Appointed By: The Mayor in 2005
Michele Vennard spent the last 25 years as the President and CEO of Discover Albany (Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau); she joined the Bureau in January of 1992. As the president she oversaw and directed all bureau operations, which continue to focus on promoting Albany and the surrounding regions as a convention, group tour and leisure travel destination.
Previously, in July of 1987, Ms. Vennard was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Tourism Development, NYS Department of Economic Development, Division of Tourism. Her responsibilities included the management of all operational and marketing functions related to tourism statewide. She oversaw active domestic and international tourism development and marketing programs all designed to increase tourism activity statewide.
Before joining the Department of Economic Development, Ms. Vennard was associated with New York State Destinations, a tourism destination marketing firm. She was also the first Director of Tourism for the Albany Convention Bureau from 1981 to 1983 and previous to that held various marketing positions including R.H. Macy's in both New York City and Albany.
Ms. Vennard has served on the Board of Directors and Council of State Travel Directors of US Travel. She has also served as a member of UST Discover America Implementation Task Force; was a member of the U.S. Travel Data Center's industry review panel for the travel economic impact model and was a member of the Appalachian Regional Commission marketing planning committee.
Locally, she is a member and past Chairperson of Capitalize Albany Corporation and the Palace Performing Arts Center Board. She is an appointed member of the Albany Convention Center Authority, is Vice-Chair of Canal NY and an appointed member of the NYS Canal Recreationway Commission. She is also past chair of the Board of Trustees of The Sage Colleges in Albany and Troy and represented Colleges on the University Heights Assoc. Board of Directors. She was previously Chair of the NYS DMO Association. Other past Board service included the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, Center for Economic Growth and Albany Symphony Orchestra.