Stephanie Klett’89 has been named Wisconsin’s new secretary of the Department of Tourism by Governor Scott Walker. Walker, who was sworn in as Wisconsin's 45th governor yesterday, announced his pick late last week.
The appointment of the former philosophy and theatre arts/communications major (who also studied abroad in Scotland) must now be confirmed by the state Senate.
Klett, the longtime host of the Discover Wisconsin Television and Radio Series and managing director the Discover Wisconsin Media Network, told the Beloit Daily News that her goal is to reinvigorate the state’s tourism trade and replace jobs lost during the economic downturn, and then some.
“My number one goal is that we need to get back the 24,000 jobs we lost in tourism, and then double that number,” she told reporter Justin Weaver. “Our industry dropped $1 billion and we lost all those jobs... Even in this economy I want to fight for tourism dollars. I really want Wisconsin to understand what the state can do.”
It’s been a big year for Klett. Earlier in the year, she won her first Emmy as DW host. She had been nominated six times for her work on the program, which she’s hosted since 1993. (She also produces the “Discover Wisconsin” radio program.)
Governor Walker clearly knew what he was doing when he tapped this Beloiter. According to the Discover Wisconsin website, the well-traveled Beloit native “has logged more than one million miles criss-crossing Wisconsin, researched and written over 4,000 radio programs about the state, and hosted more than 300 of the company’s signature tourism television shows.”
And that’s not all. The site also tells us she’s “a trumpet player, avid hiker, reader, lay speaker, wine lover, traveler, restaurant reviewer, motivational speaker, Harley back-seat rider, and political junkie.”