Nancy Schnable is the new executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB board of directors hired Schnable, and she began work Monday.  Trey Mewes/
Nancy Schnable is the new executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. The CVB board of directors hired Schnable, and she began work Monday. Trey Mewes/

Archived Story

‘It’s a fabulous community’

Published 10:54am Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hayfield resident takes over as Austin CVB director

Nancy Schnable is putting 12 years of experience promoting organizations to the test.

The 33-year-old Hayfield resident will take up Austin’s cause as the new executive director of the city Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“It’s a fabulous community,” Schnable said Monday, her first day at work. “I’m really excited for what the future holds.”

Schnable is no stranger to southern Minnesota. She grew up near Mankato and earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from the University of Wisconsin — River Falls. From there, she worked for Door Off Broadway Dinner Theatre in Door County, Wis., which has a large tourism industry.

She has worked in tourism and hospitality since then, as she left her job as the director of business travel at Interstate Hotels in Rochester, which includes several Marriott locations and the Kahler Grand Hotel.

“Once it’s in your blood and if you truly enjoy it, it’s kind of exciting doing this sort of thing,” she said.

Her experience and her enthusiasm is what put her ahead of other candidates, according to Dustin Heckman, chairman of the CVB board of directors.

“We were excited by her enthusiasm and what she could bring to the table as far as spreading the message of how great Austin is outside of the community,” Heckman said.

Schnable will have much to accomplish, as the board hopes the CVB can grow its tours business and strengthen ties with area organizations and residents to become ambassadors for Austin.

Schnable doesn’t think that will be a problem, as she has built ties between groups and organizations for years. For her, it all comes down to meeting new people, finding common goals and interests, and having good communication with partners.

“When you’ve got good communication, the possibilities are endless,” she said.

Schnable is confident she can accomplish those possibilities and grow the CVB’s networking opportunities, as she, her husband, Andrew, and their two children often come to town to explore things Austin has to offer. Whether it’s discovering a new restaurant or finding local businesses to shop, she said her family enjoys being a part of Austin for a day.

“We have a lot of good attractions, good restaurants, good retail,” she said. “We just need to let people know that.

Schnable hopes to look for opportunities to partner with Vision 2020 and other organizations to promote Austin as a whole. Of course, she’s also looking forward to exploring Austin more.

“Call it bragging rights, but I think we should brag about ourselves a little more,” she said.

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