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ACVB kicks off 2019 with new staff, board members, opportunities

AMES, IOWA – In a season of resolution and initiative, The Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau has started 2019 with a lot of new additions and energy to help drive the organization into the future.

The Bureau and ISU Conference Planning and Management staff work collaboratively to promote CYtes of Ames and Iowa State University, the official resource making every visitor’s and resident’s experience positive and memorable. The team has welcomed 4 staff additions from September through January to further that mission: Eve Lederhouse, Communications Director; Austin Goode, Social Media & Web Content Specialist; Dawn Taylor, Member & Visitors Services Coordinator; and Amanda Ruckdachel, Event Coordinator.

With the new staff and ever-changing dynamics of the CYtes team, the new year serves as the perfect time to unveil a new staff directory and staff profile pages to the ThinkAmes.com website. President and CEO Julie Weeks said, “The new, interactive pages provide a great look into the personalities of our staff and the creativity of our organization. And I think it’s obvious that we had a lot of fun in the process, too!” (www.ThinkAmes.com/about-us/staff)

January 1 was the first day of the new board terms for 4 directors, and the renewal of a second term for another. The Bureau is pleased to welcome Kevin Cook (Best Western PLUS University Park Inn & Suites), Steve Goodhue (Knapp Tedesco Insurance), Norm Hill (Iowa State University) and Jamie Pollard (ISU Athletics) to a 3-year Board term. Terry Stark (Chocolaterie Stam) returns for a second term on the ACVB Board. The 13-member Board is chaired by Jim Baker.

Besides the steady stream of overnight visitors to Iowa State University, several organizations consistently bring their conferences and events to Ames because of the services offered by the Bureau and ISU Conference Planning and Management. While 2018 was a record-setting year for the economic impact of overnight visitors to Ames, 2019 will see the addition of three new hotels in Ames providing another 250 rooms.

An additional 250 rooms increases inventory for big events like home football games and large conventions like the Farm Progress Show (held every other year at the Central Iowa Expo site just east of Ames). However Weeks explains the added room supply creates a greater need to attract more events throughout the entire year. “250 hotel rooms is another 91,000 overnights to sell for Ames each year,” Weeks said.

All this information was shared at the Bureau’s annual meeting Thursday, January 10, held at Hansen Agriculture Student Learning Center. Attendees also learned of the $85,000 awarded in Community Grants for 2019 events, celebrated the tremendous volunteerism showcased in 2018, and were treated to a private concert from the 80s cover band The Spazmatics who were the headline entertainers for the Downtown Ames RAGBRAI event this past July. Awards for outstanding community commitment and service were presented to RAGBRAI Co-Chairs Jeff Johnson (ISU Alumni Association) and Kelsey Bolte-Carper (Friedrich Iowa Realty), Renewable Energy Group (REG), CIT Signature Transportation, CyRide, and CYtes Ambassadors of the Year Russ & Gail Scott.

For more about the Bureau and what’s ahead for 2019, a calendar of Ames and ISU events, or a directory of CYtes members for everything you want to DO, EAT, SHOP, STAY and PLAN, go to ThinkAmes.com or call their office at 515-232-4032.

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