The Columbus Area Visitors Center has named Karen Niverson executive director. For more than a decade, she has served in a similar role for the Grant County, Indiana, Convention and Visitors Bureau. Niverson will succeed Lynn Lucas, who is retiring. March 12, 2015

News Release

COLUMBUS, Ind. – An Indiana tourism industry veteran has been named executive director of the Columbus Area Visitors Center, replacing Lynn Lucas, who is retiring.

Karen Niverson moves to Columbus from the Grant County, Indiana, Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she's served as executive director for more than 10 years. During that time, she also headed her industry's trade group, as president of the Indiana Tourism Association. She led the organization's restructuring and name change in response to the evolving business environment.

Prior to directing the Grant County bureau, Niverson was a regional manager for the Indiana Office of Tourism, where she served 23 counties. She also has experience as a hotel general manager, theater business manager, and county-wide strategic planning office program manager.

“Karen's experience in a variety of settings, as well as her knowledge of the tourism industry, made her attractive to us,” said Al Degner, who, as president of the board of directors, headed the executive director search committee. “I am confident that her leadership will be an asset to the Columbus area and help grow the county's tourism business.”

Tourism generated $342 million of economic impact for the Bartholomew County economy in 2012.

“Columbus is such a high-quality destination with a strong community spirit, I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of it,” said Niverson.

A Ball State University graduate, Niverson has been involved in a variety of civic organizations, including the Gas City Area Chamber of Commerce (past board president), Rotary Club of Marion (past president), United Way of Grant County (board member), Grant County Economic Growth Council (board advisor) and Indiana Wesleyan University (citizens advisory panel member). A native Hoosier, she and her husband have 23-year-old twin daughters.

Lucas has been with the Columbus Area Visitors Center for 16 years, the last ten as executive director. Niverson’s first day in the office will be April 6.

Source: Columbus Area Visitors Center

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