Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau Names New Executive Director

(Experience Sonoma Valley)

Experience Sonoma Valley, California, the destination marketing organization for Sonoma Valley, has announced Tim Zahner as it new executive director. He will take the reins on August 20.

“Sonoma Valley is a world-class place to visit with a great local community, and we needed to find someone who understands who we are at our core, while also having the skills to promote the incredible experiences, businesses, organizations and events we have here,” said board President Hunt Bailie in a written release.

Zahner was most recently the COO of Sonoma County Tourism (SCT), after serving as the interim CEO and as the chief marketing officer of SCT for more than 10 years. During the October 2017 wildfires, Zahner led SCT’s immediate response from the hospitality industry as well as the “open for business” messaging in the months following. Zahner has experience in communications and marketing, organizational development and strategy, having been part of Sonoma County Tourism’s growth from a $3 million to an $8.5 million marketing and sales organization.

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Some of the programs he was integral in rolling out include off-season promotions, a robust content and video strategy, public relations programs and a community engagement program that worked with stakeholder groups to address tourism issues.

Zahner has an MBA from Sonoma State University.

Experience Sonoma Valley promotes local hospitality businesses as part of a rural economic development strategy. It has a membership of more than 350 local businesses. Annually, visitors sustain 2,200 local jobs, spending $377 million and generating a total of $490 million in total business sales.

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