Visit Topeka! Appoints New CVB President

Effective Jan. 19, Olivia A. Simmons has been named president of Visit Topeka!, the convention and visitors bureau for Topeka, Kan., reports local newspaper The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Currently vice president of communications, marketing and industry relations for the Greater Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau in Wichita, Kan., Simmons replaces Richard Forester, who left in May 2008 to become executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau in Gulfport, Miss.

"After conducting an eight-month nationwide search, we believe [Olivia] will bring extensive sales expertise and leadership ability to our organization," Mike Bell, Visit Topeka!'s 2008 board chairman and general manager of the Holiday Inn Holidome, told the Capital-Journal. "We had many very highly qualified candidates to choose from, and we believe her strengths in marketing will enable the organization to develop the impact of tourism in the city of Topeka."

Simmons joined the Greater Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau in 2002. Before that she was tourism coordinator and then director of the Greater Hutchinson Convention and Visitors Bureau in Hutchinson, Kan.