Travel Lane County
541.484.5307 · 800.547.5445 · EugeneCascadesCoast.org
Adventure Center/Visitor Information: 3312 Gateway St · Springfield OR (Open daily 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Downtown Eugene Visitor Center: 754 Olive St · Eugene OR (Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Mailing Address: PO Box 10286 · Eugene OR 97440 s


(0)
New Trip

You have the following items saved to your itinerary. Click on an item for more information or click the red 'X' to remove.

Get To Know Our Board Members 

Travel Lane County's board members are passionate about tourism in Lane County and active in the community from the Oregon Coast to the Cascades. Get to know their professional and personal stories.

Travel Lane County Board Chair

 

JB Carney

About JB:

I have over 15 years of lodging industry experience, serving in a variety of positions at full-service and select-service hotels. I earned both my Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and Master of Science degree in hospitality administration from Oklahoma State University. I live in Eugene with my wife Kara and our three children, Aileigh, Nolan and Quinn. In my spare time I  enjoy trail running, skiing, bike riding, paddle boarding, hiking and just spending time outdoors with family, taking advantage of all Lane County has to offer.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: It is too hard to choose, so I will give you two. A beautiful day at the coast or a Friday night at one of the many Lane County vineyards.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Get outdoors and get dirty!

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? I see the visitor industry continuing to play a major role in the economic development of the county. Whether it is job creation, increased funding through visitor spending or assisting with the recruitment of new companies, the visitor industry is vital to the continued growth and ultimate success of Lane County.

Travel Lane County Vice Chair

 

Julie Johns

About Julie:

Our family business, Territorial Seed Company, is dedicated to providing the highest quality seeds with excellent customer service for home gardeners. Every year we do extensive trialing of hundreds of varieties to select the best tasting vegetables and beautiful flowers.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I like to take a drive around the county to see the covered bridges. Many are located in Cottage Grove with others found near small towns and along county roads in the Cascades. In addition to viewing the bridges, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and will find some great breweries, wineries and restaurants to try on your adventure.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Stop in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center or Downtown Eugene Visitor Center and tell them your interests and how long your stay will be. The wonderful staff will be able to provide some options that will assure your time here will be terrific!

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Tourism is a great way to introduce visitors to your community. People like to live where they can play and enjoy what life has to offer. Communities of all sizes need to attract new residents to maintain vibrant growth and healthy population. 

Travel Lane County Board Treasurer

 

Pam Whyte

About Pam:

I have been a CPA and a partner in the accounting firm of Emge & Whyte since 1988. I grew up in Kettering, Ohio and moved to Eugene in 1975 as an exchange student from the University of South Florida and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1977 with a bachelor degree in business administration. I earned my tax preparer, tax consultant and enrolled agent licenses over the next few years then went back to the University of Oregon in the MBA program to get the courses required to sit for the CPA exam. I work with many individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Eugene - Springfield area providing tax, accounting, compilation and review work. I have been with my life-partner Ron Saylor for over 40 years and we enjoy traveling, sailing and our life in Eugene.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Being a wine aficionado, I must say that simply traveling to any of the numerous wineries in our county on a beautiful spring, summer or fall day is hard to beat.  

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Don’t cut your visit short. There are so many places to explore and adventures to have; we are a large and diverse region. The one place everyone should visit is the Cascades Raptor Center — make it part of a hike on the Ridgeline Trail, or visit on your way to or from one of our wineries. 

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Tourism is, and will continue to be, a huge part of our region’s economy. The visitor industry will continue promoting our state and our region nationally and internationally, as well as to locals. It will also help with the planning and development of a convention center that will allow the region to host larger conventions to bring more people to our area.

Travel Lane County Board Past Chair

 

Lorrie Normann

About Lorrie:

I am a native Eugenian and have a deep love for the community and surrounding areas. I have been a business owner for many years and enjoy the people, culture and diversity of the area.  

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I love going to the Oregon Coast. Whether we are camping and hiking the many great trails or staying in our favorite hotel with beautiful ocean views, it's one of my favorite places to be.  

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? The great thing about our region is that you are so close to any kind of adventure you want. Cities, mountains, beaches — everything is within a day trip. 

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Our region is becoming a leader in the sports/track industry. We are hosting bigger and better events every year. I believe that having visitor adventures to add to those events will continue to assist us in growing those opportunities. 

