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John Cooper Named President/CEO for the
Yakima Valley Visitors & Convention Bureau  
Yakima, Wash. – May 1, 2007 – After a four-month nationwide search for their next President and CEO, The Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau found their ideal candidate right in their own backyard. 

John Cooper, President and CEO of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, has been selected to lead the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. A twenty year veteran of the tourism industry, Cooper has spent the last 14 years leading the Bellingham tourism bureau. During that period, annual visitor spending in Whatcom County grew 62% to $396 million. Prior to Bellingham, Cooper was executive director of the Southern Oregon Visitors Association and the Corvallis Oregon Convention and Visitors Bureau. He was awarded Washington State Tourism Professional of the Year in 2003 and Executive of the Year by the Washington Society of Association Executives in 2001. 

“We are extremely pleased to have found such a highly qualified candidate as John. His experience in Olympia, and knowledge of Washington tourism issues will be invaluable as we move forward in promoting Yakima as a destination.” states Greg Luring, Chairman of the Board. 

In his capacity at the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau, Cooper will oversee an organization with an Annual budget of $1.8 million, 33 staff plus the responsibility of managing the Convention Center, Visitor Information Center and the Yakima Valley Sports Commission. 

“I am excited about this opportunity,” Cooper stated. “With the burgeoning wine industry, downtown redevelopment, strong sports component, plans for an expanded Convention Center and other tourism projects, the Yakima Valley is on a roll.” 

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Contact:

Greg Luring 
Chairman 
Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau 
phone - 509.952-2054 

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Also See: City of Anchorage and CVB Develop New Brand “Anchorage Big Wild Life”; Effort Took $80,000 and Two Ad Firms / February 2007
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