January 2012

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workWith MeDeb Archer Laying out Madison's welcome mat Deb Archer spends most of her days in the future. Now in her 16th year at the helm of the Where Does the Madison-lover Love to Go? When Archer isn't busy enjoying (and promoting) what Madison has to offer, one of her favorite cities to visit is Vancouver, British Columbia. "It's the most European-feeling, Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, Archer admits the majority of her daily tasks revolve around events happen- ing one, two, even fi ve years from now. "When somebody asks me what's go- ing on in the area today, I have to scratch my head because I spend so much time [working ahead]!" she laughs. It's this foresight that's re- North American city," she says. "I'm a real water lover, so [I love] its cosmopolitan, international fl avor on the water." sponsible for the estimated $1.3 billion in revenue tourism brings to the greater Madison area an- nually—and we're not just talk- ing about tourists stopping in for a weekend. With Archer in the driver's seat, GMCVB has ushered in high- profi le events such as the 2008 World Stem Cell Summit, the 2010 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games, and Ironman Wisconsin, which has been fi lling Madison's streets with triathlon athletes and revelers every September since 2002. But there's always room for more, which is where Archer and her team come in. Th eir mission? To sell Madison's strengths to any travelers or event promoters looking for an experience only Madison can offer. Th e result is a long list of activites that fi ll the calendar for locals to enjoy alongside out-of-towners who bring traffi c to Dane County's airport while spending their dol- lars at local hotels, restaurants, stores and entertainment venues. As she looks to fi nd the next big boon for local tourism, Archer stays focused on am- plifying Madison's strengths. "Madison has [a lot] to offer," she says. "Especially in bioscience, agribusiness, education, and the natural resources sec- tor; it's our job to connect [visitors] to local experts in our area." As we enjoy the fruits of her labor, Ar- cher and her team are happy behind the scenes, "…helping grow the Madison ar- ea's international profi le as the energetic, innovative and intellectual place that it is." —Mollie Busby January 2012 33 Photo by Amber Arnold

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