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Martin Alletson

About Martin:

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, I was educated there and started work as an apprentice chef at 15 years old. I have two chef degrees from a four-year course covering the length of the apprenticeship. I switched to hotel management after that, doing six months in every department of a five star hotel. I was deputy manager of a London hotel by age 21 and then emigrated to the United States. I still have family in the UK.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: For me, the drive from Eugene to Bend through Sisters is incredibly beautiful, as is riding up Hwy 101 along the coast. Other than Alaska, I can’t think of a state or county that has such a varied landscape that covers all of God’s beautiful elements; mountains, pastures, volcanic rock beaches and ocean.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Plan ahead! Most often you will not have nearly enough time to see half the things the county has to offer, so focus on what means the most to you and give yourself time to see it.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Visitor Industry is vital to the economy of Oregon and, of course, Lane County. We are one of the largest employment sectors and help generate some of the largest returns for so many businesses that rely on tourism. But we have to be good stewards of that industry and not take advantage of tourist through price gouges and we must be receptive to their needs —be they young people or old. We must not take them for granted — they pay our wages.

Travel Lane County Board Member

John Barofsky

 

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Dr. Lisa Benson

About Lisa:

I am a professor at Lane Community College in the Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management program. Prior to teaching, I worked in the hospitality industry in Texas, California and New Mexico for more than a decade. I am an avid traveler and have been to more than 40 countries, living in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Switzerland and Dominica. My research area is sustainable tourism development and I seek out places that have yet to see the impact of mass tourism. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Idaho in resource recreation and tourism. Sustainability in the hospitality industry and environmental education are two of my professional passions. 

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I have two favorite adventures close to home; the Farmers Market early on Saturday mornings and taking a 20-mile bike ride along the Row River Trail in Cottage Grove, through the forest and along the lake — it really doesn't get any better than that!

Best piece of advice for first-time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Make sure to spend enough time to see all that our region has to offer; wine tasting, the gorgeous Oregon Coast and, of course, Brice Creek Trail up in the mountains. 

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Richard Boyles

About Richard:

I am a Lane County native and graduate of the Clark Honors College of the University of Oregon. I hold an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. ln 2001, I became the President of Sycan B Corp., a Springfield-based real estate development company with a concentration in hotel development. I co-founded Merete' Hotel Management lnc. in 1993, and became its president. I am active in our community and in the lodging industry, currently serving on the Oregon Tourism Commission and the board of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: We have so many cool things to do in our region! My most frequent adventures involve hiking, sailing, kayaking, mushroom hunting, wine and beer tasting and culinary pursuits.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Leisure travel is all about expanding your horizons and making new connections. Lane County is full of diverse experiences — try something new and share your experience with others.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? The people who comprise Lane County's visitor industry act as ambassadors for this special place, making it easy for our guests to access all that our area has to offer and supporting their explorations with expertise, insight and access. That's true today and it will be our industry's central role going forward.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Corey Buller

About Corey:

I was born and raised in Eugene, and attended Churchill High School and Oregon State University. I have been working with the Lane County Fairgrounds and Events Center for over 21 years.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Fishing one of the many lakes or rivers in Lane County — with so many to choose from, those opportunities exist year-round.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Stay awhile! There is so much to see and do, you need time to take it all in. Plan a return trip and expand on some of the things you enjoyed while looking outside your norm and finding new and exciting adventures.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? In my opinion, this is one of the best regions to live in — we have access to the  mountains, the coast and everything in between. The exciting part is our ability to expand our experiences and try different things all within a day’s drive. Continuing to get the message out and encouraging everyone to try new things and explore our region will be critical to the success of our local communities.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Robert Canaga

About Robert:

I am a Vietnam veteran who is 80 percent disabled (hard to believe). After ten plus years in the army, in 1984 I went back to school and got a degree in anthropology, then art. I am a full-time artist now.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I love the coast and painting the ocean.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Talk to the locals and ask about their favorite restaurant, brewery or winery. Pick up the South Willamette Wine Trail map at the Adventure Center and go visit a few of our great wineries.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Tourism to Oregon means more money in the local economy and an increase in population, because once they are here for a few days, they may well come back permanently!

