Learn a little more about who will be on the other end of the phone when you're planning a meeting, convention, sports tournament or vacation in the Fox Cities!
I have the pleasure of leading this amazing organization and staff to ensure that we accomplish our mission of economic development through tourism. The Bureau serves as the source for independent information on tourism in the Fox Cities, ensuring all visitors, whether here for a convention, sports tournament or leisure travel have the best experience possible.
The best view in the Fox Cities: It may sound odd, but the view heading West on the HWY 441 bridge across Little Lake Buttes des Morts at sunset. It's just beautiful.
Favorite place to shop: I like the Fox River Mall for its variety and selection. When I need something unique and special, I head to Downtown Appleton, Neenah or Menasha to visit our locally owned retailers.
Favorite place to eat: How about "places": The "sister" restaurants of Carmella's and SAP are always great.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: Walking the Fox Cities Trestle over Little Lake Butte des Morts is my favorite outdoor activity and any of our local farm markets make for a great event.
Director of Operations
I oversee the daily operations of the Bureau, which include financial management, human resource, information technology, purchasing and overall office functions.
The best view in the Fox Cities: There are many wonderful views of the Fox River throughout our communities, but my favorite is that of the old paper mills and the dams visible from the trails along the river in downtown Appleton.
Favorite place to shop: I love to shop any of our downtowns. There is so much variety, from gift shops, clothing boutiques, and art galleries... you can always find something unique for yourself, or someone special, and support our local businesses at the same time.
Favorite place to eat: We have many great cafes, but my favorite is Brewed Awakenings for their fair trade and organic coffee, a varied menu of healthy sandwiches, wraps, Panini and breakfast, plus desserts and gelato made from scratch.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: We have terrific nature preserves and trail systems that offer an opportunity to relax and get back to nature without having to go too far from home.
Marketing & Communications Manager
My job is to market the 20 communities that make up the Fox Cities to our convention, sports tournament and leisure travelers. I love discovering new places and things and introducing those travelers to all the Fox Cities has to offer.
Favorite place to shop:I am a big fan of "retail therapy" and the Fox Cities area offers many opportunities for relief. From the quaint shops of downtown Appleton, Neenah and surrounding cities to the many high end stores inside the Fox River Mall. I enjoy sports, home decor and shoes most, so you most often will find me at Scheels, Outdoor Outlet, Pottery Barn or DSW Shoes.
Favorite place to eat:There are so many great options to choose from! Being a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, I very much enjoy Glass Nickel Pizza Co. or Brothers Three Pizza. If I'm in a hurry, Noodles & Company is always on the top of my list. I'm very anxious to venture out and find the many great small town restaurants as they always seem to offer the best burgers, fries and soups.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: Being an avid sports fan you'll most likely find me either on a golf course, as the Fox Cites offers a challenge for every skill level, or at Fox Cities Stadium watching a future Brewer hit a homerun.
My job is to help grow awareness of the Fox Cities as a destination for visitors by offering support to the Marketing Communications Manager. This involves, website updates, social media support, and bureau event planning. I love the variety of tasks that come with my job and finding new ways to help showcase our area.
The best view in the Fox Cities: There's a spot on Redbird Trail at High Cliff State Park that overlooks Lake Winnebago, its a small spot with a couple benches to sit and enjoy the view. I also love to climb the tower there at sunset, such a gorgeous and peaceful time to take in the view; and as a native of Door County, it feels a little like home.
Favorite place to shop: While the variety of the shops at the Fox River Mall is great to have and I enjoy many of them. I love to go to all the small shops downtown on College avenue. There's a good variety of boutiques and thrift stores with something for everyone.
Favorite place to eat: Too many to choose just one! I'm a sushi lover and GingeRootz is probably my favorite of the places I've tried, they also offer other asian cuisine as well. Good Company has a larger menu with something for everyone and a family friendly atmosphere. If you're looking for good pub food, the Appleton Beer Factory has a great menu and specialty beers, Spats 'the Tav on the Ave' has great food and outside seating during summer months, and if you've got a sweet tooth, Happy Bellies bakery makes delicious treats!
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: Mile of Music is such a fun event! A whole weekend of fun and music, and with people and musicians coming from all over to participate, it brings a great energy to the city. The farmers market downtown on saturdays is a must, and my kids and I enjoy attending all of the fun Holiday events that happen throughout the city during the season.
Matt Ten Haken
Director of Sports Marketing
My job is to help bring in as many visitors to the Fox Cities as possible through sports. Whether it is an arm wrestling competition, a youth soccer tournament, or a coaches' convention, I sell the Fox Cities as a destination for a variety of sporting events.
The best view in the Fox Cities: The Lower Softball Diamond at Sunset Park in Kimberly. When you come down the hill on the first base side and can see the whole field, the surrounding trees, and the Fox River just beyond the outfield fence. There is a reason why many call it the best softball field in the country.
Favorite place to shop: I have to say Scheels. It's perfect for a sports nut like me. I could spend hours there just looking. That place is huge!
Favorite place to eat: I still have so many restaurants in the Fox Cites that I need to get to! But so far, I have been very impressed with both the Fratello's along the river in downtown Appleton and the Fratello's connected to Fox River Mall.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: Enjoying a warm summer evening with friends at a Timber Rattler game at Fox Cities Stadium. The combination of family-friendly entertainment, a variety of affordable ballpark fare, and a chance to see future Brewers up close and personal makes for a great night right in my backyard.
