Jamie Furbush has found her home in Frankenmuth—on all fronts. The president and CEO of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) says when she and her husband held their wedding reception at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant & Lodge in 2001, she got to know the team there pretty well. Through that relationship, she learned of a sales manager position open at the Frankenmuth chamber. Hired in 2002, she went on to become president and CEO in 2008. She and her husband have also made their home in Frankenmuth, which she describes as “an incredible place to live and raise a family.”
“My husband and I really love the community,” she says. “And with what I’m able to do in my role here, I feel a great sense of fulfillment because we can see the positive impact [the chamber/CVB is] having on the community.” Tourism is the largest economic driver for Frankenmuth, Furbush notes, adding that whether large or small, projects and activities that make a difference in the community are what drive her. She watches it all play out from her office window, which looks out over downtown where she can see visitors enjoying Frankenmuth’s restaurants, shops, and attractions.
“To witness those people having those moments is really rewarding,” she says. “When I first got into this industry, I didn’t have a real appreciation for that. I guess I always thought about putting heads in beds, and it’s become so much greater than that—what tourism does for our communities and for each of us individually.”
In addition, Furbush has made it a point to get involved in associations like Meeting Professionals International, Michigan Society of Association Executives, and others. She also serves on the Michigan Travel Commission. “Those connections and relationships are also a big part of why I stay and do what I do, because I love all of the people and partners I’ve met,” she says. “I feel it’s such a collaborative industry. My peers around the state are wonderful—if I get stuck on something, I have a dozen people I can call and [they can] help me figure situations out.”