FUEL – Lunch & Learn with Discover Ames

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FUEL – Lunch & Learn with Discover Ames

Date: Monday January 22, 2024
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Location: Courtyard by Marriott
311 S 17th Street | Ames, IA

Event Details:

Join us for our first Lunch & Learn of 2024 with Discover Ames! Our speakers will be Kevin Bourke from Discover Ames and Jody Larson from ISU Conference Planning and Management. We will learn about what these organizations do individually and how they work together to bring economic growth to the Ames MSA through tourism and events.

We will meet at the Courtyard by Marriott Conference Room and then have a tour of the hotel after the Lunch & Learn!


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Learn more about Kevin Bourke and Jody Larson below!

Kevin Bourke, a native Chicagoan, graduated from Iowa State University in 1983 and received a master’s degree from the University of Illinois 1984. Bourke served as Iowa State University assistant track and cross country coach on Bill Bergan’s staff. Upon Bergan’s retirement in 1996, Bourke was named head cross country coach for the Cyclones. Bourke’s coaching resume includes 6 NCAA National Champions, 31 All-Americans and 22 Drake Relays Champions during his 17 years at ISU. In 2000, Bourke left coaching to become the Director of Sports and Operations for the Iowa Sports Foundation, aka Iowa Games. Bourke was named Chief Operating Officer of the foundation in 2011. In July 2019, Bourke was named President and CEO for the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, now known as Discover Ames. Bourke currently serves on the board of directors for One Heart Equestrian Therapy, Coach Lynn Memorial Foundation, and the Iowa Travel Industry Partners. Bourke has three daughters, Mackenzie, Mollie and Anna, one stepdaughter, Megan, and six grandchildren and is married to Patty Neubauer.

Jody Larson is the Interim Director of Iowa State University Conference Planning and Management. She has been in this position since November 2022. Jody has over 24 years of experience in event management, most of which has been spent in Iowa State University’s conference services. Her journey has been marked by a diverse array of experiences, ranging from involvement with hosting of Special Olympics National Games and managing Iowa State University’s display at Farm Progress Show to multiple campus and community wide conferences and events, including involvement in every Odyssey of the Mind hosted in Ames since 2002. She and her husband, Brent, have a farm north of Story City where they grow corn and soybeans and have a cow/calf operation. Jody and Brent have three children: Riley is a senior in high school; Blake is a sophomore; and Emma is in eighth grade. In her interim role, Jody has not only steered the ship of ISU Conference Planning and Management but has also orchestrated significant growth. Her leadership has facilitated an expansion in the team of professional event planners, increased the number of events managed by CPM as well as hosted in Ames, broadened the client base and services offered, streamlined processes for increased efficiency, and successfully navigated a departmental rebrand.
Jody’s commitment to the world of hospitality and event management is not just professional; it’s a reflection of her passion for creating memorable experiences and fostering growth in every endeavor.

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