Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau Announces New President | Sports Destination Management

Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau Announces New President

Mar 02, 2015

The Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau (OPCVB) is pleased to announce the appointment of its new President, Dana Markel.

Markel is currently the Executive Director of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau and has served in that position since 2005. As a member of the Omaha Mayor's Cabinet, Markel worked with key city leaders to develop and enhance Omaha as a tourism destination.

"As we come off of the best year on record in terms of total hotel room nights sold, Overland Park is very excited for Dana's energy and experience," said Bruce Boettcher, general manager of the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel and OPCVB Board Chairman. "Our City offers a tremendous package for meeting planners, sports tournament organizers and visitors alike, and with her leadership, we look forward to taking our efforts to the next level."

"The Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park Soccer Complex, Museum at Prairiefire, TopGolf , national and regional corporate headquarters and much more position Overland Park as a destination for sporting groups, corporate conventions and tourism," said Mayor Carl Gerlach. "Dana's experience and knowledge in similar competitive markets will be truly beneficial to Overland Park."

This is a homecoming for Markel who is originally from the Kansas City metropolitan area. "It is an honor to join the Overland Park travel and tourism community, and I look forward to representing the destination and bringing value to its future strategic direction. Many opportunities abound for tourism growth and development, and as an added plus, I'll be close to family again," said Markel.

Markel assumes her duties as the OPCVB President on March 30, 2015. She succeeds Dr. Jerry Cook, who retired at the end of 2014 after serving as the OPCVB's president for 19 years. Leawood-based executive recruitment firm EFL Associates conducted the national search for the position in partnership with the OPCVB Board of Directors Search Committee and the City of Overland Park staff.

With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Markel has worked in convention sales in Omaha, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Miami. In 2001, Markel joined Omaha's Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority (MECA) as the convention center director of sales and marketing. She was also one of five individuals who spearheaded the business strategy of Omaha's convention center and arena. Markel has served on the Executive Committee of the Omaha Sports Commission, the Omaha Metropolitan Hospitality Association and the Omaha Downtown Improvement District. She was also appointed by former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman as a State Tourism Commissioner.

About the Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau (OPCVB): The OPCVB promotes and markets Overland Park, Kansas as the visitor's destination of choice by providing sales, services and marketing support to the local hospitality industry, hotels, the Overland Park Convention Center and sports venues. As Overland Park's official destination marketing organization, the OPCVB also serves as the local tourism and travel expert for meeting planners, sports tournament organizers and visitors. For more information, please go to www.visitoverlandpark.com.

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