Johnson County hires Kenneth Kosky as first Director of Tourism

Veteran of Indiana Dunes Tourism has big plans for destination, visitor promotion efforts

FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Johnson County Convention, Visitor and Tourism (CVT) Commission announced Kenneth Kosky as its first Director of Tourism. Kosky will play a critical role in shaping the way Johnson County communicates to destination consumers, leading the development of organizational capabilities, acting as representative and serving as the county’s official tourism liaison.

A Valparaiso native, Kosky most recently served as Public Relations and Promotions Director for Indiana Dunes Tourism in Porter County. He says the new role presents a rare opportunity to build a tourism agency from the ground up.

“Johnson County is bursting with attractive destinations, great shopping, local and well-known dining options, and lodging for all occasions,” said Kosky. “We now have the resources to highlight all of these amazing assets while promoting the county as a whole. It’s an opportunity to introduce Johnson County travel and leisure to millions of potential visitors, and we’re going to take full advantage.”

Kosky highlighted Johnson County’s already growing popularity as a destination for families, professionals and a variety of niche travelers, which has occurred organically without any concerted marketing or promotion to date.

“It speaks to what’s possible,” said Kosky. “This area has some of the state’s best shopping, innovative craft breweries and championship golf courses. Being so close to Indianapolis, there is also incredible opportunity to piggyback on major national events and conferences. With the addition of strategic marketing campaigns and dedicated promotional funding, you’re looking at tourism growth potential unlike anywhere else in Indiana.”

The Johnson County CVT Commission began its search for a tourism director earlier this year. President Michael Neal says the group received an overwhelming response with qualified candidates from across the Midwest.

“The candidate pool was tremendous,” said Neal. “We interviewed several individuals representing diverse backgrounds and various areas of expertise. Mr. Kosky stood out for several reasons, including his well-rounded experience, strategic approach and inspiring vision for Johnson County’s future as a tourist anchor in Central Indiana.”

Johnson County established a funding mechanism for tourism marketing efforts in 2015 and began collecting funds last year. The CVT Commission anticipates a budget of more than $400,000 for 2017.

Kosky says initial efforts will focus on creating a detailed inventory of the county’s tourism assets, hospitality training and building local, state and regional partnerships.

“Effective partnerships are critical to amplifying Johnson County’s message,” said Kosky. “We want to sit down with municipalities, tourism leaders and business owners to gather input and determine how best to collaborate. We’ll also look at product development, including new festivals, events and attractions to augment current activity.”

“Johnson County is ready for its moment,” said Kosky. “I can’t express enough how thankful I am to have the opportunity to lead the charge.”