SEATTLE – Visit Seattle welcomes Karen Johnston as National Account Director for its Chicago office effective April 2. With more than 30 years of combined sales experience on behalf of hotels and direct marketing organizations, she is well-poised to promote and sell Seattle as a destination for conventions and meetings for associations and corporations in the greater Chicago market.
“We are very excited to have Karen join us and lead Visit Seattle’s sales efforts in Chicago,” said Rob Hampton, Senior Vice President of Convention Sales & Services. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization and her affiliations within the community run deep.”
With a strong focus on Chicago, Johnston’s territory will also include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Canada and International markets.
Johnston worked as director of national accounts for Marriott International for 16 years where she managed a portfolio of 30 accounts. After moving from Marriott in 2007, she started her DMO career with Choose Chicago as an association sales director. Most recently, she acted as the regional account director for Visit Tampa Bay.
Throughout her various roles, Johnston has maintained active involvement in several industry organizations. She has served on several committees for the Greater Midwest Chapter of the Professional Convention Management Association and continues to attend and actively work on committees for the American Society of Association Executives, Meeting Professionals International Chicago Chapter and Association Forum of Chicagoland.
Outside her professional life, Johnston serves as Chief Financial Officer for the Winged Foot Foundation (WFF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization her husband, Mitch Johnston, founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2009 to support economically challenged junior high and high school track programs. WFF assists student athletes in the Chicagoland area by offering athletic equipment and motivational events to help strengthen the educational and sports activities in their communities.
About Visit Seattle: Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as Seattle/King County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region. For more information, visit www.visitseattle.org.