Door County, Wis. (October 13, 2021) – After a nationwide search, Destination Door County (DDC) has selected a new President/CEO to lead the organization. Julie Gilbert will bring more than 30 years of experience in the destination marketing industry when she steps into the position on November 15.
Gilbert has spent the last seven and a half years at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls, New York.
“I am incredibly excited to hit the ground running in Door County,” Gilbert said. “When I heard about this opportunity and began researching the area I was immediately intrigued. Then when I visited, I just felt so comfortable right away. The destination, the people, the businesses – everything in Door County is beautiful.”
Gilbert most recently served as Niagara Falls USA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Brand Management and Director of Marketing and Communications. She has also worked for the West Virginia Division of Tourism and Parks, American Society of Travel Agents, and National Park Reservations.
Gilbert said she plans to start building relationships on day one, drawing on her experience working with a wide variety of trade and municipal organizations for Niagara USA.
“My first priority is to learn everything I can about the community,” Gilbert said. “I want to meet and listen to as many business owners and residents throughout the community as I can and get to know the team at Destination Door County and learn more about the great work they do for Door County.”
Destination Door County underwent a painstaking process to select the right individual to lead the organization as it transitions into destination management in addition to continuing its successful marketing and promotional efforts. Working with Searchwide Global, an international executive search firm specializing in the tourism industry, DDC interviewed dozens of stakeholders, conducted an internal evaluation of operations, and convened a nine-person search committee consisting of board members and community members.
“Finding the right fit wasn’t an easy endeavor,” said DDC board chair Todd Trimberger, “but it was a process we had to go through to make sure we made the right choice for this organization and this community and the future of our county. And in Julie, we have the right choice. We can’t wait to introduce her to the rest of Door County and embark on our bright exciting future together.”
Gilbert has served as chair or as a board member of several regional and national industry organizations, including the National Travel and Tourism Association Research Board; US Travel Association IPW Advisory Group; the Foundation Research Advisory Task Force for Destinations International; Wine, Water & Wonders Corporation of New York state; and Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation.
The community will have an opportunity to meet Gilbert at DDC’s 2021 annual dinner meeting, scheduled for Tuesday November 16th from 5:30 – 8 PM at Fernwood Gardens Ballroom at Mr. G’s near Jacksonport. Registration for DDC’s annual meeting is available online through Nov. 5.