(Spokane, WA) The Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau has named Jim van Loben Sels 2011 Board Chair. Years of cultivating vineyards as the owner of Arbor Crest Wine Cellars has helped equip van Loben Sels with the skills needed to promote tourism growth in the Spokane Region. "It's really exciting to be focused on the destination and tourism. Expanding our opportunities as a region gets more visitors interested in Spokane."

Jim van Loben SelsJim van Loben SelsVan Loben Sels has been an active board member, serving as CVB Board Vice Chair, Business Development Committee member and Executive Committee member before taking over as Board Chair. He replaces outgoing Chair Lynnelle Caudill, of the Davenport Hotel and Tower and Hotel Lusso, who continues to serve on the board as Immediate Past Chair. "Jim is focused on tourism as it relates to great things to do in Spokane." says Caudill. "He sees the big picture. He embraces and values all aspects of the local tourism industry because he brings a personal perspective, selling wine to local restaurants, hotels and visitors to his winery."

Van Loben Sels is an experienced viticulturist with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from University of California Davis and with his wife/winemaker Kristina Mielke-van Loben Sels, has built Arbor Crest into an award winning winery that draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. Van Loben Sels has a vested interest in increasing tourism locally and he is excited about the CVB's direction under new leadership. "Our core team has never been better and having Cheryl Kilday as CEO, with her experience, makes this team a complete package," says van Loben Sels.

The complete list of the 2011 Spokane Regional CVB Board of Directors includes:

Jim van Loben Sels, Board Chair, Arbor Crest Wine Cellars
Mike McLeod, Vice Chair, Doubletree Hotel City Center
Ken Belisle, Treasurer, Landmark Restaurant
Lynnelle Caudill, Immediate Past Chair, Davenport Hotel and Tower and Hotel Lusso
Cheryl Kilday, President and CEO Spokane Regional CVB
Marianne Barnhoft, Windermere Real Estate
Joyce M. Cameron, Providence Sacred Heart and Children's Foundations
Brenda Grassel, City of Spokane Valley
Jack Heath, Washington Trust Bank
Todd Mielke, Spokane County Commission
Jennifer Mitchell, Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Brenda Niehouse, Spokane Symphony
Stephen Pohl, River Park Square
Jan Quintrall, Better Business Bureau
Jody Sander, Sterling Hospitality
Rita Santillanes, Best Western Peppertree Inns
Joe Shogan, Spokane City Council
Doug Toone, Jewelry Design Center
Kevin Twohig, Public Facilities District


About Spokane Regional CVB

The Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau generates economic growth for Spokane County by successfully marketing the Spokane Region as the destination for conventions and leisure travelers from around the world. The proof is in: Visitors to Spokane County spent an estimated $741 million in 2009, providing jobs for nearly 9,790 residents and generating $58.3 million in non-resident tax dollars collected in Spokane County.*

*Figures provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce Tourism Office in the September 2010 Dean Runyan Associates report for the year ending 2009.