VISIT Milwaukee recently announced four new hires and four new promotions, increasing capacity and adding new capabilities amid a strong post-pandemic recovery and anticipated future growth for Milwaukee’s travel and tourism sector.
The organization promoted Claire Koenig to senior director of communications and public affairs, Megan Husband to national account and tourism sales executive, Christina Fox to senior convention sales coordinator and Katie Pfankuch to account executive. It also hired Shannon Richmond as the senior event experience manager, Raymond Valles as a national account executive, and Maaike Rheinfrank and Shaylynn Libby as convention sales coordinators.
“Milwaukee is generating significant momentum right now and we only expect that to continue. To truly capitalize on our opportunities, we need to have the right people in the right roles. With that in mind, these additions and promotions are a significant step forward for our organization and Milwaukee,” shares Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee.
Koenig started with VISIT Milwaukee as a communications manager in 2017. Today, she oversees a team of communications and social media professionals who work every day to elevate the city’s reputation and increase visitation to Milwaukee.
Husband has been with VISIT Milwaukee since 2008, starting as a convention sales manager. In her new role, she focuses on lead generation and room night goals for national association, religious and corporate citywide conventions, and works with partners to promote Milwaukee as a group destination.
Fox joined VISIT Milwaukee in 2015, originally as a convention sales assistant and was promoted to convention sales coordinator in 2020. Fox was again promoted to senior convention sales coordinator in 2023, where she now provides administrative assistance and support to the convention sales department and Sports Milwaukee division.
Pfankuch joined VISIT Milwaukee in 2022 as a sales support specialist. She assisted three national account executives with their work, and managed her own segment of groups with 100 rooms or less. In 2023, she was promoted to the role of account executive. Pfankuch continues to manage the rapidly expanding small group segment and assists the sales team with group tours as needed.
In her role, Richmond consults with convention and meeting clients from their initial booking through the completion of an event, ensuring a strong return on investment for each client. She previously was senior event manager at F Street Hospitality, and has prior experience at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Dynamic Events by David Caruso.
Based in Austin, Texas, Valles is responsible for lead generation and selling greater Milwaukee as a premier destination for conventions, meetings, trade shows and other activities. VISIT Milwaukee has identified the Texas market as one with strong potential for growth and having an in-person presence in the market will help VISIT Milwaukee capitalize. Prior to joining VISIT Milwaukee, Valles was senior convention sales manager for Destination El Paso, and has additional experience at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Arbor Inn and Suites and the Walt Disney Company.
As convention sales coordinators, Rheinfrank and Libby support the convention sales department and national account executives, producing regular reports that leverage their familiarity with customer relations management technology, third-party data and research, financial and contract tracking, and database management. Rheinfrank is a recent graduate of Cardinal Stritch University and Libby previously worked as a wedding planner at Graceful Events.