After a national search, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Cook as Director of Marketing and Communications. Cook takes up his new role on March 9.
VAAAC Executive Director Kristen Pironis says she is thrilled to welcome Cook to the VAAAC team. “Dan’s impressive track record in tourism marketing makes him the ideal candidate for Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County as the hospitality and tourism industry continues its journey to full economic recovery. He will play a major role as we seek to identify and promote new tourism products, increase visitor spending and improve the visitor experience,” says Pironis.
Cook brings over 20 years of retail, tourism and place-making experience to his new position. He most recently served as Acting Director of Tourism for the Prince William County Tourist Board (d/b/a/ Visit Prince William, VA). During his six-year tenure and in his acting role, Cook oversaw the marketing, administration, public relations, sports tourism, grant writing and sales tourism programs within the Department of county parks, recreation and tourism. He led the Tourism Board through the Destination International accreditation process and was named Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) Employee of the Year by the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association.
Prior to marketing Prince William County, Cook served as Director of Retail Marketing at Lerner Enterprises in Rockville, Maryland, and Deputy Director of Marketing and Director of Tourism Marketing for Kravco/Simon Property Group’s King of Prussia Mall. His responsibilities for the Philadelphia-based property included international tourism and coach tours and travel. Cook’s involvement in the tourism industry dates back to his college years when he participated in professional internships with Walt Disney World in Central Florida.
“It is an absolute honor to join the talented team at Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County and serve the community and stakeholders to help drive tourism recovery in Annapolis and throughout Anne Arundel County,” Cook said. “Throughout the interview process, I was impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the abundance of tourism product throughout the region. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” he adds.
The Chicago native got his first taste of Annapolis in 2006 when he moved to Montgomery County and began marketing the Annapolis Port Center. “I’ve always loved Annapolis. Annapolis days were always fun days. I’m happy to be back working for a place I love,” says Cook.
Cook earned her Bachelor of Arts in Voice Communication/Public Relations from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. He, his wife Jessica and his family plan to move to the Anne Arundel County area within the next year.
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