For Immediate Release December 15, 2011
Staff Contact: Eugene Waara, LAVA Interim Director,
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LAVA Hires New Executive Director
DECEMBER 15, 2011 - After an extensive search and hiring process, the Longmont Area Visitors Association (LAVA) is pleased to announce that Joe Ward has been named the new Executive Director. Recently, LAVA brought 3 finalist candidates to Longmont for a full day of panel interviews and a community forum.
“We were extremely pleased with the quality and experience of the final candidates,” said Eugene Waara, interim Executive Director. “At the end of the day, it became very clear that Joe Ward was the ideal person to lead the LAVA organization as it pursues its mission to market and promote Longmont as a visitor destination. We are very excited about working with Joe!”
Ward has a strong background in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. With 24 years of experience, Joe most recently served as the Executive Director for the Orange County, Virginia, Visitors Bureau.
Ward is expected to start January 16. He plans to reside in Longmont along with his family.
The Longmont Area Visitors Association (LAVA) is a tourism partner with the City of Longmont to support, market, develop and enhance historical, cultural, business meeting and recreational activities in Longmont. These activities draw regional, national and international tourism to Longmont and surrounding areas. LAVA’s goal is to establish and develop Longmont as a desirable tourism destination and enrich the economic well being of the community.
Joseph Ward is a 24-year hospitality, travel and tourism industry veteran with a diverse background in sales, public relations, food service, and special event and destination marketing management. Heavily involved in tourism development throughout the destination marketing industry, Ward’s career highlights include, most recently, serving as Executive Director of the Orange County, Virginia, Visitors Bureau, and Vice President of Finance and President of The Virginia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (VACVB). Ward has also previously served on the Education Committee of the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) and is recognized by the American Bus Association as a Certified Tourism Industry Specialist (CTIS). A native of Warsaw, New York, Ward loves to share his time outside of work with his wife, Sara, and young son, Joseph-Manuel.