Destination Ann Arbor has named Sarah Miller to be its new president and CEO.
Miller has been serving as interim president and CEO since August 2022, following the retirement of longtime leader Mary Kerr. The lifelong Washtenaw County resident was selected for the permanent role following a national search.
Miller joined the organization in 2001, serving as finance administrator until 2009. For the next decade, she worked as vice president of finance and administration managing all financial and operational functions. She went on to play a key role in the unification of the Ann Arbor Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Ypsilanti Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and in 2019, was promoted to COO.
“When I started my position over 20 years ago, I never thought about leading the organization,” Miller says. “But over time I recognized the passion I have for what I do and the drive that I have to lead this organization.
“I’ve been able to leverage my strong analytical skills and passion for the community and I’ve had tremendous support from our staff and many in the community that I knew this was a natural transition for me.”
Miller says the “opportunities are endless” going forward and looks forward to thinking outside of the box to “stir up big ideas.” Those might range from further developing the destination in terms of attractions or events to expanding meeting spaces or continuing the success of Destination Ann Arbor’s Sports Commission, developed to attract amateur sporting events to the community.
The area’s strength is its strong and connected hospitality community, Miller adds. She looks forward to continuing to work with those constituents as well as elected leaders and community members to keep building vitality in the local economy.
“The beauty in a new beginning is taking time to reevaluate what works and what doesn’t—building on your successes and reimagining the next stage of growth for Destination Ann Arbor so we can lead the industry in new and creative ways,” she says. “My goal is to make Washtenaw County the leader in the tourism industry through new and exciting programs that have economic and sustainable impact to our community and its residents.”