• Michelle Kim Named New Director of Tourism for Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce

     
    POSTED January 23, 2018
     

The Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced that Michelle Kim will be the new director of tourism. In her new role, she will be managing the day-to-day operations of the Convention & Visitors Bureau division. Kim will oversee operations of the Welcome Center, carry out tourism development projects, supervise all division employees and implement programs and partnerships.

"It’s not often when you can find an exceptionally qualified candidate for such an integral position right in your own backyard, but that is what we found in Michelle," said Tom McIntire, chairman of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. "Michelle’s roots in Galesburg run deep, and her enthusiasm and desire to see our community succeed is readily apparent to anyone who speaks with her. With her leadership, I firmly believe that she can bring substantial development and growth to the CVB."

Kim comes to the role from Costa Catholic Academy where she was the marketing and development director. Her previous roles also include resource development manager and service coordinator at the Knox Housing Authority. Additionally, Kim owns the Cherry Street Restaurant & Bar, giving her intimate knowledge of local tourism and hospitality in Galesburg.

"The Convention & Visitors Bureau is at an exciting moment in the life of the entity," said Jessica Linder, executive director of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce. "We’ve seen good results over the past few years in terms of visitor numbers and tax revenue generated through hotel room nights, as well as food, retail, and gas. We see great opportunity for tourism in the region and we are poised to take a very critical look at our operations to drive results even further. We believe that Michelle is exactly the person we need to do that.”

The Galesburg Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is a division of the Chamber of Commerce responsible for marketing Galesburg and Knox County to visitors to contribute to community development. 

Visitor spending in Rockford and Winnebago County reached an all-time high of $383.7 million in 2017, an increase of 8.3 percent over 2016. The increase in visitor spending put an additional 196 people to work in new tourism industry jobs, with spending now supporting 3,084 jobs countywide (an increase of 6.9 percent) and $93.8 million in payroll (up 9.6 percent).

 

Energy. Most meeting planners would agree that’s a key ingredient to any successful conference, and the 2018 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition—held at McCormick Place Aug. 18-21—was full of it. From an electric-powered city diorama and a digital caricature artist to a nitro-frozen margarita machine and a St. Louis’ Gateway Arch replica, the exhibit floor was like Disneyland for planners, packed with entertainment, refreshments and Instagram moments, along with networking opportunities aplenty.

 

This fall, Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, known for its rich cultural diversity, will see the opening of the 98-room SOPHY Hyde Park. The hotel will now include Mesler, a restaurant whose name literally translates to “to mix and mingle.”