Valerie Knoblauch serves as President and CEO of Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, Ontario County’s tourism promotion agency. This is a position responsible for the economic development of the tourism industry in Ontario County. She has held the position since 1984. Prior to this position Valerie worked in the wine industry with pioneers such as Charles Fournier at Gold Seal Vineyards as a tour guide and as public relations manager.
Valerie has served various roles in a variety of community organizations including fourteen years on the Board of Education of the Canandaigua City School District. She has also served on the Finger Lakes Community College Foundation Board of Directors and the F.F. Thompson Health System Continuing Care Center Board of Directors. She has been recognized by the Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce as an Athena award winner. She is an advocate for economic development and engaged with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
Within the hospitality industry she is active on the national level with the U.S. Travel Association. Within New York State Ms. Knoblauch has leadership responsibilities with I Love NY and on the New York State Travel Industry Association. She is a frequent speaker on panels related to strategic marketing and planning, destination management, and small business marketing. She has held adjunct faculty positions at Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) and at Finger Lakes Community College, where she also sits on the advisory board to the tourism and hospitality program.
Mrs. Knoblauch is a graduate of Oswego State University College at Oswego with a degree in English Education. She graduated from the R.I.T. Simon School of Business with an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing.
Travel, photography, culinary interests and bicycling are some of her hobbies; but she claims that her greatest achievement is “being the mother of three fine young men”. Valerie lives in Canandaigua, NY with her husband, Kurt.