As the current Vice Chair of the Associates Council for the last two years, I have assisted and learned from outgoing Chair Donna O’Daniels on the leadership role this position involves. With the changes to SATW’s overall board structure removing council chairs from board positions, there is a wonderful opportunity to reshape the focus of this position more towards engagement among Associates Council members. Late last year, I proposed the idea of holding quarterly Zoom meetings for our council so members can participate more frequently and discuss trends and issues on a regular basis.
The first of those was held in February of this year; the next will be scheduled for early June. My involvement with SATW actually began before I was even a member — serving on the Host Committee for the annual convention in Biloxi, Mississippi. I officially joined the society in 2014 and have volunteered in several capacities since becoming a member, as co-chair of Professional Development for the 2015 and 2019 conventions (Las Vegas and El Paso). Prior to my SATW service, I was on the board for PRSA’s Travel & Tourism Section for eight years, serving as chair in 2012.
I know the history of the SATW/PRSA relationship, am still connected with current PRSA board members, and want to continue to improve/grow the relationship between the PR members of both organizations. I am also currently serving as co-chair of the Destinations International Public Relations Task Force which is working to develop PR measurement standards for destination public relations … which can have a great impact on our SATW Associate members as well.
As a former sportscaster for 20 years, I know the importance of being a team player. My hope is to support SATW and our associates by helping make your voices heard and working on your behalf within SATW’s governance system. I check email frequently and as my husband will confirm, I am always available by cell phone for emergencies. I am deeply committed to helping SATW through my work on SATW’s DEAI committee and other initiatives you consider important that will continue to move the organization forward in positive ways. As you are well aware, the travel industry is rapidly changing and we need to be prepared to adjust accordingly.
That means maintaining things that work and trying new things to reach success. A glimpse into my past shows that I have diverse experience representing Visit Indy for 10 years. Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked hand-in-hand with State Tourism and have served on multiple event organizing committees in Indianapolis including the hosting of a Super Bowl in which I assisted with PR and was in charge of a sub-committee called, “Super Scarves.” That was a grassroots, nationwide initiative that had people volunteering to knit and crochet hundreds of scarves that were then donated to all volunteers, athletes, coaches and officials.
I have also served on multiple NCAA Basketball Final Four committees, Big Ten Tournament committees, USA Swimming and Diving events and more. I also served as secretary of another writers group (Midwest Travel Journalist Association). I’ve always taken great pride in sharing resources and strategies with anyone who asks and am happy to brainstorm and pass along information and needs that are important to you. I am very excited about what we can accomplish together!
I’ve been an SATW member in the Central States Chapter for 10+ years and would love to contribute to the continued growth of the organization. Our industry and destinations have been rocked over the last few years, and we must continue to adapt and innovate to succeed for our clients and destinations. A little about me: I’m a strategic marketing and public relations professional with 20 years’ experience in tourism. I became executive director of Visit Kansas City Kansas in 2019. I spent the bulk of my career at Visit KC, where I helped grow tourism in Kansas City as VP of marketing & communications.
In between, I started Carr Strategies where I worked with destinations across Kansas and Missouri. I’ve also had stints at a regional airline and an advertising agency. I’ve served on boards for a variety of regional and industry groups and bring a broad perspective from my experience at a large DMO, small DMO and representing clients at two agencies. I’d be honored to work on behalf of Associates as Secretary of the Associates Council.
I joined SATW in 2013 and have enjoyed the relationships I’ve built through conferences and chapter meetings. I am excited by the possibility to get more involved and further expand my relationships if elected as the Associate Secretary. I’ve being doing tourism PR for nearly 15 years, and have been fortunate to represent destinations, hotels and attractions on both the East and West Coast.
I am currently the PR Manager for Monterey County CVB, located along California’s breathtaking Central Coast. Previously I held positions representing Marriott International brands including Gaylord National Resort and AC Hotels by Marriott outside of Washington, D.C., as well as a 5-year stint in Chocolatetown, USA (Hershey, PA). In addition to SATW, I currently sit on the board of the Central Coast Tourism Council, have been a member of the PRSA Travel and Tourism Section since 2008, and I am a member of the PR Task Force for Destinations International where we are strategizing on industry standards to measure success. I would be honored to serve as your SATW Associate Secretary!.