2002The seed for MATPRA is planted during an informal discussion at the PRSA Travel and Tourism Conference in Albuquerque, N.M. by Founder, Mindy Bianca, of the Maryland Tourism Office. The first meeting of what would become MATPRA is held near Baltimore, with 35 to 40 attendees. Did you know that one of the original names considered for the group was the Special Mid-Atlantic Regional Tourism Public Relations Officers (SMART-PRO’s!) 2003The “common threads” group agrees to call itself Mid-Atlantic tourism Public Relations Alliance following Rand McNally’s definition of the region, encompassing Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. West Virginia joins alliance. The alliance finalizes its mission statement in July: The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The groups serves travel journalists by creating regional resources that ignores geographical boundaries. The alliance promotes common threads and offers saleable stories to journalists about the Mid-Atlantic destination as a whole. Valley Forge, PA CVB establishes the midatlanticghosts.com website under the alliance name. MATPRA distributes its first group news release nationally. 2004First slate of MATPRA officers elected West Virginia establishes MATPRA web site and e-mail discussion group through Yahoo. Inaugural MATPRA Media Marketplace is held in Washington, D.C. at the Mandarin Oriental with 34 destinations participating. Journalists are invited to participate in a post-Marketplace FAM while DMO’s attend professional development panel. Membership required was institued that members must must attend at least one meeting per year to be considered active. Decided to add a professional development speaker to quarterly meetings. 2005Members voted to grant Mindy Bianca, MATPRA founder full membership and Member Emeritus status. 2006Pennsylvania Dutch Country CVB hosts third MATPRA Media Marketplace and event is extended to include three overnight stays and expanded FAM tour options which would be attended by both journalists and DMO’s. 2007Connie Yingling with Maryland Tourism meets with Attorney General to discuss MATPRA becoming legal. Connie and Janene Charbeneau with Visit Richmond lay groundwork to incorporate MATPRA. 2008MATPRA is officially incorporated in State of Virginia. 2010MATPRA purchases insurance for officers. 2012MATPRA votes to move to a paid membership organization to build funds in an effort to offset the overall marketing of the organization including website updates and strategic visioning for the future. MATPRA communications move to LinkedIn, replacing the Yahoo! account. MATPRA launches a revised website.