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Mike Drennan

About Mike:

I have served on the Travel Lane County Board since 1994 and on the executive committee for almost 10 years. I currently serve on both the facilities committee and the nominations committee, and previously was treasurer and board chair. I graduated from Corvallis High School and attended the University of Oregon, earning a degree in finance. I spent 40 years in the banking industry, working in several executive positions, and retired in 2014. I have served on over 15 boards during my career and currently am on the boards of the Oregon Cancer Foundation and FOOD for Lane County where I will be board chair starting in July 2019. I have two married sons living in Seattle and Portland, and a grandson and granddaughter aged 9 and 5.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure? My favorite adventure in Lane County is whitewater rafting on the McKenzie River, which I have done several times – and I have only fallen out of the boat once!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? My best advice is to see all of the incredible beauty and participate in the myriad of adventures that are available throughout the county. Sample the cuisine and the beer and the wine. You will want to come back many times.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? The next few years in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region are going to be hopping. The key event will be the 2021 World Track & Field Championships, which will be held at the new Hayward Field. But there is way more going on too, as the metro area is undertaking multiple projects for visitors and residents alike to enjoy.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Tom Driscoll

About Tom:

I work at the University of Oregon as the associate director of university housing and director of dining services. I lead the operations of dining services for residential dining, EMU retail dining, UO catering, and UO conference services.  Prior to joining the UO, I spent 20 years in the restaurant industry in California, Washington and Oregon, and bring restaurant and hospitality expertise to University of Oregon campus dining through a high-level cuisine and service approach. I am a California native and graduate of San Francisco State University; my family and I made Oregon home upon arriving at the UO in 2000. I love food and cooking, particularly trying new recipes and ideas. I also love being outdoors, whether it’s hiking, road biking, fly fishing or cross-country skiing.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: With all the outdoor adventures we have access to it is very hard to pick just one favorite. This weekend I plan to take a late summer canoe ride across Waldo Lake with a hike to the Waldo Mt. Fire Lookout for lunch, a perfect day in the Cascades!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Try our local foods in their season. You’ve never had better strawberries, peaches, pears or Pinot — or anything better than our local products.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Visitors to our area will continue to bring value and vibrancy to the region, providing the necessary impetus to continue improving our parks, services and infrastructure to help make our communities more livable for residents year-round. When the visitor industry invites guests into our community, it motivates and energizes our community, which in turn brings out the great hospitality that makes our community special.  

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Mike Duncan

About Mike:

I was born and raised in Sacramento and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1980. I was fortunate to be able to return to Eugene in 2008, after a 24-year stint with the Sacramento Kings and ARCO Arena, and get involved with Oregon’s athletic facilities. I head up the outside events at Matthew Knight Arena and Autzen Stadium.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I enjoy walking my dog in the Masonic Cemetery where you can learn so much early Eugene history. I also like to discover great new eateries and breweries.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? There is probably a specific reason that you came to Eugene. I encourage you to look beyond that and you’re going to find so many different reasons to come back and visit again.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? The industry is going to be vitally important as people from all over the world discover Eugene and the state of Oregon in 2021 for the World Championships at Hayward Field. I expect that the impression these guests receive will bring many more visitors from around the world in the coming years.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Pat Farr

About Pat:

I moved from Sheffield, England at age 10 to Tillamook County, Oregon. I graduated from Tillamook High School in 1972 and moved to Eugene in 1973 to attend the University of Oregon where I met my wife Debi. We were married in 1975 and have three children. I served in the Oregon Army National Guard for six years, I was assigned to A, B and C Companies and Headquarters of the 2nd Battalion of the 162nd Regiment, 41st Brigade, 7th Light Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Scott Freck

About Scott:

I have been the executive director of the Eugene Symphony Association since June 2012. Prior to that, I was vice president for artistic operations and general manager of the North Carolina Symphony, based in Raleigh, from November 2000 to May 2012. I began my orchestra management career at the Oregon Symphony, in my hometown of Portland, in September 1991. My wife Leslie and I have two children, Elena (18 and a student at Emerson College in Boston) and Ivan (16, and a sophomore at South Eugene High).

