IOWA NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION
Shirley Phillips to lead tourism industry in western Iowa.
Following a regional search, the Western Iowa Tourism Region Board of Directors hired Shirley Phillips from Sac City, Iowa as the new Executive Director of the Western Iowa Tourism Region.
“Shirley’s knowledge and passion for the tourism industry, along with her experience in economic and community development make her an excellent candidate to lead the organization” said Julie Hering-Kent, President of the Western Iowa Tourism Region.
As Executive Director of Sac County Economic and Tourism Development, Phillips was instrumental in securing, expanding and retaining industry, as well as assisting with multiple business start-ups. She has worked on developing attractions and lodging opportunities throughout the county and also has extensive training with the Iowa Main Street program. She is best known for her efforts to promote transportation infrastructure improvements and her state and national lobbying efforts.
Phillips is replacing Michele Walker who is retiring at the end of August. Walker was hired as Director of the Region in 1989.
“Michele has helped many communities and organizations during her 24 years with the Region organiza-tion and has set high standards for western Iowa. It is our goal to continue our success and to make this
a smooth transition for our communities and attractions.” said Julie Hering-Kent, WITR President.
Shonna Bruno, currently office manager for the 27 year-old organization, has been promoted to Project Manager. “I am looking forward to combining our experience and creative ideas to maintain the industry’s momentum in western Iowa.” said Shirley Phillips.
Shonna will continue to work out of the Western Iowa Tourism Region office in Red Oak while Shirley will travel throughout the Region.
The Western Iowa Tourism Region is a 200–member organization that works to connect communities, attractions and businesses interested in developing & promoting travel and tourism in 36–western Iowa counties.
“Tourism is a proven economic driver for Iowa, generating more that $7.2 billion to our economy annually. One of the top ten employers in Iowa, tourism fuels Iowa’s economy in all 99 counties by providing jobs that cannot be outsourced, encouraging local entrepreneurship and attracting visitors from all 50 states who bring new money to our communities, said Shirley Phillips.
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(CONTACT: Julie Hering-Kent, President of the Western Iowa Tourism Region and Executive, Director of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce. 712-255-6414. Julie@cherokeeiowachamber.com.
Shirley Phillips, Executive Director, Western Iowa Tourism Region, 712-830-6768)