The board of directors of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism has hired Sandy Ward as the organization’s new President and CEO, beginning Feb. 2, 2017.
Ward is a 30+ year veteran of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. She most recently served as the sales and marketing director for the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour for the past 12 years. She was previously appointed by Washington’s Governor Christine Gregiore to serve as a member of the Washington State Tourism Commission. She has also served as a director on the board for the National Council of Attractions, which is part of the US Travel Association (formerly known as TIA). She is a member of the Puget Sound Attractions Council, and of the WTA (Washington Tourism Alliance) long-term funding and advocacy committee.
Prior to joining the Future of Flight, Ward served as the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau’s founding executive director, a position she held for nine years. During her tenure at the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, her agency was honored on two separate occasions by Washington State Tourism for the Best Tour Planner’s Guide in Washington State. Additionally, the state gave the Bureau two awards in 2000 for Best Niche Marketing Campaign and Best of the Best Industry Award for direct mail marketing campaigns and online reservations programs.
Ward has also held positions as executive director of the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau and the founding executive director of the Ogden, Utah Convention and Visitor Bureau and the four-county Golden Spike Empire Travel Region in Utah.
She has been recognized as Woman of the Year by Utah Business Magazine, named Professional Manager of the Year by the YWCA of Northern Utah, and was named Tourism Professional of the Year by Washington State Tourism.
Ward is a graduate of UCLA’s Institutes for Organization Management, a master’s level leadership development program.