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I’ll always remember rafting with our colleagues at the McKenzie River Trust, as "research" for the Eugene Symphony’s “Four Seasons of the McKenzie River” project in February 2018.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Get out of the car, breathe the air and listen to everything that Oregon’s captivating natural settings have to tell you.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? We truly are fortunate to have it all here — majestic mountains, rugged coastline, verdant valleys and more. Add to that some of our nation’s best beer, wine, and cuisine, along with a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and you have the recipe for a fantastic travel experience for anyone to enjoy. This promises to be a major economic driver in our area for years to come.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Anne Hallinan

About Anne:

As of 2019, I have literally been in the meetings/tourism industry for half my life! I started at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland shortly after it opened. From there my career has taken me all over the world, working on international programs in exciting places like Abu Dhabi and Singapore, planning national conventions for thousands of people all over the U.S., and managing the sales and events department at the Portland Expo Center. I started my own event management company when I got married and moved to Lane County in 2001. It’s a beautiful place to live, work and play.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Any and everything outdoors! The first thing I remember loving about the area is the extensive bike path system. Now, in addition to easy access to a variety of hiking trails, I’m loving exploring our rivers (McKenzie and Willamette) by kayak.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Don’t be afraid to explore. There is so much to do here — drive, walk, ride or run! Enjoy the scenery, work up an appetite, then sample the incredible food, wine, beer, spirits and more that are available from the coast to the foothills. 

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? As our region becomes more and more well known, whether through sporting events or nationally distributed products, the number of visitors to the area will continue to increase. Attracting them, and catering to them once they arrive, will result in the visitor industry being responsible for an even larger portion of our regional economy. The better we do, the healthier community we will have for all our residents.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Jonnie Helfrich

About Jonnie:

I grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary and secondary physical education, and in 1989 moved to start a life with my Oregon-born husband, Aaron. I taught in Toledo, Oregon and in Eugene before starting a family of fourth-generation river guides. Aaron and I own A. Helfrich Outfitter, a rafting and fishing business up the McKenzie.   

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: We spend most of our free time exploring the great out-of-doors... floating on rivers and hiking on trails. I particularly enjoy any trail that takes me to running water. Imagine that!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? My best advice is to allow yourself enough time to explore all we have to offer or to plan several trips, in all seasons, to see as much as you can. There aren’t many places where someone can travel from sandy beaches to snowy mountains in just a few hours, but there is also so much to see and do between those two extremes.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Time to relax and recharge is becoming increasingly important as our society seems to become more results-driven. Getting away from one’s routine and rut is critical to healthy minds, bodies and living. We help people realize what’s available and how best to access what they really want and need. 

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Bob Jagger

About Bob:

I opened and managed Hilton Hotels in Boise, Idaho for 14 years before moving in 2017 to open the Hyatt Place in Eugene. I have a Bachelor degree in business management and an MBA. I have been named "General Manager of the Year" by Hilton Worldwide in 2015 and 2016, and our hotel was named "Hotel of the Year" in 2009. I have been married to my wife Suzanne for 15 years and we have three boys, Ian, Hank and Pete. We are avid fans of golf and football.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: We spend most of our weekends on the Oregon Coast, exploring different cities and enjoying the incredible food up and down Highway 101.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? I would highly suggest the Oregon Coast Chowder trail. Try the best clam chowder along all the small towns of the coast.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? The visitor industry will take Oregon tourism to the next level with its successful promotion of the state and region. I can say without a doubt, the leadership of Travel Lane County is the most experienced, well organized and goal driven that I have ever seen in my 17 plus years in the hotel industry.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Lynda Kamerrer

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Mayor Christine Lundberg

About Christine:

I was born and raised in Springfield, and grew up in a home where public service was considered an honor. After high school, I served my country by joining the Navy. I was elected to the Springfield City Council in 1999 and served Ward 1, the Gateway area, for more than a decade. During that time, the PeaceHealth Hospital at Riverbend was built and transportation improvements to Interstate 5 and Beltline were planned. The first Bus Rapid Transit, known as EmX, route from downtown Eugene to downtown Springfield became a reality, as did the Pioneer Parkway EmX route.

The visitor industry is an important business sector for our community. People are increasingly coming to Springfield, as we have incredible businesses and abundant recreation opportunities including a swim park, sports center, trails for biking and walking and award-winning parks and open space. Our "Official Simpsons Mural” has received two "Certificate of Excellence Awards" from TripAdvisor for consistent high ratings from travelers. We’re a family-friendly community where a resurgent economy and numerous historical aspects have blended into a vibrant home. 

