New Board Officers Named for Tourism Bureau


(Alton, IL – July 12, 2018) Alton attorney John Hopkins has been elected chairman of the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau (formerly known as the Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau) replacing long-time chair Ann Badasch, of My Just Desserts, who stepped down after eight years as chairman.

Erin Ventimiglia of Tony’s Restaurant in Alton has been elected vice chairman and Patty Rotermund of Best Western Premier Hotel Alton – St. Louis is treasurer. All will serve one year terms effective July 1.

“I am very proud to be the new chairman of this dynamic and growing organization,” Mr. Hopkins said. “I am looking forward to building on past successes and moving forward.”

The tourism Board of Directors is made up of 21 representatives of the tourism industry and local communities and counties in the Great Rivers and Routes tourism region which includes Madison, Macoupin, Jersey and Calhoun counties.

Recently the Board of Directors was reorganized to include representatives of new communities in the region. Macoupin County, Edwardsville, and Collinsville recently signed on with the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau expanding the tourism bureau’s tourism footprint.

The 2018 Board of Directors includes representatives from the following areas: Alton - Ann Badasch, Brian Campbell, Cameo Foster, Michael Barker and Linda Jun; Jersey County - Sandy Hefner; Collinsville - Mitch Bair; Edwardsville – Kristi Hyten; Sports/Recreation – Karen Brncic; Higher Education – Kim Durr (SIU-E Chief of Staff); Attraction – JD Lorton; Convention – Cindy Warke (Gateway Convention Center); Restaurants – Tom Guarino of Bella Milano, Lauren Pattan of Old Bakery Beer Co., and Erin Ventimiglia of Tony’s Restaurant; Lodging – Cathy Luttrell of Edwardsville Comfort Inn, Stacy Frierdich-Hinrichs of Doubletree Collinsville, and Patty Rotermund of Best Western Premier Alton – St. Louis Area; At Large – Dave Miller, Mike McCormick, and John Hopkins.

Retiring board members include: Joanna Ahlin, Ben Allen, Kimberly Caughran, Steve Cousley, Dale Hagen, Jack Leonard and Cynthia Roth. Both Steve Cousley and Ben Allen were named Emeritus Board Members.