Dave joined the WCVA June 1, 2021. Dave was the president of Meet Chicago Northwest for more than a decade. During his term, the organization was recognized as “Best Chicagoland CVB in Illinois” in 2017 and 2019. During his time at Meet Chicago Northwest he was recognized as Business Leader of the Year by the Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce and twice nominated for Business Leader of the Year by the Arlington Heights Chamber. A 30-year hospitality professional, he previously worked as a hotel executive for Starwood and Hilton branded hotels in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Minneapolis and Washington, DC. A native of Western Pennsylvania, he holds Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business Management from Penn State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Sylke joined the WCVA June 2007, and oversees the WCVA’s marketing department, serves as editor-in-chief and is responsible for all marketing initiatives, including media relations, advertising and online content. She is an avid theater buff and serves on the boards of two local arts organizations, and she serves on the board of directors for SATW (formerly Society of American Travel Writers) as an associate-at-large. An accredited public relations practitioner with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Sylke has more than 25 years of tourism public relations and marketing experience. Before joining the WCVA, she worked for a number of tourism-related businesses, including high-profile casino resorts and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority.
Daniel Gering has been in the forefront of the internet and technology world since 2001. For 15 years he was the Marketing Technologist for Oregon’s Mt Hood Territory. Recently, he joined the team at the Washington County Visitor Association as their Digital Marketing Manager. He is a born and breed Oregonian and would be hard-pressed to live anywhere else. He enjoys sharing his deep-rooted tourism marketing knowledge with community partners throughout the Northwest. In his free time, Daniel enjoys anything Disney Park-related and is an avid RVer, and has traveled widely in the US and parts of Asia. To best understand the traveler is to be one himself.
Chris joined the WCVA in January 2011 as graphic designer. He designs all of the WCVA’s print and online ads, as well as marketing collateral. Chris is a native Oregonian, but spent the last 20 years living and working as a graphic designer in New York City. During his time in the Big Apple, he earned his Associate degree in occupational studies in graphic design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts. When Chris isn’t designing he can be found reading comic books, visiting art galleries and creating art projects.
Wendy Popkin joined the organization as Vice President of Destination Sales in November 2021. She leads the organization’s direct group sales efforts to meeting professionals, sports organizers and travel professionals. Popkin brings more than 30 years of tourism expertise to the organization. She most recently was executive director of the Oregon Hospitality Foundation, a role she held for nine years. Previously, Popkin was principle of Popkin Solutions and has held sales leadership positions with Travel Portland, The Hotel Group, Salish Lodge and Spa, The Inn at Semi-ah-moo and Timberline Lodge. A native of Beaverton, Ore., she is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Studies, with Mortar Board Honors. She is a member of the first cohort of the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy (2020-2021) and has held leadership positions with Meeting Professionals International and served as President with Oregon HSMAI.
Nicole Bradin joined the WCVA team November 2021 as community engagement director. Prior to joining the team, she served as a client success manager at Bandwango, where she worked with destination marketing clients throughout the country. Nicole also spent more than nine years at Sonoma County Tourism in Santa Rosa, California. Prior to returning to California, Nicole spent 16 years in New York City working in the entertainment industry and running her own consulting business. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre arts from Sonoma State University and a Master of Fine Arts in theatre arts from Rutgers University.