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Morro Bay tourism bureau names new director 

Brent Haugen will lead tourism efforts as executive director

Brent Haugen

Brent Haugen

There is a new leader at the helm of the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau. The Morro Bay Tourism Business Improvement District Advisory Board recently conducted a regional and national search and selected Brent Haugen as their final candidate. Haugen began his tenure as the new executive director on April 1.

After relocating to the Central Coast a little over a year ago, Haugen served as community outreach manager for the Upper Salinas Las Tables Resource Conservation District in Templeton. He was also project coordinator of the Vineyard Team in Atascadero where he lives with his husband.

“I look forward to serving as the new executive director for the Morro Bay Tourism Bureau,” he said. “I want to carry on with the success of both my board and my predecessor and work with the staff, stakeholders, and industry partners to leverage Morro Bay’s visibility to individuals and groups. Collectively, we will create and execute a vision and help visitors and groups realize what a fantastic destination Morro Bay is on the Central Coast.”

The tourism board has focused on a new dynamic approach to tourism since the inception and has breathed new life into the Morro Bay tourism economy. With the advent of the new visitor’s center, tourists and locals are able to access up to date information on motel availability, places to dine, area attractions, and all the local events that take place in Morro Bay.

“We were searching for someone that was both knowledgeable in marketing and who also has a passion for tourism,” said board president Michele Jacquez. “Brent seemed to rise to the forefront in an easy fashion and he is a stand out communicator. We are excited to introduce him to our community and share his strengths with our stakeholders, the community, and our Morro Bay partners in tourism”

“Brent was an easy choice” agreed,” Joan Solu Board Member, “his enthusiasm about everything Morro Bay and the way he eased into a friendly comfort with the board really came through during the hiring process. It was wonderful to hear about the team approach to tourism management that he brings along with a depth of knowledge and the positive can-do spirit that embodies Morro Bay.”

Haugen comes to the job with a degree in Business Administration as well a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has over 10 years of experience in executive planning, administration, communication’s marketing, and sales experience at a destination marketing organization.

Haugen hails from Litchfield, Minnesota and began his tourism oriented career by planning day tours for local residents and played an active role on the Meeker County Tourism Association as well as serving as Vice-Chair on the Meeker County Historical Society & Grand Army of the Republic Hall Board.

Haugen was Director of Marketing & Tourism for Minneapolis Northwest. He was the recipient of two innovation awards, one from Explore Minnesota Tourism for the Fargo Girls Night Out marketing campaign and one from Minnesota Meetings and Events Magazine for a grant program to increase meetings and events business. Haugen served as chair for the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Metro Tourism Committee increasing the collective marketing budget by 30%. He was also active with the Twin Cities Tourism Attractions Association fundraising and membership committees and helped organize the Mistletoe & Memories holiday event in Maple Grove, Minnesota.



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