Sports Marketing Manager
My job is to increase sports tourism in the Fox Cities. I work to bring sporting events to the Fox Cities, improve existing sporting events in the local communities, and build relationships with our hotel partners.
The best view in the Fox Cities: Anywhere along our beautiful shorelines offers a great view. Whether it is Little Lake Buttes des Morts, the Fox River, or Lake Winnebago, the shorelines provide a peaceful resting place in the middle of a long hike or bike ride.
Favorite place to shop: For sporting goods and fan apparel there is no better place than Scheels. They have everything one could possibly need to play their favorite sport or cheer on their favorite sports team. The Exclusive Company has me covered for all of my music needs. It is a great place to find the newest release of a favorite band or musician.
Favorite place to eat:There are so many great places it is difficult to pick just one. Some of my go-to favorites include Zuppa's for their pulled pork sandwich and macaroni and cheese, Cranky Pat's for their lunch pizza buffet, and anything and everything at Willie Beamons.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: The StreetBall 3-on-3 Tournament and the Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game are among my favorite events in the area. Being a huge basketball fan, I enjoy the StreetBall 3-on-3 Tournament downtown Neenah whether I am playing or watching. The Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game is great opportunity to see Packer players up close playing a sport other than football.
CONVENTION SALES & SERVICES
Convention Sales & Marketing Manager
My job is to work with our partners to bring new and maintain existing convention groups into the Fox Cities area to stay in our hotels, sample our cuisine, visit local attractions and events, browse our many shopping venues and share their experiences with colleagues and friends.
The best view in the Fox Cities: There are many beautiful natural scenes throughout the Fox Cities area, especially on trails, in the parks and by the riverfront. One of my personal favorites is Doty Park.
Favorite place to shop: Whatever you are looking for, the Fox Cities has it all from quaint downtown shops or the popular Fox River Mall to local farmers markets or chain retail stores. My favorite place to shop is the growing Darboy area which is near my home.
Favorite place to eat: Depending on my mood I have many favorites including Mexican, Italian, Mongolian and American. My favorite restaurant to visit with friends or out on a date is Fratello's on the water because their dining room overlooks the Fox River dam and they have wonderful food at a reasonable price.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: My favorite Fox Cities attraction would be attending Timber Rattlers games at Fox Cities Stadium. They have activities for all ages throughout the games and several seat choices for any budget. My favorite event is Octoberfest in downtown Appleton because I get to spend the day in the sun surrounded by friends, live music and great food from area restaurants and club.
Convention Sales & Marketing Representative
My job is to sell the Fox Cities as a destination for religious, military reunion, motor coach and small to medium groups that generate overnight hotel stays.
The best view in the Fox Cities: This area was built up around the Fox River. At 1000 Islands Enviromental Center, there is a boardwalk trail that takes you along the river. Along the trail, I like being surrounded by all of the natural beauty that the area has to offer here.
Favorite place to shop: I enjoy shopping on the Southeast side of Appleton. My go-to stores are Kohl's, Target, Gordmans, Maurices, Rogans and Lowes.
Favorite place to eat: Stone Cellar Brewpub. The building is over 150 years old and has a lot of character. One of my favorites there are the cheese curds which are hand made with the Stone Arch Scottish Ale. I also like the schnitzel with the creamy mushroom sauce.
Another great place to eat is Houdini's Escape Gastropub. I have been there for lunch and dinner and try something different each time. It's a nice casual spot to go with co-workers, friends or family.
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: My favorite attraction is the Performing Arts Center. You can go to a Broadway show in the convenience of your own town. My favorite event is the Darboy Chickenfest, which is held in June. They have everything from live music, rides, food stands, a parade to fireworks. My family looks forward to it every year.
Convention Services Coordinator
I work closely with our sales team and marketing department to develop the Bureau's group, convention and tournament service offerings. I provide services and support to all overnight groups staying in the Fox Cities. I am always building relationships with our hotel partners so that we can better serve our groups and track the economic impact they bring to the area. The best part of my job is getting to know all the different people that foster tourism in the Fox Cities.
The best view in the Fox Cities: I think the best view in the Fox Cities is looking over the Trestle Trail Bridge. Something about walking that trail over the water on a warm, sunny day is just so relaxing!
Favorite place to shop: My favorite place to shop has always been the Fox River Mall for its wide variety, but since I've started working here I have discovered how fun some of our boutique shops are to peruse through; you never know what you are going to find!
Favorite place to eat: The Fox Cities simply have too much to choose from for me to pick a favorite, so I'll just name a few. For ethnic, nothing beats Huhot for me. With an endless buffet of create-your-own dishes, you'll never get bored, and their molten muffin dessert is to die for. For pizza, Cranky Pat's has been serving up the tastiest pizzas for decades! And in the event that you don't know what you're hungry for, Good Company has an extensive menu and everything is always great!
Favorite Fox Cities attraction or event: My favorite attraction in the Fox Cities is Timber Rattlers baseball. Being a lifeâ€“long fan of the sport and the Brewers, spending a summer night at the park with friends and family always makes for a good time in my book.