Sammie Lukaskiewicz has taken over as executive director of the Manistee County Visitors Bureau (MCVB).
Most recently vice president of marketing and communications for Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville where she led strategic communications, Lukaskiewicz previously worked promoting talent and career opportunities for the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development and then the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
Prior to that, Lukaskiewicz spent 16 years overseeing communications, promotions, advertising and marketing for NASCAR, which included a stint at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.
A former newspaper reporter, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s degree in management and leadership.
Lukaskiewicz, who lives in Manistee, says she’s excited about her new position, especially as momentum in Manistee’s hospitality landscape has been building. She cites a new Hampton Inn and a development known as the downtown Spirit of the Woods Gateway project among initiatives that are currently in the works.
“This was an opportunity to not only be part of something transformational for the community I live in, but really be part of helping to make the place I call home better,” she says.
Lukaskiewicz is a self-described “product of Manistee tourism.”
“I visited Manistee as a tourist in 2010 and decided to make my home here,” she says, adding, “There’s something about this town that I have loved since I first visited it … I live right on the river and freighters go through my backyard.
“So jumping in and getting to know all the other communities, events and the stakeholders throughout the county is very exciting. I live here; I want my county and all its communities to be successful.”
Lukaskiewicz says her new position will enable her to bring all of her previous skills to bear.
“I bring well-rounded experience across a spectrum of careers to the role,” she says. “So this really is a culmination of all the careers I’ve had.”
Lukaskiewicz was selected following a nationwide search assisted by a firm specializing in executive placements in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. The MCVB had engaged a consulting firm to help develop a strategic roadmap for the organization prior to the search.
“We couldn’t be happier to have found Sammie, who is already local and knows and understands everything Manistee County has to offer,” MCVB Board Chair Tim Riley said in a press release. “This is truly a new chapter for the Manistee County Visitors Bureau, and Sammie is the perfect candidate to lead us.”