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Vice President of Community Engagement & Advocacy
Visit SLO CAL in San Luis Obispo, California
Date Posted 10/25/2021
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Position Title: Vice President of Community Engagement & Advocacy

Company: Visit SLO CAL

Location: San Luis Obispo County

Functional Area: Management

Employment Type: Full-Time Regular

Education Required: Four-Year Related Degree (or equivalent experience)

Experience Required: 5+ Years

Salary Range: $100,000 - $125,000 annual salary plus benefits, DOE

Organization Description:

Visit SLO CAL (VSC) is the non-profit countywide destination marketing and management organization (DMMO) for San Luis Obispo County. Its mission is to “Inspire travel and foster our unique experiences to create life-long ambassadors and economic growth for SLO CAL. Its goal is to promote San Luis Obispo County through marketing, advertising, public relations, group sales, promotions, events and sponsorship, branding the region as a choice destination for regional, national and international travelers alike. Visit SLO CAL works in partnership with tourism industry-related businesses including lodging properties, restaurants, wineries, breweries, activities, local community destination marketing organizations and the state tourism organization, Visit California, to create a unified marketing approach that promotes the culinary, coastal and cultural assets of the county. For more information, visit

Position Description

Reporting to the President & CEO, and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the Vice President of Community Engagement & Advocacy is responsible for leading key Visit SLO CAL initiatives, ensuring San Luis Obispo County’s growth and sustainability, while improving quality of life as it continues to evolve as a world-class, choice destination.

The Vice President of Community Engagement & Advocacy is the champion for Visit SLO CAL’s destination management initiatives including the Public Policy Platform, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plan and Experience SLO CAL 2050. This includes the following: management and coordination of Experience SLO CAL 2050 (ESC 2050), the destination management strategy, including collaborating with government entities, community partners and residents, sourcing, contracting and managing consultants, implementation of the ESC 2050 recommendations as prioritized and funding annually, and development and facilitation of marketing and advocacy efforts surrounding the plan. The Vice President will also support economic growth, job creation talent attraction and retention while utilizing and strengthening strategic partnerships with key government, strategic and industry relations partners. The Vice President will focus on influencing the development and delivery of public policy and planning initiatives that support and drive tourism in San Luis Obispo County as outlined in Visit SLO CAL’s Public Policy Platform, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion plan and ESC 2050. They will also advocate for similar policies at the state and national level.

Core Responsibilities

Economic Development Initiatives:

  • Oversee the implementation of Experience SLO CAL 2050 as prioritized and funded annually, including research, selection, on-boarding and management of consultants
  • Collaborate with government entities, community partners and residents, tourism industry, strategic partners, other related businesses to facilitate on-going destination development in line with Experience SLO CAL 2050 and key Visit SLO CAL initiatives
  • Manage prioritization, planning, funding and implementation for Experience SLO CAL 2050 recommendations on behalf of Visit SLO CAL and tourism industry
  • Develop and strengthen strategic partnerships to enhance regional economic development, sustainability and growth
  • Implement Visit SLO CAL’s economic strategies as part of the Experience SLO CAL 2050 facilitation
  • Support the development of policy for select regional and statewide tourism and economic issues in line with Visit SLO CAL’s Public Policy Platform, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plan and Experience SLO CAL 2050
  • Develop programing to support the attraction, retention and expansion of new and existing tourism related businesses, jobs and talent
  • Serve as the expert for SLO CAL tourism’s advocacy, policy initiatives, economic impact, development and community relations


  • Meet regularly with elected officials, their representatives and staff to keep them informed of the value of tourism and the needs related to the industry
  • Attend city council, county board of supervisors, advisory body meetings and public workshops as needed
  • Monitor all city council and board of supervisor agendas for items that impact or relate to the hospitality and tourism industry for additional follow up, outreach and advocacy when needed
  • Organize industry and community advocacy for board of supervisors, appropriate city council/city management, regional, state, federal, agency and general public meetings
  • Draft communications to government and elected officials regarding Visit SLO CAL positions
  • Regularly communicate with associations, lobbying groups, chambers and regional economic development organizations on issues of common interest
  • Build relationships with key individuals at all levels in government and strategic partner organizations
  • Analyze, participate, and lead when necessary, in the discussion, planning and implementation of national, state, regional and community-based programs, projects and initiatives
  • Recommend a course of action to the President & CEO as appropriate and keep Visit SLO CAL colleagues and Board Members informed about key political, social, cultural, economic and environmental issues
  • Provide input to policy initiatives at the state, regional and local levels
  • Advise on organizational policies developed for the Board of Directors and investors, partners and stakeholders regarding items related to or impacting the tourism and hospitality industry
  • Initiate, recommend and deliver Visit SLO CAL participation in speaking engagements to create awareness within the corporate, government and community sectors

Skills Required

  • Four-year degree or related experience in the nonprofit, destination and economic development, advocacy and/or communications field
  • 5+ years of progressive experience in a similar strategic leadership role
  • Experience with local/municipal, regional, state and national political/tourism related issues including the manner in which public policies and issues are developed and resolved
  • Strong foundation and experience in community development, planning, economic and policy development processes
  • Knowledge and experience in destination and strategic plan development and implementation
  • Ability to effectively interface with senior management, board of directors and staff
  • Proven ability in strategic and tactical planning
  • Exceptional interpersonal communication, negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, team members and resolve conflict effectively
  • Experience in project and volunteer management including building and motivating coalitions
  • Demonstrated leadership and mediation skills
  • Creative problem-solving skills and ability to propose and direct successful solutions
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written) and exceptional presentation and public speaking skills
  • Entrepreneurial and creative background open to new ideas and the value of compromise
  • Ability to multi-task and to pivot quickly in a rapidly changing environment
  • Knowledge of marketing, branding and media relations processes
  • Strong knowledge of local market and its assets
  • Microsoft Office skills and computer savvy

Desired Traits/Abilities:

  • Detail-oriented, methodical and extremely organized work style, coupled with the ability to see the big picture
  • Ability to hold strict confidentiality
  • Talent for tracking, multitasking and the ability to pivot quickly in a rapidly changing environment
  • Ability to work autonomously, yet collaborate with others as needed
  • Strong drive and a tendency to thrive in a very fast-paced, ambitious environment
  • Professional, adventurous, positive and confident attitude
  • Empathetic, but prioritizes the best interests of the organization
  • Proven track record of success facilitating progressive change and development
  • Strong mentoring, coaching experience to a team with diverse levels of expertise
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, self-reliant and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact initiatives
  • Passion for Visit SLO CAL’s mission

Visit SLO CAL, an equal opportunity employer, has an organizational commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion. In that spirit, we welcome all qualified individuals without regard to race, religion, color, sex, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, national origin, medical condition, U.S. veteran/military status, pregnancy or reasonable accommodation.

Visit SLO CAL offers an exciting opportunity for qualified, career-motivated professionals, and provides competitive compensation, as well as the chance to work with talented people in a successful, fast-paced and pleasant environment.

For more information or to apply visit the Jobs page on the website.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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