HOME/OUTDOOR “The more I learned about what the association needed at that time, the more intrigued I became,” she said. Under her leadership, the Alliance grew to represent 500 members … and created a marketing campaign that achieved regional, national, and global brand recognition for the Paso Robles American Viticulture Area (AVA). Assuming her new position with the VCB last July, Jacob came to the job most recently from her seven-year stint with the PRWCA, and before that from the Washington State Wine Commission where she served four years as Public Relations Director. Along the way, she racked up some impressive achievements, including liaisons with such prestigious media as Gourmet, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, San Francisco Chronicle, and Sunset. In
by the San Luis Obispo wine community.
fact, it was the latter publication that teamed up with the VCB and other county tourism efforts to bring us Sunset’s “Savor the Central Coast” events during the past two fall seasons. As chairman of the Board at the PRWCA, Jacob was pivotal in bringing this four-day, all-star food and wine event to our area.
In her off-time, the disciplined Jacob goes running every Sunday with a group. Their distance varies between four and twelve miles and they train for various races. “This fall was the Santa Barbara half marathon,” she said. “The next one up is the SLO half marathon in April.” Jacob is also a big college football fan, ardently following her home-state football team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
“Having a partner like Sunset brings an immediate sense of credibility and national recognition to the event,” said Jacob. “Working with vintners and growers … was a chance to help the region to become known for its quality wines.”
As she settles into her new position at the VCB, Jacob said she hopes to showcase how countywide marketing efforts can work along with each community to build trust and not duplicate efforts. Immediate plans include more destination events like “Savor,” countywide themed promotions like Restaurant Month, group sales activities to promote mid-week business, and a film commission.
According to Brittany Garcia, the VCB’s community and member relations manager, “Our primary challenge is building consensus with community players and tourism partners. There is an interest in a countywide brand and identity for tourism, but how to achieve a collaborative approach is the challenge.” In 2008, Jacob was recognized as one of the Top 20 under 40 leaders by the San Luis Obispo Tribune. And in 2011, she was recognized as the Wine Industry Person of the Year
“A strong tourism bureau helps the county through creating overall economic stability and jobs,” she explained. “SLO County is well positioned as a year-round destination … Telling that story benefits us all.”
F E B R U A R Y
February 2012 Journal Plus