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Michael Newman

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

David Penilton

About David:

I’m the co-owner of Hub World Travel, dba America’s Hub World Tours LLC, and co-owner of Best of the Northwest. Sales missions have included ITB, IPW, CITM, NAJ, Active America, JATA, Go-West and NTA Contact Exchange, and have taken me to China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, Africa and Canada. I am active on numerous boards and councils, including Travel Lane County's Board of Directors, the Eugene Sports Advisory Council, 2016-17 Board Chair for Travel Portland, Travel Portland Finance Committee, Community Action Committee, Clackamas Tourism Development Council, and the NTA-China Inbound Program.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Anything outdoors! This includes running, biking, hiking, camping, fly fishing and travel. The running trails in Eugene and surrounding area are amazing. I love getting out into the outdoors to explore nature and can’t wait to explore the fly fishing opportunities more. 

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? I suggest taking time to talk to the locals — the friendly culture in the metro area will gladly open it arms to welcome you. Don’t wait to take a trip to the Oregon Coast.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? With over 313 million jobs created by the third largest industry in the world, I believe the visitor industry is the key to supporting and improving communication through cultural, social and environmental tourism, and diversity, equity and inclusion by pushing the economic impact into all corners of the world's communities.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Sarah Smith

About Sarah:

I am a native Oregonian, born in Portland, but with my dad being an air traffic controller, I lived in Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Alaska before returning to Sandy, Oregon for middle school and high school. I am married to my high school sweetheart, Josh, and we moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon in 2000. I graduated with a degree in journalism and communications with an emphasis in advertising management in 2004. We have two awesome daughters, Maggie (9) and Quinn (7). They keep their dad and me on our toes, and we have gotten to experience adventures in Lane County in a whole new way with them. I began my hospitality career while in college and have continued with InnCline Management and the Holiday Inn Express for the past 13 years. 

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: A weekend getaway to Florence with a hike at Sweet Creek Falls near Mapleton, an overnight at Driftwood Shores, putt-putt golf at Sandland Adventures, clam chowder at historic Mo’s and ice cream at BJ’s! 

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Do your research! With so much to see and do, plan your trip in advance so you can get the absolute most out of every moment.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Eugene, Cascades & Coast is the ultimate resource for anyone planning on coming to Oregon. We have so much diversity in activities and this destination marketing organization takes the time to explore each one and highlight them to potential visitors. Keep innovating and inviting people to visit and play.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Pat Straube

About Pat:

I am president of Dari-Mart Stores, a family business featuring our own milk and ice cream products, produced and manufactured here in Lane County. A graduate of Oregon State University/Southern Oregon College, I majored in home economics.  

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: My favorite adventure is at milepost 36 on the McKenzie Highway, where I can relax and watch the river go by. I love that there is so much to do, from golfing to fishing and, of course, whitewater rafting.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Get out and explore — it's one hour to the mountains and one hour to the ocean, all with great food, great wine and beautiful country.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? We are expanding knowledge of places to explore — come visit and stay awhile. There are running and bike trails, skiing, fishing and rafting. Drink a little wine and try our new budding micro brews and spirits industry.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Carol Tannenbaum

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Greg Taylor

About Greg:

I graduated from the University of Oregon in 1994 with a BA in Asian Studies. I began working in the hospitality industry while finishing school at UO in 1990 and haven’t ever stopped — I’m sure I’ll get to my degree at some point. I recently moved back to Eugene to help a new owner relaunch the Valley River Inn.  

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Mine are mellower than they once were; a fabulous dinner in downtown — at Ambrosia perhaps, a show at the Hult, a romantic getaway at some choice lodging. That said, floating on any of our rivers or a beautiful drive out to the coast and hitting the Florence dunes — all good!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Slow down, take the measure of Eugene’s neighborhoods and vibrant culture, let it impact you. Eat well, listen to some live music and grab some time on the trails.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? We should continue to be stewards of a fine set of resources. We attract visitors to let them experience and enjoy all that Lane County has to offer while boosting our economy — a fair trade.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Dana Turell

About Dana:

Owner and president of Turell Group, and a strong leader with 22 years of marketing experience, I excel when I'm at the helm of a team focused on a brand. I apply a solid business perspective, along with passion and enthusiasm, to strategies and tactics that help achieve a client’s goal. I have worked with numerous organizations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, including Travel Lane County. At my core is a fire that fuels my desire to make a difference in the world. 

