OAK BROOK – During a July 17 meeting, the DuPage County Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors ratified the selection of Beth Marchetti as the new executive director.
Suburban Life reporter Zachary White recently sat down with Marchetti to ask about her experience and plans for the Oak Brook-based organization.
White: How were you chosen for the executive director position?
Marchetti: I was chosen through a six month process, there was a national search, we posted it on our association's career center and collected resumes from about 70 candidates. Then we hired a third party search firm to get unbiased answers and opinions about the candidates. The search was then narrowed it down to 10 candidates, and then our executive directors conducted the interviews with all 10 candidates.
I think it was narrowed down to three or four, and then a selection was made. They ratified it, voted and I will be officially the executive director as of Aug. 1.
White: What drew you to this job?
Marchetti: I have been with the organization for 14 years – I have a passion for the hospitality industry. Prior to working with this particular organization, I was with a marketing company and my clients were the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago, so I was very involved in those tourism industries.
I always loved being in hospitality and came out to DuPage in 1999, and I've been in several different roles with this organization. This is my passion and I have been groomed for the role, previously taking part in legislation and grant writing, making presentations to our municipalities and working in different departments of this organization.
White: So what is the day-to-day operation of the position?
Marchetti: I will attend municipal meetings, make city council presentations, write up to three or four grants per cycle and provide quarterly reporting to the state of Illinois. I'll also be overseeing the sales division, organization membership and marketing of our wonderful 38 communities.
DuPage County is certainly a wonderful destination, but we are truly a great alternative to downtown Chicago for meetings. So, although DuPage county is very prestigious, a meeting planner from Indianapolis has no idea what DuPage county is.
We can help them run the meeting start to finish in terms of finding the location, negotiating some pricing, helping with registration services and providing welcome bags for their attendees.
White: What are your goals and expectations?
Marchetti: I want to investigate some different avenues to find different meetings and meeting planners in order to continue to fill hotel rooms and see DuPage County's occupancy in the hotels increase.
I also want to make sure we have a viable funding source that can support our efforts to the best of the abilities. We get a state grant and we have to match those dollars and a lot of my job is making sure we get support from our communities.
So I guess its relationship building and making sure that people understand the value of tourism and that there's tremendous value in what convention and visitors bureaus do for us and for guests.
White: What do you think the hardest part of your job will be?
Marchetti: Becoming a change agent for partnerships and funding sources is a challenge. It is also an ongoing challenge to make sure we're at the table at important meetings and to make sure that those municipalities see the value in what we do.
GET TO KNOW Beth Marchetti
What: New DuPage County Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director
Residence: Forest Park
Education: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Experience: 14 year employees at DuPage County Convention and Visitors Bureau