Brittany Berrens Recognized by WI Dept of Tourism
By Doug Dalager
Gov. Scott Walker presented five recipients with Governor’s Tourism Awards for their outstanding contributions to the state’s hospitality and travel industry during the closing dinner at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in La Crosse. Brittany Berrens, Director of Marketing, Promotions and Social Media, with the Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber and Visitors Bureau received the “Rising Star” Award
“Wisconsin’s scenic beauty and iconic attractions draw travelers to the state, but it’s the passion of individuals and organizations in the hospitality industry that keep people returning here year after year,” said Gov. Walker. “These five honorees take on the hard work, great customer service and creative projects that grow the tourism economy.”
Sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Tourism, the Governor’s Tourism Awards recognize individuals, organizations and businesses for their commitment to excellence, achievements, dedication and leadership, which have an impact on Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry.
Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett also presented DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp with the Department of Tourism’s Outstanding Agency Partner Award. The award recognizes the support and relationship, between the Department of Tourism and other state agencies.
“This year we had a total of 36 nominations, and these are the people who work day in and day out to
make Wisconsin the premier destination for fun in the Midwest,” said Klett. “Each and every nominee
sets the bar high for their peers in the tourism industry. Our five honorees should be proud to have
been selected from such an amazing pool of talent.”
The five recipients are as follows:
• Rising Star Award – Brittany Berrens, Director of Marketing, Promotions and Social Media, Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber and Visitors Bureau From statewide campaigns to small local festivals, Brittany Berrens puts the emphasis on partnerships and customer service to promote the region. In her position at the Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber and Visitors Bureau, Berrens is dedicated to building and improving the brand and attracting tourism in northwest Wisconsin. She has utilized digital marketing to its full potential and also strengthened the relationship between tourism member businesses and the Visitors Bureau by setting up tourism industry forums.
• Legacy Award – Dave Clements, Executive Director, La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau For more than 40 years, Dave Clements has been involved in Wisconsin’s tourism industry and currently serves as the executive director of the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Throughout his career, Clements has spearheaded projects to better the La Crosse business community. His most recent endeavor was to successfully reopen the I-90 Welcome Center in La Crosse after its closing in 2009. Partnering with six local entities and the Departments of Tourism and Transportation, Clements led an effort to secure funding to rebuild
the 50-year-old welcome center. Gov. Walker announced the Department of Transportation would replace the center in spring 2016.
• Stewardship Award – Little Lake Wissota Stewardship Project
The Little Lake Wissota Stewardship Project is an example of a successful public/private partnership through its co-sponsorship with the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and the Chippewa County Land Conservation and Forest Management Committee. Little Lake Wissota is part of one of the largest and heavily used bodies of water in Chippewa County. Project coordinators began in 2009 to reduce phosphorus in the lake and increase recreational use. The project has forged partnerships with organizations like Excel Energy, Boy Scouts of
America, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and many others. The efforts have successfully reduced more than 100 pounds of phosphorus and 50,000 pounds of algae.
• Service Excellence Award – Central Wisconsin Convention & Expo Center and Wausau/
Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau
When the privately held Convention and Expo Center was on the brink of closing, the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau helped keep the doors open to prevent more than 50 scheduled events from being cancelled, which would have resulted in an economic loss to the community. Working directly with planners, the Bureau successfully managed the daily operations and all of the scheduled events and helped arrange for the sale of the facility. The Bureau is an outstanding example of how a tourism entity can collaborate
with a community to bring forth positive change.
• Arts, Culture and Heritage – Racine Art Museum
The Racine Art Museum and its affiliate, the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, are gathering spaces of visual arts education and exhibitions and include one of the largest contemporary craft collections in the United States. The two-campus organization welcomed nearly 60,000 visitors with programming that included exhibitions, studio arts classes and outreach programs to facilitate community-based arts instruction. More than 50,000 children and adults have participated in free outreach art experiences, including a mobile expansion
that presented 70 children’s art programs throughout Racine County.
More information about the Governor’s Tourism Awards is available on www.wigcot.org.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun. By executing industry-leading marketing programs, providing reliable travel information and establishing strategic partnerships, we will play a significant role in delivering exceptional customer service and generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.