Katie Fencl, CSEE, is director of conventions, sports and services at Catch Des Moines, and Ryan Vogt, CSEE, is national sales manager at Catch Des Moines. As a 2018 Connect Sports Game Changers, they discusses their passion for sports tourism.
Why We Are Game Changers: We do whatever it takes to see events come to Des Moines, and make sure they are successful and that planners and attendees can’t wait to come back to our city. For example, we recently booked the USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals after years of trying to get it to come to Des Moines. It will be a huge economic boost to the local economy over Halloween weekend.
How We Got Here: Ryan had multiple sports internships in college, which helped lead to his first job in sports following graduation and getting a degree in sport management. He worked for the Iowa Games, the state’s annual Olympic-style sports festival, for nearly four years. Katie grew up in Kansas City, traveling the country on soccer, softball, basketball and volleyball teams. That participation led her to Iowa State University, where she competed as a student-athlete. Post-graduation, she landed at the CVB, where she has served as an intern, sales coordinator, sports manager and director of events among numerous other titles.
What We Are Working Now: We have a lot of great upcoming events, including the AAU Junior Olympic Games, USA Wrestling, NAIA Wrestling Championships and NCAA Men’s Basketball. We are also looking at bids for USA Boxing, US Youth Soccer and National Veterans Golden Age Games, to name a few.