Governor Phil Scott Announces Appointment of Heather Pelham as Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of Heather Pelham as the commissioner of the Department of Tourism and Marketing. Pelham has served as the deputy commissioner of the Department since March 2019 and prior to that served as the State’s chief marketing officer for four years.
Pelham will now lead the team responsible for promoting Vermont as a top tourism destination and attracting 13 million visitors each year who contribute $2.8 billion in spending to the state.
“Tourism is a critical driver of our economy and often the first touchpoint we have with potential new Vermonters looking to move to our state. Building national awareness of Vermont as a desirable place to visit, as well as live and work, is key to expanding our workforce and growing our economy,” said Governor Scott. “Heather has spent five years within the Agency of Commerce, helping strengthen the Vermont brand and integrating marketing initiatives across state government. Her creativity and expertise will be valuable as we work to advance this critical work.”
Pelham has two decades of experience in marketing, creative services and project management. In her role as the chief marketing officer, she provided strategic marketing expertise, brand management and direct creative services to agencies and departments across state government, encouraging cost efficiencies and collaboration. She also has a creative leadership role in Think Vermont, the state’s economic development marketing effort. Prior to joining the public sector, Pelham was the founder and managing partner of a central Vermont advertising and design firm, developing brand strategies and integrated marketing campaigns for small business, nonprofit and higher education clients. Pelham and her family live in Randolph Center.
“I’m honored to be appointed to this new role and for the opportunity to continue to work toward the Governor’s goal of growing the state’s economy,” said Pelham. “Vermont has a long tradition of hospitality; welcoming guests to our inns, shops, restaurants and attractions, and making them feel at home in our communities. This Vermont experience is central to our brand and it is a true privilege to share the story of Vermont as world-class destination to not only visit, but work, live, and do business in.”
As part of the Scott Administration’s efforts to integrate marketing and creative services across state agencies, the state’s chief marketing office will now report to Pelham, bringing additional support to tourism marketing and unifying the marketing and creative teams to better support other state marketing initiatives.
Pelham replaces Wendy Knight, who stepped down in June. Replacing Pelham in the Chief Marketing Office is the newly hired Director of Creative Services Jason Pelletier. Pelletier was the managing partner and creative director of a Burlington-based creative firm where he worked with mission-driven and nonprofit organizations to strategically leverage print, web, and mobile technologies. He is a seasoned creative director, technologist, UI/UX designer and print designer. He resides in Richmond.
About the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing
The Department of Tourism and Marketing promotes Vermont’s travel, recreation, cultural and historic attractions, as well as the state’s goods and services, in coordination with public and private sector partners. The department also works to market to a global audience in a manner consistent with the values and traditions of the state for the economic benefit of all Vermonters. Vermont’s tourism sector supports 32,000 jobs and contributes $2.8 billion in economic activity each year. VermontVacation.com.
About the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s (ACCD) mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD accomplishes this mission by providing grants, technical assistance, and advocacy through three divisions: The Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information on ACCD please visit: accd.vermont.gov.