• Meet Kathy McCarthy, Meet Minneapolis

    POSTED November 1, 2017

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to megan.gosch@tigeroak.com
Kathy McCarthy was recently hired as director of public relations and communications at Meet Minneapolis.

What are you looking forward to the most in your new role as director of public relations and communications? 
I love Minneapolis and sing its praises to anyone I meet, particularly as I’m traveling. In my new role, I see so many opportunities to further highlight the wonderfully-unique and culturally-diverse aspects of our city. I’m really looking forward to telling our story and having that resonate with even more visitors – whether they are choosing Minneapolis for business or pleasure.

How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role? 
My professional background includes many years in the travel industry, as well as being a former television sports journalist. That experience fits very nicely with Meet Minneapolis and the conferences, conventions, major sports events, and visitors we are trying to attract.  For more than a dozen years, I worked to encourage people to travel the world. With this new role, I will be using my talents to help encourage the world to travel to Minneapolis!

How did you get into the industry? 
As the Director of Public Relations and Communications for Meet Minneapolis, this is the first time I’ve been a part of a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO). However, my journalism background and experience working for travel and hospitality powerhouses such as Carlson and Travel Leaders Group have helped prepare me for this new role. I’m excited to learn and grow in this position and know that my previous experience provides a solid foundation for me. 

What are you hoping to achieve in your new role? 
My goal is to help my team, Meet Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis Convention Center in continually elevating our city’s reputation as a world-class travel destination. Success means that we are increasing the number of overall visitors, including those who come to attend conferences and major events such as the Super Bowl or X Games. From a public relations standpoint, that means: making sure we’re providing compelling, insightful information and stories to media outlets and publications; increasing our exposure through social media channels; and working with reporters to ensure that Minneapolis is included in travel-related stories and lists ranking the best places to visit.
We have big goals which include working to increase the number of annual visitors to 50 million by 2030. (There were 32.5 million in 2016.) Plus, we hope to increase the number of hospitality-related jobs in Minneapolis to 40,000 by that same year. It’s important, economically, for everyone who lives and works here, and I want to do whatever I can to help us achieve these goals. 

What do you enjoy most about the industry?
There are so many passionate and talented people in this industry. It’s energizing to be a part of it. I firmly believe travel enriches our lives – whether you are coming from two towns over, a nearby state or from across the country and world. I’m thrilled I have an opportunity to play a part in helping people see and experience our incredible city and all it has to offer.

The family-focused, Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Lodge opened its first resort in Wisconsin Dells in 1997. Over the next two decades, it slowly expanded with more properties around the Midwest, moving into the Northeast, South, West and Canada. And this summer, the greater Chicago area will get its first resort from the brand.


Grand View Lodge, Spa and Golf Resort will debut a new 60-room boutique hotel in May 2019. Additionally, two new real estate developments are already underway and will soon begin welcoming owners and overnight guests. A new wedding chapel and recreation center and is expanding its spa facilities as well.


Lela Restaurant has rolled out new lunch and dinner menus, created by new executive chef Thomas Orbison.

Chef Orbison discovered his passion and talent for cooking following his career in the United States Air Force. “After six years in the military, I developed a passion for cooking and moved to Paris to study at Le Cordon Bleu, which is like Harvard for chefs,” said Oribson.

Now that he’s back in Minnesota for the first time since 2004, Oribson is excited to launch some new entrees in the southwest metro.