• Meet Dave Looby, President and CEO of Minneapolis Northwest Tourism

    Home Sweet Home

     
    POSTED August 10, 2018
     

Dave Looby, the president and CEO of Minneapolis Northwest Tourism, has humble beginnings in the marketing industry. “In college I was the campus representative for Pabst Blue Ribbon beer,” Looby explains. “It was a tough job, but someone had to do it!”

He was lucky to find his calling so early on in life. “I haven’t looked for work in 30 years,” he says. “Someone has always sought me out.” Looby moved his way through sales, spending almost 10 years at the North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce until he moved into the executive director’s position at, and later became the president and CEO of, Minneapolis Northwest Tourism. 

Looby knows he’s exactly where he belongs. “It’s easy to sell the attributes of the place you grew up,” he says. “This city is the footprint of where I spent my formative years.” These days, Looby is proud of the Minneapolis Northwest area, which is comprised of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove. “Our area has flown under the radar, but is up-and-coming and diverse,” says Looby. “We have the first Topgolf in Minnesota … and new concepts like Brick & Bourbon and Portillos. We have a lot of different ethnic dining options on the northwest side.” He’s also excited about the summer Chalkfest taking place in Arbor Lakes in early June. 

From day to day, Looby sees huge variation in his schedule. “I could have breakfast with the Rotary Club, present a program with folks from the community colleges in the area in the middle of the day, or spend time with different committees and task forces,” he says. “I don’t have a very good work-life balance, but I love what I do, so it’s not all work.” 

In his free time, Looby can be found rehearsing with the Wastebasket Revue, putting together a sketch show with other community members to raise money for scholarships. This year’s show includes a skit Looby performs with his sister. Looby has been involved with the Wastebasket Revue for over 11 years. Looby is very close with his family, including his wife and 27-year-old daughter. For the president and CEO of Minneapolis Northwest Tourism, “life is good.” 

This past October, the world lost a business and philanthropic giant with the passing of Paul Allen. Here in the Northwest, his absence will be deeply felt. Among his many achievements, Allen co-founded Microsoft; founded Vulcan Inc., Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Allen Institute for Brain Sciences, and Allen Institute for Cell Science; and was owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. There doesn’t seem to be an industry that he hasn’t touched, expanded and improved, including the meetings and events industry, particularly in the Seattle area.

 

A Conference That’s All Coffee Break