Lorene Kappler has been named president and chief executive officer of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kappler brings 18 years of visitor industry operations and marketing experience to her new position.
Kappler replaces John Mazor, who left in early December to take a similar position in northwest Illinois. The JCVB board of directors conducted a statewide and national search that brought in 45 applications.
"An extensive interview process helped us find an excellent match for the bureau and the community," said board Chairman Rick Kasnick. "Her extensive tourism experience, industry knowledge and obvious commitment to Juneau will serve the JCVB and the community well. She has the full support and confidence of the board."
Kappler begins at the bureau on Monday. "I can't wait to show up for work,"
Kappler said Friday. "I've been involved with JCVB on the board or in other connections for 10 years. It will be interesting to be on the other side of the desk."
Kappler holds a bachelor's degree in tourism management from the University of Hawaii. She is the former director of the University of Alaska Southeast Visitor Industry Program, has served as the executive director of the Southeast Alaska Tourism Council, was general manager of the Gold Creek Salmon Bake, and was marketing director for Alaska Travel Adventures.
Other tourism-related experience includes serving as a tour bus driver and guide for Alaska Sightseeing/Cruise West, ticket agent for Westflight Aviation, and manager of Travel Horizons, a satellite travel agency on Prince of Wales Island.
Kappler sees her appointment as "a real culmination" of her experience. "I couldn't be more delighted than to serve the industry and the community in this way," she said. "Juneau is a great place to live and a great place to market. The challenges will be how to meet our mission effectively and cost-effectively."
Her first acts will be to assess where the organization is, she said.
"We have five different program areas and I will be assessing with the staff people and getting a sense of what the Alaska Tourism Industry Association is doing that we can leverage," Kappler said. "Our brochure is already out and we have already bought advertising. This next window of March, April and May is a critical window for people making decisions about where to vacation."
Kappler first lived in Juneau from 1968 to 1973 and then moved to Fairbanks. She returned to Juneau in 1991. She and her husband, Mark, own Kappler Computer Service. She is an active member of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, the Juneau Glacier Valley Rotary Club, Junior Achievement and the Southeast Chapter of the American Red Cross.
The JCVB opened in 1986. It has a budget of about $1.1 million for 2002, Kasnick said, and Kappler will supervise seven employees plus volunteers.
"The board just finished their annual retreat and has a very aggressive action plan," Kappler said. "We will be refining our role. One thing we want to do is maximize the use of our convention facilities."
Ann Chandonnet may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.