Visitors Council has hired its First Executive Director

The Wind River Visitors Council announces the hiring of Fremont County native Shawn Buckley as the Wind River Visitors Council's Executive Director. Welcoming him at a recent WRVC board meeting are (left to right) WRVC President Ryan Preston, Shawn Buckley, Paula McCormick of McCormick Marketing, and WRVC Board Member Owen Sweeney.

The Wind River Visitors Council Board of Directors, along with Paula McCormick of McCormick Marketing, are pleased to announce the hiring of Fremont County native Shawn Buckley as the Wind River Visitors Council’s Executive Director.

The Wind River Visitors Council (WRVC) is a Joint Powers Lodging Tax Board responsible for promoting the travel and tourism industry in Fremont County through expenditures of the lodging tax.

“Shawn is the first employee of the WRVC since its inception in 1989,” explained current WRVC Board President Ryan Preston, “and he grew up in the shadow of the Wind River Range, which makes him the perfect person to help introduce Wind River Country to the tourists of the world.

“Beginning August 3rd, Shawn and Paula McCormick will work hand-in-hand to make Fremont County a ‘can’t miss’ destination for travelers. We are entering an exciting time for Fremont County that will bring continued growth in the tourism and lodging industry, which will invigorate our county’s economy.”

Buckley was raised near Diversion Dam, attended Wind River Elementary School, playing sandlot baseball in Pavilion, elk hunting near Dubois, fishing around Lander, watching the rodeo in Riverton and fostering a pure passion for this world-class region.

“The McCormick Marketing team will continue to create the marketing for Wind River Country while we work with Shawn. The Wind River Visitors Council will have a healthy transition as Shawn and the WRVC board support the tourism industry as it grows. It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Paula McCormick

After graduating from Missouri Western State University, where he studied Sports Marketing and Business Administration, Buckley was introduced to the commercial marketing aspects of the hunting and outdoor industries as the director of sales and marketing for Eastmans’ Publishing, Inc. He brought that experience back to his home county as the national sales director for both the Brunton and Primus Camping brands, which were then based in Riverton, Wyoming.

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Shawn Buckley

Buckley’s first experience in destination marketing came when he was appointed to the role of executive director of Sheridan Travel and Tourism. During his time in this office, Buckley was responsible for the development of a new marketing plan and brand strategy that brought Sheridan national attention when it was nominated as a “Best Towns in the US” twice by Outside Magazine.

Buckley’s next opportunity in destination marketing was as the vice president of marketing, communications and tourism with Visit Albuquerque (NM). In that position, he worked closely with the New Mexico Hospitality Association and the New Mexico Office of Tourism and community tourism organizations in establishing a comprehensive strategy towards the development of group tour products and international marketing efforts.

Buckley’s most recent post was as director of communications for Heritage Hotels & Resorts — New Mexico’s largest independently owned luxury hotel group.

“I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to have had these professional experiences and now be in a position to contribute to the promotion and future success of Fremont County” Buckley said. “Wind River Country is such a remarkable region from any perspective, and I look forward to helping ensure that it continues to be one of Wyoming’s signature destinations for generations to come.”

Buckley will be joined in Wyoming by his two young daughters who are just as elated as he is to return to their home state. He says he plans to share with them the joys of perfecting the art of dry fly fishing, when they’re not ripping down the single tracks at Johnny Behind the Rocks.

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