These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to email@example.com.
Wen-D Kersten was recently hired as the marketing and communications manager for the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce and CVB.
1. What are you most looking forward to in your new role as marketing and communications manager for the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce and CVB?
It’s exciting to be an active part of the community in which I live. In my new role, I get to look at Lake Geneva through new eyes; not just as a resident, but as a visitor looking for that ideal location for anything from a weekend getaway to a meeting destination. And what I’m seeing makes me fall in love and appreciate Lake Geneva all over again, for it is a place people discover once and come back time and again with a lifelong passion for the area.
2. How do you think your past industry experience has prepared you for this role?
I believe everything in my varied professional experience has come to play in this new position. From my work as a film producer to my marketing background in travel, tourism, entertainment and sustainability, I have gained vital experience and skills in content marketing, relationship building, website development, social media strategy, branding—literally all the elements needed to promote this uniquely beautiful destination.
3. What goals do you have in mind for the CVB for this year and farther down the line?
We are currently developing a new website and establishing new, innovative ways of working together with our members and visitors. The CVB’s goal has always been to establish Lake Geneva as a premier resort destination for both leisure and business travel. And, as a CVB, our goal is to be not only the portal of information on everything there is to know and do in the area, but serve as the primary means for helping visitors select and customize all the elements for their Lake Geneva experience.
Moving forward, we want to share Lake Geneva’s story, share the feeling and experience of being in Lake Geneva—and in turn help our members share their stories. It’s not about any one thing; it is a collective visceral experience, whether you choose to partake in all the many activities at hand such as golfing, ziplining, boating, walking the 21-mile Geneva Lake Shorepath, doing yoga on the beach, swimming, shopping or just sitting back and relaxing.
4. How did you get into the industry?
I moved here from Los Angeles where I worked as a writer/producer in the film industry. My transition from that world to marketing began with a position for Milwaukee’s then hometown airline, Midwest Airlines. It was a fantastic company routed in customer service, and I was fortunate to work as the manager of partner marketing under a wonderful boss. I took away a lifelong appreciation for taking care of the customer, listening and marketing to their needs.—elements that are most important when marketing in today’s world.
5. What do you enjoy most about the organization?
I most appreciate the ability to work with a great team of people who are all dedicated to the collective goals of working with the membership and helping the area grow. And, best of all, it is a place open to new ideas and not chained to past processes. Let’s face it—the world of marketing is an ever-changing game with new technology that is constantly evolving. In order to do our job and keep Lake Geneva accessible and relevant to travelers, we must continue to explore new, more efficient and desirable ways of providing information and delivering a pleasurable travel experience. The Lake Geneva CVB provides the means and mindset for doing just that.
6. Any additional comments?
Reaching the business and meeting traveler is different than it was when I first began. It used to be about providing the meeting space, food and on-site experience. Now, more and more, meeting planners are looking to provide that unique, off-site experience that makes the meeting more than just a meeting. And so, my job is to help showcase the unique qualities and activities that only Lake Geneva can provide; not just in summer, but in each and every season.