Visit KC announces three changes to management team

Non-profit welcomes new leaders for human resources, partnerships; Jessica Blubaugh promoted to director

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Visit KC announced Friday three key changes to its management team including two leadership additions and an internal promotion. Ron Jackson will join the hospitality and tourism organization as its chief people partner, while Susan Cantrell has been named the vice president of partnerships & events. In addition to these hires, Jessica Blubaugh has been promoted to director of partnerships & events, effective immediately.

In his role as Chief People Partner, Ron Jackson will be accountable for all aspects of the organization’s human resources initiatives, including talent recruitment and retention, policy development and benefits. Prior to joining Visit KC, Jackson worked at the Lee’s Summit-based Government Employees Health Association for nearly two decades, where he most recently served as its vice president of employee relations and engagement. Jackson holds a master’s degree in human resources management from Webster University and accreditations as a SHRM-Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and a Professional in Human Resources (PHR). Jackson’s first day will be April 18.

As vice president of partnerships and events, Susan Cantrell will be responsible for identifying new membership opportunities as well as securing incremental revenue in support of the organization’s sales and marketing activities. Cantrell previously served as the vice president of sales & marketing at the Topeka Capital-Journal, where she oversaw a staff of 20 and a budget of $10 million. A graduate of the University of Kansas, Cantrell joins the organization on April 30.

Jessica Blubaugh’s new role as director of partnerships & events includes the day-to-day management of the department, overseeing partner engagement and care, community engagement efforts and the planning and implementation of marquee events such as Kansas City Restaurant Week. Blubaugh joined Visit KC in May 2016 as senior events manager and later ascended to the role of interim vice president of partnership & events, a title she held for one year.

“These three talented individuals bolster our upper management and demonstrate that our organization’s commitment to its intellectual capital is stronger than ever,” said Interim President & CEO Patrick Geschwind. “We anticipate that each will make an immediate and lasting impact on our organization’s short- and long-term goals.”

About Visit KC

Visit KC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. Through marketing, sales and service of the convention and tourism industries, Visit KC supports a vital and growing component of the local economy—generating nearly 48,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in economic impact annually. For more information about Kansas City, go to

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Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus
Traci Moon
Traci Moon
SVP, Marketing & Communications

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