Utah Office of Tourism
Vicki Varela has described herself as being “in the persuasion business.” She built her career on convincing people to do things – including voting for a ballot initiative that paved the way for Utah hosting the 2002 Olympics. Now, she’s putting those talents toward persuading people to visit the state, and she’s also overseeing the Utah Film commission. One of her main goals is to improve branding by getting tourism and business marketing for Utah on the same page. Says Varela, “The state does a lot of good work in business recruiting and we do a lot of good work in tourism, but we don’t have an integrated, high-level brand that we’re communicating to all our audiences.”
Varela has extensive experience with marketing in the private sector, including at her own private consulting firm. She has also worked in state government, serving as Utah Governor Mike Leavitt’s chief of staff.