Destination Door County (DDC) has selected Julie Gilbert as its new president/CEO. She’ll bring more than 30 years of experience in the destination-marketing industry when she steps into the position Nov. 15.
“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 has spent the last seven years at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls, New York, most recently as its vice president of sales and marketing. 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 experiences working with a wide variety of trade and municipal organizations.
“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.”
DDC underwent a national search and painstaking process to select the right person as it transitions into destination management and continues its marketing and promotional efforts. Working with Searchwide Global, an international executive search firm specializing in tourism, DDC interviewed dozens of stakeholders, conducted an internal evaluation of operations, and convened a nine-person search committee.
“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 the chair or a board member of the National Travel and Tourism Association Research Board; U.S. Travel Association IPW Advisory Group; Foundation Research Advisory Task Force for Destinations International; Wine, Water & Wonders Corporation of New York state; and Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation.
Community members can meet Gilbert at DDC’s 2021 annual dinner meeting set for Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5:30-8 pm, at Fernwood Gardens ballroom at Mr. G’s near Jacksonport. Registration for the annual meeting is available online through Nov. 5.