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: One of my favorite pastimes is enjoying good food with good people. Lucky for me, Lane County has plenty of both. Also an arts enthusiast, I frequent local performances and I’m an active board member of the Arts and Business Alliance of Eugene. Coming from a big city, I remain in awe of the natural beauty throughout the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? When visiting our area for the first time, make one of your first stops the visitors' center. Give the Adventure Specialists an idea of what you like and want to get out of your trip. They are sure to give you great advice.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? The visitor industry paves the way and welcomes new people to our region. As our communities grow, build assets and prepare for the world stage with the World Championships in 2021 and beyond, it is our responsibility to play an essential role in Lane County’s economic growth and community reputation.  

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Jenny Ulum

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Jason Williams

I bring more than a decade of senior level hospitality leadership experience to my role as general manager of Graduate Eugene, a hand-crafted hotel in the heart of downtown Eugene with an affinity for the city’s rich running culture. While my journey to hospitality was not the traditional route, I attribute much of my management style, dedication and drive to my collegiate years pursuing higher education in equestrian science at William Woods University in Fulton, MO. My professional background ranges from director of food and beverage to general manager with hotel and hospitality groups in California and Oregon. In my spare time, I can be found at an early morning cycling class, exploring the Pacific Northwest with my husband or savoring Eugene’s culinary scene.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: My favorite experiences in Eugene have resulted from any excuse to experience the scenery of the Pacific Northwest or indulge in the region’s culinary landscape.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? To anyone visiting our hidden gem of a city for the first time, I would recommend they arrive with an open mind and truly travel like a local — shop at small businesses, dine at family-owned eateries, lace up your sneakers and hit the trails.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? While I’ve enjoyed our region being the West Coast’s best kept secret, I know we can’t keep it under wraps forever! With nationally and world-sanctioned athletic events knocking on our door, renowned wineries in our backyard and unparalleled outdoor recreation, the future for tourism and travel to our region is bright and fruitful. I look forward continuing to experience everything I can in the region. 

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Jennifer Yeh

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Courtney Griesel

About Courtney:

I am the City of Springfield, OR economic development director and a University of Oregon Distinguished Recent Alumna award recipient. I have a masters of organizational leadership from Gonzaga University and a bachelor of science in planning, public policy and management from the University of Oregon. I manage two urban renewal areas, the community enterprise zone, transient room tax program and citywide economic development, including business retention, expansion and recruitment. My economic lens spans the region and globe via my work as a global facilitator and trainer with the EPIC-Network and in partnership with the UN and EPA in European and South African communities.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: The South Willamette Wine Trail with family and friends. There is nothing like appreciating the amazing region we live in while sitting at a local winery, taking in beautiful views and tasting the product of passionate and proud local winemakers. The tasting trails passport app expands the experience even further.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Check out the Adventure Center located in the Springfield Gateway area. It’s an easy stop and full of incredible guides to local places, unique local gifts, and friendly staff as excited about your visit as you are. It’s a great place to get started and really maximize your experience while you’re here.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? The visitor industry celebrates the daily local wonders that we often take for granted as local community members. Linking our primary local industries, like wood products manufacturing, food and beverage, medical and technology, etc. to the visitor industry and experiences promoted by that industry will be critical to our growing and vibrant quality of life. The visitor experience isn’t just for visitors, it’s for our entire community of families, employees, prospective community members, and more.

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Renee Grube

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Bettina Hannigan

About Bettina:

I joined the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce as the executive director in 2016. Having been self-employed for the last 30 years, I bring an entrepreneurial vision to chamber purpose. During my tenure membership revenues have grown almost 30 percent. I am dedicated to the Florence community and work hard to share the many ways to enjoy Oregon’s Coastal Playground. With a passion for art, I have helped to promote Florence’s many art destinations by hosting monthly exhibits in the visitors' center lobby. One of my favorite quotes is “Hearts have Chambers and Chambers have Hearts.” My desire to help build sustainable economic development drives me to serve from my heart.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Aero Legends BiPlane ride up the coast to the Heceta Head Lighthouse and the Sea Lion Caves then over the forest and out to the dunes. There's nothing like it!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Our visitors often say that our dunes are the eighth wonder of the world. Big buggy, fast buggy or ATV — they are a must-see!

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? With the different focus and wish list of the coming generation of visitors, I see Oregon continuing to grow as a destination because of our authentic assets and resources. 

