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State's Chief Marketing Officer visits the county

State's Chief Marketing Officer visits the county

(GENESEO, NY - July 20, 2007) Thomas Ranese, Governor Spitzer's newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer for Empire State Development was in Livingston County last week to view and learn about the attractions that bring visitors into our communities.

Accompanied by Lisa Burns, Livingston County Tourism Director, Mr. Ranese along with a marketing specialist from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising from New York City visited Letchworth State Park and the communities of Caledonia, Avon, Geneseo and Mt. Morris.

"It was a whirlwind afternoon of quick glimpses and plenty of narration but it was extremely beneficial for Mr. Ranese. He was truly engaged and curious about our county." noted Burns. "We were afforded this great opportunity to showcase the county to the person whose direct responsibility it is to market the many tourism virtues of New York State."

Mr. Ranese oversees the "I LOVE NEW YORK" brand and all related marketing efforts for the state. Currently in its 30th year, the brand and its iconic logo remains ahead of its time in recognition; however, with online advertising moving marketing efforts in a new direction Mr. Ranese states, "We are charged with enhancing our marketing, particularly online to drive measurable results for the New York State economy through tourism."

The Livingston County Tourism Office as well as all tourism offices within the state is the recipient of the yearly Matching Funds Grant from the Empire State Development office to assist in the marketing of the county's many tourism related attractions, festivals, accommodations and communities. Governor Spitzer has gone on record as making an explicit commitment to grow the tourism economy in the state and has increased funding to the "I LOVE NEW YORK" program. Tourism is currently a $43.4 billion industry in New Your State.