Visit Bend announces new leadership

BEND, Ore., May 19, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Visit Bend Board of Directors voted unanimously to promote from within to fill the vacancy created when longtime CEO Doug La Placa leaves the organization on July 1 to lead another Bend-based company, Precise Flight, Inc.

Kevney Dugan, Director of Sales and Sports Development with Visit Bend since 2010, has accepted the position to lead the organization following La Placa's departure. Valerie Warren, Visit Bend Operations Director since 2009, has been promoted to a newly-created role as Vice President of Operations and Policy.

During his tenure at Visit Bend, Dugan has managed group sales efforts, built key relationships with tourism stakeholders, and spearheaded efforts to bring 23 national championship athletic events to Bend. He holds a degree in Psychology and Business Management from Hope College, and will oversee all aspects of Visit Bend's operations in his new role as Executive Director. Over the next six weeks, Dugan will work closely with outgoing CEO, Doug La Placa, to ensure a smooth transition.

Valerie Warren has served on the Steering Committee of the Oregon Tourism and Hospitality Consortium, and recently completed a term as President of the Oregon Destination Marketing Organizations (ODMO). She holds a B.A. from Boston University and completed two years of post-baccalaureate studies in tourism at OSU-Cascades. In her role as Vice President of Operations and Policy, she will represent Visit Bend on a statewide level as well as assisting Dugan in managing financial operations, strategic planning, business operations, and the Bend Visitor Center. She began serving in her new role on April 29.

"Having experienced and highly-competent in-house leaders already in place at Visit Bend made our succession planning very easy," explained Matt Williams, Vice-Chair of Visit Bend's Board of Directors and owner of the Pine Ridge Inn.

Chairman of the Board, Dave Nissen, owner of Wanderlust Tours, echoed the sentiment. "Visit Bend is one of the most successful and respected destination marketing organizations in the country," he said. "Kevney and Valerie have played key roles in the organization's success, and they've been groomed over the last several years to lead Visit Bend into the future."

About Visit Bend:
Visit Bend is a non-membership, non-profit economic development organization dedicated to promoting tourism on behalf of the City of Bend. We're a leading provider of information on Bend, Oregon hotels, restaurants, activities, and Oregon vacation planning. To learn more or to order a complimentary Official Visitor Guide to Bend, contact Visit Bend at 1-800-949-6086 or visit

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

CONTACT: Doug La Placa, Visit Bend President/CEO, 541-382-8048, Kevney Dugan, Visit Bend Executive Director, 541-848-7275, Valerie Warren, Visit Bend VP of Operations and Policy, 541-382-8048, Dave Nissen, Visit Bend Board Chairman, 541-382-8048, tawna@visitbend.comSource: Visit Bend