Sara has more than 25 years of experience leading strategy and solving organizational challenges across a variety of industries and sectors. Her strategic approach is informed by her hands-on experience in leadership positions within, and as a consultant to, publicly traded, privately held, state and local government, and nonprofit entities. Unprecedented growth, operational optimization, strategic messaging alignment, high-performing teams, and engaged audiences are hallmarks of Sara’s impact on organizations.
Prior to working with Michael Best Strategies, Sara served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, leading the state’s $22+ billion industry to its largest year on record, while increasing return on investment. She directed statewide industry crisis management and economic recovery strategy in response to COVID-19, advocating for and collaborating with a wide variety of government agencies and industry nonprofit and advocacy groups to secure relief for thousands of tourism organizations and tourism-adjacent businesses. In her first year as Secretary, she achieved legislative Joint Finance Committee approval for the first Department of Tourism budget increase in nearly a decade, and for the creation, funding, and staffing of one of the first state Offices of Outdoor Recreation in the Midwest. Additionally, Sara implemented the first statewide industry strategic plan in over a decade, engaging and aligning priorities with over 200 local and regional tourism entities and thousands of individual industry stakeholders.
An entrepreneur and former executive leader of several national strategic marketing and communications firms, Sara is a recognized thought leader. She is a regular media contributor and keynote speaker on the topics of strategic planning and leadership development, B2B and B2C growth strategies, brand strategy, marketing and communications, public relations and earned media, audience engagement, and content strategy.
In addition to her extensive experience in the travel and tourism industry, Sara also has significant expertise assisting businesses in a number of other sectors, including economic development, consumer packaged goods (CPG), food and beverage, healthcare and biotechnology, higher education, and the professional services sector.