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Ric Ingham

About Ric:

I have been Veneta’s city administrator since February 2004. I am a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in economics and business administration. During my tenure, Veneta has been one of the fastest growing cities in Oregon — from the last census in 2000, Veneta has grown by more than 75 percent. Prior to my arrival in Veneta, I spent 12 years in central and eastern Oregon assisting rural communities with their economic development efforts. As a seasoned economic development practitioner, I have served on numerous local, regional and statewide economic development organizations.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: I owned and operated a rafting company out of Central Oregon for a number of years. During that time, I guided over 50 trips down the McKenzie River. In particular, I love the run from Paradise Campground down to Blue River.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Best advice is not to try to experience all of Lane County in just a couple of days. Make multiple trips and focus each trip on a region (Eugene, Cascades or Coast) and the great adventures offered in that region.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? I think the visitor industry will continue to play a vital role in connecting visitors seeking an adventure experience with culinary experiences.

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Vonnie Mikkelson

About Vonnie:

I am a native Oregonian, a small-town girl, and an adventurer at heart. I’ve traveled to sixteen countries in Europe and Asia, and once cycled around the northernmost island of Hokkaido, Japan. I spent the first sixteen years of my career in Japan working as a World's Fair promoter and subsequently as a programming executive for Cartoon Network Japan. I discovered the appeal of industry association management in 2006 when I joined AACSB International in Tampa, Florida. This work inspired me to pursue community development through chambers of commerce, and since 2009 I’ve led two chambers in two states, first in the Tampa, Florida region and now for Springfield. I’m a founding member of the Springfield Indoor Track Committee, serve on the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Government Affairs Council, and am a member of the National Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and the Western Association of Chamber Executives. 

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure:  A casual and spontaneous walk with my three dogs along one of the many iconic riverfront trails. The choices are many and never disappoint!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Download the Eugene Tasting Trails app to explore the area via three different "tasting trail" experiences. Lots of sights, concerts, arts and foodie delights to explore along the way.

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? I believe the visitor industry will play a key role in the strategic positioning of our region's brand, attracting entrepreneurial investment and a new generation of talent.

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Steve Mokrohisky

About Steve:

I am a county administrator whose last name is pronounced Mo-crow-hi-ski. I joined Lane County in May 2014 and have served in county government leadership in Oregon, Nevada and Wisconsin for 17 years. Previously I served as the Douglas County manager in Nevada where I led efforts to create financial stability, negotiate long-term contracts with employee unions, triple funding for road maintenance and construct a new community and senior center. As a result, Douglas County won numerous awards for innovation and its bond rating was raised to a historic level. I received a B.A. from Marquette University and an M.B.A from the University of Wisconsin. I am also a public policy graduate of the Les Aspen Center for Government in Washington, D.C.

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Travis Palmer

About Travis:

I moved from Boise, Idaho to Cottage Grove, Oregon in the fall of 2011 with my wife Sara and stepdaughter Rileigh when I was hired as the executive director of the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce. Since moving to Oregon, we've expanded our family to include our son Miles and daughter Julia. I serve on several boards and advisory committees in the Cottage Grove area and am also the part-time executive director of the Cottage Grove Community Foundation.  

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Our favorite weekend excursion is to head over to Florence to play in the sand and see the ocean. We always make a point to walk around and see the various shops and farm stands and enjoy some clam chowder while we're there.   

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Get out of the car and walk or ride a bike wherever you can. Try local food and be sure to see some of the covered bridges

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Cottage Grove's economy can be greatly improved by embracing tourism. We're very conveniently located and have many attractions that tourists love once they discover our little town. As Eugene and Springfield grow and attract more visitors, we will continue to see growth and new visitors to the area. We need to be ready to welcome them! 

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Brittany Quick-Warner

About Brittany:

I am the president and CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. Originally from the Midwest, I moved to Eugene in 2012 and quickly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: On the weekends, you can find me and my friends exploring a new restaurant, winery or brewery in the Eugene area. After moving to Eugene, it didn't take long for me to become an avid IPA and Pinot Noir fan. You won't find any better than in our backyard.

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? When I have visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region I always makes sure they are in town on a Saturday. We start the day with a cup of coffee at The Barn Light, head to Off the Waffle for breakfast and then spend the morning perusing the bustling Saturday Market and Farmers Market downtown. After lunch we head to Spencer Butte for an afternoon hike and then always end the day with a beer and Cajun tater tots on the river at McMenamins North Bank

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? As our community grows and our visibility on a national stage increases, Eugene will continue to be a "must see" city on the West Coast. Visitors will play a critical role in our local economy, and our community is wise to continue to support this industry and invest in our attractive amenities. 

