Executive Director of Visit Grand Junction Announces Retirement

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Visit Grand Junction Executive Director Debbie Kovalik has announced she will be retiring after 28 years at the helm of the City of Grand Junction’s tourism marketing organization.

Debbie Flynn Kovalik was hired as the first employee of the then-newly-formed Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) in February of 1990. Debbie came to the City of Grand Junction after having previously worked for the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor Bureau as the Marketing Director. The title of the Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau was recently changed to Visit Grand Junction.

The beginnings of the Grand Junction VCB included Kovalik and a half-time administrative employee in shared office space at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. Today the organization, which is primarily funded by lodging tax collected on hotel rooms, operates with a budget of approximately $2 million and a staff of nine.

Among Debbie’s most notable accomplishments are working to start the Colorado Mountain Winefest in the Grand Valley; launching the first destination website in Colorado; and winning the Tourism Industry Association Odyssey Award for the Best Destination Marketing Campaign in the United States for “Colorado’s Wine Country”.

Kovalik has represented Grand Junction on many boards and commissions during her career, and currently serves on the Tourism Industry Association of Colorado (TIAC); the Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organization (CADMO); and the Grand Circle Association.

Debbie states, “It has been my honor to represent and promote the city of Grand Junction for the past 28 years. I’d like to extend my thanks to the many tourism partners I have worked with over the years. Together we have put Grand Junction on the map and we can all be proud of the premier destination Grand Junction has become.”

City Manager Greg Caton adds, “Debbie has done a great job of putting Grand Junction on the field with the big players in tourism. Her name has become synonymous with tourism in the region and her knowledge of this industry will be hard to replicate. I know she will remain involved in the community because it is just her nature. We wish her a long and happy retirement.”

Debbie’s retirement will become effective in February 2018.

Contact:  Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office   970-244-1507 or Mistalynn Meyeraan, Marketing & Public Relations, Visit Grand Junction 970-393-3053

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