Office Releases

The Office of TourismOhio compiles news releases on a regular basis, including monthly events releases, releases on a theme and Ohio tourism trends.

Hospitality and Marketing Industry Leader Hired to Grow Ohio Tourism
Focusing on Comprehensive Marketing of Ohio to Visitors

Katie Sabatino

Hospitality and Marketing Industry Leader Hired to Grow Ohio Mary CTourism
Focusing on Comprehensive Marketing of Ohio to Visitors

Ohio Development Services Director David Goodman announces Mary Cusick will head TourismOhio.

“Mary has a strong track record of success in both hospitality and marketing,” said Director Goodman. “Now, she can take her private sector expertise and put it to work in the public sector for all tourism-related industries.”

Mary Cusick has spent much of her career with Bob Evans Farms, Inc. where she was the chief marketing officer, responsible for all marketing strategy, communications and innovation to drive $1 billion in sales for a chain of 579 Ohio-based restaurants.

Most recently, Cusick is Executive Director of the Initiative for Managing Services, a center of excellence at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. She is also the owner of 8778/NEXT, LTD, providing consulting services for companies and individuals in leadership and growth strategy.

Cusick is the Chair of the Advisory Board of Directors for Thirty-One Gifts, LLC, an Ohio-based manufacturing and direct sales company with more than 130,000 consultants and more than $720 million in sales. It is the third largest direct sales company in the United States and 18th largest worldwide. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of Ohio-based Crimson Cup Coffee and Tea, a roaster, supplier to coffee houses, grocers, universities and food service operations across the United States.

As Director of TourismOhio, Cusick will work with the TourismOhio Advisory Board to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for the state as well as ways to increase the number of visitors to Ohio and get them to stay longer.

“We will tap every available resource to encourage people to come and experience all that Ohio has to offer,” said Cusick. “Everyone should know what I know: Ohio is a great place to visit; or to live, raise a family and run a business.”

Cusick is an Ohio native and a graduate of Miami University of Ohio. Her executive education includes the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Duke University Fuqua School of Business.

Mary Cusick begins her work as the TourismOhio Director on December 2, 2013.

TourismOhio: Nearly 190 million visitors come to Ohio each year. The Ohio travel market is growing with the biggest increase coming from international visitors. Ohio saw a 28 percent year-to-year increase in international visitors; the largest percentage growth in the U.S.

TourismOhio is in the first year of a 5-year pilot funding model. Funding is based on the year-to-year increase in state sales tax revenue from tourism-related industries, up to $10 million dollars. The first round of funding under the pilot program became available November first.


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