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New interim president/CEO named at tourism bureau

Barbara Strack will lead bureau during transition

Barbara Strack, director of Operations & Finance for the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, will become interim president/CEO of the bureau effective Aug. 14 replacing Brett Stawar, who was recently named head of the Port Aransas & Mustang Island Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce in Texas.

Strack was appointed to the position by the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism board of directors. A search for a permanent president/CEO is underway.

“Barbara has extensive experience and the knowledge needed to help the bureau through this transition,” John Hopkins, chairman of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau Board of Directors said. “We have every confidence that she will continue to guide the bureau and provide stability.”

Strack has spent 13 years with Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau. Prior to that she was an accountant at Smurfit Stone Container Corporation.

“I am honored to be able to help the bureau during this transition,” Strack said. “The impact of tourism, especially in this current COVID environment, is more important than ever. Tourism is a major economic development driver and we at the bureau are working diligently to ensure our local economies are on the road to recovery.”

Over the years, Strack has been instrumental in developing, implementing and monitoring the bureau’s annual budget and all related financial programs including day-to-day financial transactions. As Finance and Operations Director, she oversees grant management, contract management and Alton Visitor Center operations.

As a member of the bureau’s team, Strack played an integral role in the development of the organization as a regional destination and its expansion from a three-county region to its current six county configuration.

“Being a part of the team that elevated the bureau regionally, statewide and nationally has been a highlight of my career with the organization,” Strack said. “We are a bureau now known for its excellence in all areas of tourism.”

A search committee has been appointed by the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau Board of Directors to find a replacement for Stawar.




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