VISIT Milwaukee
Press Release

VISIT Milwaukee’s Communications Director Recognized by Travel Wisconsin

Claire Koenig wins Rising Star Award at WIGCOT 2021 and several VISIT Milwaukee partners are also recognized

By - May 7th, 2021 12:10 pm
Claire Koenig. Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee.

Claire Koenig. Photo courtesy of VISIT Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE (May 7, 2021) VISIT Milwaukee Communications Director Claire Koenig received the prestigious Rising Star Award during this week’s 2021 Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (WIGCOT) Award Ceremony. The Rising Star Award recognizes a tourism professional who has been in the industry for less than five years and is already demonstrating leadership, commitment, and passion for Wisconsin’s tourism industry.

Travel Wisconsin says Koenig was chosen for enhancing the state tourism industry in her four years with VISIT Milwaukee. During that time, she has secured over 1400 regional, national, and international media hits. Additionally, she has hosted more than 120 individual travel journalists and built important industry relationships nationwide.

“Claire has been a rising star within our own organization and truly embodies the spirit of Wisconsin,” said Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “We are thrilled for her to be recognized by the State for her tremendous impact on garnering exposure for our destination.”

Koenig has been instrumental in hosting major writer conventions to Milwaukee including the Women in Travel Summit, Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference, and the Midwest Travel Journalist Association Conference. She’s currently leading VISIT Milwaukee’s efforts to host the 2021 Society of American Travel Writers Convention this fall.

She joined the VISIT Milwaukee communications team in 2017. Previously, Koenig worked as a senior editor at Milwaukee Magazine. During her tenure at VISIT Milwaukee, she has advanced quickly in her career moving from communication manager, to senior manager, to now overseeing the communications department as communications director. Koenig also serves on boards for the Public Relations Society of America Southeastern Wisconsin and Pabst Mansion in addition to memberships with the Milwaukee Press Club, Midwest Travel Journalists Association, and Society of American Travel Writers.

In addition to Koenig, several VISIT Milwaukee partners received recognition at WIGCOT 2021. The Milwaukee Rep’s Tammy Belton-Davis won Travel Wisconsin’s new Diversity, Equity, Accessibility & Inclusion Award. Jason Kauflin of Wisconsin Golf Trips, Kristine Hillmer with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, VISIT Milwaukee’s own Giving Fest virtual festival, Deshea Agee with the Historic King Drive BID , and Tony Snell with the City of Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission were all nominated for WIGCOT awards as well.


About VISIT Milwaukee
VISIT Milwaukee is a community asset that markets the destination as a top choice for business, convention, and leisure travel to national and international visitors to increase the economic impact of tourism in the region. VISIT Milwaukee has over 700 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services, and area businesses. The Wisconsin Center District, which is undergoing a large-scale expansion slated for completion in 2024, and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call (800) 554-1448 or visit

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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