Olympia native Shauna Stewart is the new executive director of the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor & Convention Bureau. She replaces George Sharp, who left the organization in the spring.
Stewart, 32, attended Capital High School and Western Washington University in Bellingham and received her master’s degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College.
Stewart has been working in marketing and brand development for Portland-based Building Champions, an executive coaching firm. She worked for the VCB from 2006 to 2008 and was its interim executive director for four months between the time that Tamara Schaffert left the organization and when former executive director Mike Dexter was hired. Dexter was later fired and eventually replaced by Sharp.
“I fell in love with the industry and the community,” Stewart said Monday about her first stint with the VCB.
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Stewart spent time with family here over Easter, and they asked when she was planning to return to Olympia. She said she had her eye on one job, telling them as soon as the position opened she would apply. A month later Sharp resigned.
The VCB conducted a nationwide search for Sharp’s replacement and attracted 60 applicants, including Stewart. After three interviews, she landed the job.
VCB board president Patrick Knutson said her attitude, energy and personality placed her heads and shoulders above the other applicants.
“She’s going to be an awesome fit,” he said Monday.
Stewart said that her immediate focus is to push the VCB to improve destination awareness and organization credibility.
“Visitors need to know what Thurston County has to offer and that we are doing things the right way,” she said.
Stewart oversees a staff of six and more than a dozen volunteers. The VCB is housed on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.