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Kara Franker was recently appointed senior vice president of marketing & communications, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
This is a dream job for me. I have the incredible opportunity to lead the marketing strategy and promote one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Stacy Ritter, our president and CEO, has assembled an incredibly talented team, and it is an honor to join the ranks.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
I've worked with DMOs across Florida, and I've executed content marketing strategies for a variety of hotels, restaurants and attractions. This position offers the opportunity to bring all of those years of experience into one dynamic role. The fun part is being creative and implementing engaging campaigns, but I also think being a licensed attorney with an analytical foundation helps guide my methodical decision-making process.
3. How did you get into the industry?
It's a unique story because I did quite a 180-degree turn in my career. While I was working as a criminal prosecutor in Miami, I started writing on the side about events, hotels and restaurants in South Florida. At the time, it was a creative pastime and quite frankly, a distraction from the day-to-day court hearings and other legal minutia. But it's like I had found my calling. Soon I was producing travel videos, creating loads of digital and print content and criss-crossing the Sunshine State as a spokesperson and influencer for VISIT FLORIDA. And this key opportunity broke open the world of tourism for me. I met so many stakeholders in Florida and the Caribbean and was able to launch my own marketing firm to help those in the industry plan strategic campaigns. Ever since, it's been full steam ahead in the travel sphere. I do not miss practicing law. However, I do find that I use my law degree on a daily basis.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
The Greater Fort Lauderdale area is evolving at a rapid pace, and my goal is to take our marketing strategy to a whole new level. Instead of executing reactionary strategies, I want to be visionary. And there are some exciting changes on the horizon. We will be launching a new brand and unveiling cutting-edge campaigns to draw more visitors to our shores.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
This is the best job in the world. It doesn't get any better than showing off the most attractive attributes of a destination and encouraging others to experience it for themselves. All of us in the collective travel industry are so lucky to get to do what we do!