s Digital Dynamo

photo of Susan Brake
Senior Vice President of Digital Operations and Strategy, Susan Brake has more than proven her visionary leadership approach to DCI. Having contributed to countless economic industry strategies at the agency, she helped shape regional economic development stories around the world from the Netherlands to Fairfax, Virginia.

Her storytelling approach and journalistic eye have been pivotal in implementing marketing solutions for DCI’s clients. She has counseled governors, mayors and senior business leaders on how to shape their region’s economic development stories into impactful outcomes that have proven results time and again.

In 2013, Brake showcased her digital prowess by building the agency’s award-winning Digital Division. Her digital-first approach helped boost workforce and business attraction to DCI’s clients, offering the most up to date solutions to 21st century marketing.

“DCI’s values of sharing your talents, diversity and inclusion and a passion for places will continue to guide and inspire me. I love this team, I love the work we do and it is an honor to be a part of the evolution of marketing to corporate executives and talent,” she said.

Her role as partner will allow her to continue to inspire younger digital marketers following in her wake. “I am ecstatic to continue to mentor and grow the next generation of place marketers and give back to a team and industry that has shaped me into the professional I am today,” she said.


Daniella Middleton: DCI’s Innovation Impresario

photo of Daniella Middleton
Daniella Middleton’s career has spanned all aspects of travel marketing, from business events sales and travel trade marketing to public relations and influencer marketing. She rose through the ranks to become DCI’s Senior Vice President, bringing big ideas and innovation to the Tourism Practice.

Since arriving in 2013, Middleton directed DCI’s business events division, and has published multiple editions of the agency’s research report, “Winning Strategies in Destination Marketing.” When other agencies were still talking about newspapers, Middleton saw the writing – or rather, the hashtags – on the wall and built DCI’s influencer marketing service, bringing updated solutions to destinations seeking to reach audiences more effectively.

Her strategies are woven into DMOs worldwide including Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit Florida, Visit Monaco, VisitScotland, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, U.S. Virgin Islands DOT, and dozens more.

Her unique approach to marketing blends street smarts, pop culture, a straightforward approach and a passion for always learning more – something that she’ll bring to DCI’s team as a partner. She will continue to lead integrated tourism and hospitality clients, to drive new business, and to speak on thought leadership topics at industry conferences in her role as partner.

“When I joined DCI, I was excited about contributing to such a dynamic, well-reputed agency. Almost 11 years later, I’m proud of the economic impact the work that my teams and I have helped contribute to places around the world, and I’m driven and motivated by the rising talent at our agency, and excited about the future impact DCI will have on clients and the economic development and tourism industries,” she said.

Along with the agency’s current partners, both Brake and Middleton will continue to provide innovation to the placemaking industry, leveraging 65+ years of experience at DCI in economic development, tourism, and talent attraction.

Susan and Daniella, New Partners at DCI


Want to know more about DCI’s newest partners? Get in touch with Julie Curtin at [email protected] or Karyl Leigh Barnes at [email protected] to learn more about how you can work with the industry’s leaders in destination marketing and placemaking and augment your economic development, tourism, and talent attraction efforts.

Julie Curtin headshot
Written by

Julie Curtin

President, Economic Development Practice