New chairman, board seated at Visit Quad Cities 

Ben Leischner
Ben Leischner

Benjamin Leischner, executive director of the Quad Cities International Airport, is the new chairman of the Visit Quad Cities, the tourism agency recently announced.

Mr. Leischner, and the rest of the current slate of officers and board members will serve throughout the 2022-2023 year. He replaces outgoing Chairman Kai Swanson, whose term had expired. Visit Quad Cities serves as the certified destination management and marketing organization for the bi-state Quad Cities region.

Visit Quad Cities

“I’m honored to serve as the next chairman of Visit Quad Cities and continue working alongside engaged community leaders to push the Quad Cities forward,” Mr. Leischner said in a news release.

“Dave and his team have made tremendous progress putting the Quad Cities on the map as a destination for tourism, conferences and major events,” he added.

“I believe the pathway between visitors and residents is directly connected when people visit our region and see how family-friendly and affordable it is. Whether you’re a young professional, family, or simply looking to make a change, experiencing what the QC has to offer is a great first step. I’m excited to see where our work takes us over the next year and continue working toward a bright future for the Quad Cities region,” Mr. Leischner said.

In addition to Mr. Leischner, the Executive Committee and officers are:

  • Mr. Swanson, Rock Island County Board/Augustana College, immediate past chairman;
  • Corri Spiegel, City of Davenport,  first vice-chair;
  • Maria Ontiveros, Mercado on Fifth/Group O, second vice-chair;
  • Mo Hyder, Rhythm City Casino Resort, treasurer;
  • Dave Herrell, Visit Quad Cities, secretary.

“We are grateful for our board’s continued strong leadership and support of our values, mission, and brand promise,” Mr. Herrell, president and CEO of Visit Quad Cities, said.

“Tourism is crucial to our economy’s recovery and future positioning. Tourism matters because it leads to increased visitation, revenue creation, brand image, and talent. Our board’s commitment to modernizing tourism so that we can remain competitive is deeply appreciated,” he added. 

“We are continually humbled by their passion and stewardship for the Quad Cities regional destination. It’s a phenomenal team of leaders and we look forward to Mr. Leischner’s energy and guidance during the coming year.”

 Other members of the Visit Quad Cities Board of Directors for 2022-2023 are:

  • Neil Dahlstrom, Deere & Company;
  • John DeDoncker, TBK Bank;
  • Mayor Bob Gallagher, City of Bettendorf;
  • Todd Hajduk, TPC Deere Run;
  • Michelle Hargrave, Figge Art Museum;
  • Nick Holke, Element Hotel;
  • Tony Knobbe, Scott County Board of Supervisors;
  • Brandy Poston, Eastern Iowa Community Colleges;
  • Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati, City of Moline;
  • Jennifer Sautter, MindFire Communications; 
  • Mayor Mike Thoms, City of Rock Island.

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