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

 

Erin Reynolds

About Erin:

I grew up in Albany, Oregon and married my husband, Greg Reynolds, whom I met in high school. We stayed in the Albany area until after I graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in business administration. I worked in public accounting with a specialty in governmental auditing from 2003 - 2011. In 2011, I took the position of finance director for the City of Florence and we made the jump from the valley to the coast and haven’t looked back since! In March of 2015, I became the Florence city manager, the position I currently hold today. Living in a tourism-driven economy town like Florence has been quite an experience. Every day after work I have the opportunity to “go on vacation” with a cruise through Historic Old Town, a quick sunset stop along the Siuslaw River, a walk around the lake or up a sand dune, and, of course, a walk on the beach. All within a five-minute drive from the office. INCREDIBLE! 

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: Spending the day in Florence, duh! No, but seriously, come spend at least a day. The sand dunes are so majestic set against the Siuslaw River, up against the forest, and with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop — it’s not something you can put into words or even capture with a photo. You just have to experience it yourself. Drive down South Jetty Road to the end (parking is free there) and walk along the Siuslaw River until it meets the ocean. It’s so fun, never gets old, we do it on nearly a weekly basis. 

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? It doesn’t always rain in Oregon and definitely not always in Florence. The Pacific Ocean, the Siuslaw River and the lakes are all majestic no matter what time of year. Give yourself two days and I bet there will be at least a few hours of those two days where you can get outside and enjoy some sunshine. Oh, and please just expect to wear a sweat shirt, long pants and a jacket. Dress appropriately and you’ll enjoy it. 

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? I believe tourism will remain one of Oregon’s top economic sectors. People are seeking a great experience not only in their vacations, but in their daily lives. I can’t begin to imagine a better place to live, work and experience life than our region, but I may be biased...

Travel Lane County Ex-Officio Board Member

Cathryn Stephens

I came to the Eugene Airport in January 2007 where I am now assistant airport director overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Eugene Airport. An Accredited Airport Executive, I serve as president of the Northwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives and on the national board of AAAE. I have served as an accreditation final interview panel member and as an active participant on several national and regional conference committees for the AAAE organization. I'm also past president of the Oregon Airport Management Association. Prior to my work in the aviation industry, I worked for 16 years in television news as a reporter, anchor, producer and photographer, in addition to some work in radio and newspaper. I hold a Bachelors of Science in technical journalism from Oregon State University and a Masters of Science in applied information management from the University of Oregon, which makes me a platypus! I serve on the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Commission. I've also served on planning committees for the Olympic Track & Field Trials hosted by Eugene in 2008, 2012, and 2016, and will serve on the 2020 committee and IAAF World Championships Oregon 21. I enjoy travel, both business and pleasure, and have absolutely no fear of flying.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: So many to choose from! I learned to snowboard with my kids several years ago and enjoy the Willamette Pass Ski Area, always with a goal of not hurting myself. For a relaxing weekend I like to get away to the coast — rain or shine!

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Ask anyone who lives here and they’ll be happy to tell you their favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast activity, event or food experience. Pick something you’ve never done before and go do it!

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? Travel Lane County has been a part of a core community partnership promoting the Eugene Airport for many, many years. We’ve worked on air service development efforts, sponsorship and support of each other’s initiatives and events, and most importantly mutual championing of our organizations. I expect this great partnership will continue for many years to come.

Travel Lane County Board Member

 

Austin Ramirez

About Austin:

I am the interim community and economic development manager at Lane County, where I support vibrant and sustainable development across the county. I am always happy to chat about economic development, unless my beloved Portland Timbers are playing, at which point you will find me covered in green face paint cheering them on.

Favorite Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure: The food and agriculture tours! Our region has such a rich food and beverage ecosystem with something for everyone to enjoy. 

Best piece of advice for first time visitors to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region? Take your time. Don’t rush through the sites and adventures you find. Eugene - Springfield, the Cascades, and the Coast all have unique and amazing things to offer!

What role do you see the visitor industry playing in our region over the coming decade? With the significant development occurring throughout the region, the visitor industry will continue to grow and reinforce why we are a premier destination.