Vicki Varela is the managing director of the Office of Tourism in the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. She oversees the state’s national and international strategy to create a quality and responsible tourism economy under the state’s Red Emerald Strategic Plan. Varela was named the US Tourism Director of the Year in 2016. Utah Business has recognized her as a Business Leader and 30 Women to Watch. She was named one of America’s 25 Great Minds by Hospitality, Sales, and Marketing International. She serves on the Salt Lake Chamber Board and the Olympic Legacy Foundation. She is an inaugural member of Women who Succeed. Before joining Go Utah, Varela’s professional experience included VP of Kennecott Land, deputy chief of staff and spokesperson for Gov. Mike Leavitt, and Assistant Commissioner of Higher Education. She started her career as a journalist with Associated Press and Deseret News. Varela has two adult children and one beautiful granddaughter. Varela enjoys adventures in Utah and around the world, including biking, hiking, and river rafting.