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Sep 26, 2012 -- 11:39am

The McHenry County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) officially announces the appointments of a new executive director, Jaki Berggren, and a new group sales manager, Laura Witlox.

This new professional team will focus on expanding membership, while continuing to drive tourism to McHenry County. The office will continue the relationship they already have with the media relations firm, Webster's Unabridged, of Galena, Ill.

"Former Executive Director Cort Carlson did a wonderful job over the past six years,” according to Richard Kuranda, President of the MCCVB Board of Directors.  Kuranda says Carlson truly set MCCVB up for success. Within the first 30 days, this team has already increased state funding by nearly $40,000, embraced our membership and started a new reporting system with the County Board. Kuranda looks forward to a banner year for tourism in McHenry County.  

Jaki Berggren, a McHenry County resident from Huntley, has been with MCCVB for three years as Group Sales Manager. Prior to that, Berggren worked for the Rockford Area CVB as Meeting Sales Manager for two years. Before moving into the CVB arena, Jaki worked as a sales manager at Chicago area hotels such as Embassy Suites O'Hare and Indian Lakes Resort. She also handled group sales at Chicago's ESPN Zone. She has a B.S. in Hospitality & Tourism Management and a B.S. in Business Management from Virginia Tech.

Berggren says, "I'm excited for the opportunity to serve as executive director for MCCVB. Having been involved as group sales manager, under Carlson’s direction for the last three years, I look forward to utilizing the strong foundation that he built and my experience in the Illinois CVB arena to launch us forward. McHenry County is a beautiful part of Illinois with many attractions, events, hotels and bed and breakfasts for visitors to enjoy. I believe it is the spirit of the people who call McHenry County home and their interactions with visitors that truly round out the visitor experience.”  

Laura Witlox, originally from Chicago, gained a wealth of management and client service experience through 12 years in the retail fashion industry. Laura has made Woodstock home for the past 14 years. Her volunteerism and community involvement led to a position as communications coordinator with the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce for two years. Making the decision to join MCCVB appealed to Witlox, because it will allow her to use her past experience and talents to increase tourism to McHenry County.

Witlox says, "It's an honor to represent the 30-plus communities that McHenry County encompasses, and showcase their beauty, events and attractions. I look forward to working with Jaki in continuing to put McHenry County on the map.”

For visitor info, go to www.VisitMcHenryCounty.com or phone toll-free 888-363-6177.

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