Director of Convention and Visitors Bureau leaves Columbia

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | 4:14 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Lorah Steiner, director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, is leaving her position, City Manager Bill Watkins announced today.

After 24 years of serving as director, Steiner is moving to Charlotte County, Fla., to be the director of tourism. Watkins said Steiner’s last day will probably be Feb. 15 because she is starting her new position Feb. 28. 

Steiner said she planned to retire in June, but when she found this opportunity, she changed her mind. She said the position in Florida had all the attributes she wanted and was a good fit.

“There was a heavy arts component, beautiful beaches, boating, fishing and the people. I really liked the people,” Steiner said. “I’m excited about the new adventure.”

Steiner said it has been an honor and a privilege to work for the city of Columbia. She said the perception of the community has changed in a positive way, and she is proud of the growth of the arts.

“Working with the arts and seeing its growth has been very special to me,” she said. “Over the last 10-15 years, Columbia has turned into a rich cultural community. I hope we’ve played a role in developing that.”

She has received many awards, both locally and statewide. She served as the president of Meeting Planners International - St. Louis and is the president of the Missouri Motion Media Association.

Before holding the director position, Steiner was the director of field marketing for the North Central and Southern U.S. for Ramada Corp.

According to the news release, Watkins and an advisory committee will begin searching nationally for a replacement in the upcoming weeks. An interim director will be named later.

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