Visit The Santa Ynez Valley is the new not-for-profit destination marketing organization in the area—formed by the merger of the Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association (SYVVA) with the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (SYVHA). Mike Hendrick, president of the board of directors of the newly formed Visit The Santa Ynez Valley stated, “We are very excited to join together and create one voice for promoting tourism and creating positive economic impacts here in the Santa Ynez Valley.”

The public is invited to a free “Launch Party” and mixer to learn about Visit The Santa Ynez Valley membership opportunities, marketing plans and to meet the board and staff. The event will be held on Thursday, October 3, 2013, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Wildling Museum, 1511-B Mission Drive in Solvang.

The not-for-profit Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association (SYVVA) formed in 2001 and has more than 150 members focused on a wide spectrum of marketing activities promoting year-round tourism in the Santa Ynez Valley communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. The Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (SYVHA) was formed in 2010 and is comprised of 33 member hotels in the communities of Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Buellton and Ballard to administer funds collected by the Santa Ynez Valley Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) promoting overnight stays and economic vitality in the area.

The new Visit The Santa Ynez Valley destination marketing organization volunteer Board of Directors officers are President Mike Hendrick (Santa Ynez Valley Marriott; Buellton); Secretary Linda Johansen (Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn, Buellton and King Frederik Inn, Solvang); and Treasurer Douglas Ziegler (Santa Ynez Inn, Santa Ynez). Volunteer Directors are Chris Bashforth (Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum), Jim Colvin (Hotel Corque, Solvang); Christine Forsyth (Ballard Inn & Restaurant, Ballard), Sandra Hallman (Wine Valley Inn & Cottages; Solvang) Jessy Osehan (Hamlet Inn, Solvang) and Bion Rice (Sunstone Winery and Artiste Winery & Tasting Studio).

The staff of Visit The Santa Ynez Valley includes Executive Director Mary Harris and Marketing & Communications Manager Danielle Laudon. Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Association Executive Director Kady Fleckenstein is assisting with the transition through November 1, 2013 and then will join the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara as Director of Marketing & Public Relations.

For more information about Visit The Santa Ynez Valley, please contact Executive Director Mary Harris at 805- 325-3528 or or


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