Saturday, September 23, 2023

New California Welcome Center Officially Opens in Ukiah Today

The following is a press release issued by the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance:

Welcome to California Road Sign [from WikiCommons]

Preparations are well underway for the ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration of the new California Welcome Center at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center at 200 S. School Street. The event will be on Tuesday, July 11, from 4-6 p.m. All are welcome. The celebration schedule includes special speakers and short performances by local organizations.

The Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance (GUBTA) is partnered with Visit California (the state’s designated tourism development organization) through the statewide California Welcome Center Initiative. Ukiah is now designated as one of 23 California Welcome Centers throughout the state. California Welcome Centers provide resources and information to inspire visitors and locals to explore local regions and the state.In anticipation of the California Welcome Center opening, new highway signage has been installed. The Conference Center lobby area is undergoing an attractive facelift as new information resources are added to the space. An experienced team of local business and tourism professionals has been assembled to provide visitor services, promote our community, county, and region and to offer guidance and opportunities for the rest of the Golden State.

Katrina Kessen, Executive Director, spearheaded the effort to bring a California Welcome Center to Ukiah. “It was absolutely a community and team effort,” recalls Kessen.

Over the past three decades, Kessen created, managed, and sold two successful businesses. Since 2010, she has worked in Mendocino County in management roles while building relationships and alliances with local communities and businesses.

“The California Welcome Center is a unique and wonderful resource to share attributes of our state, region, county and community. “It’s exciting to be able to share our stories,” says KessenKaylee Simili-Aguilar was born and raised in Mendocino County. “When I moved back, I could clearly see how special this place is. Its natural beauty, of course, but also the spirit of the people and the communities they’re building.”. Simili-Aguilar is grateful to have the opportunity to focus her skills in business operations, marketing and community building with the Greater Ukiah Business & Tourism Alliance (GUBTA). Leading with compassion and integrity, she is eager to be of service. She is the organization’s Marketing & Community Relations Director.

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Additional members of the California Welcome Center team include Laura Buckner, a respected local artist and long term GUBTA volunteer; Joanne Peaslee, a dedicated community member with lifelong ties to Ukiah; and Brent Madison, a lifetime Mendocino County resident with a passion for education and history. All three are Guest Services Ambassadors.

With a professional background in destination marketing, wine marketing, and performing arts, David Hance is the Guest Services Coordinator on the new team. Most of his career has been in Mendocino County, and he has worked in other parts of the West Coast, from Temecula to Seattle. He is a resident of Ukiah.

Ukiah is the only California Welcome Center in the state-designated North Coast region (Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties). To learn more, visit the grand opening or drop in at 200 S. School Street. The new California Welcome Center operates seven days a week.

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  1. Thank you to everyone that organized this event to will bring more visitors to our community and help to increase sales for business owners. I look forward to attending this very special event today.
    Joan Nelson, President
    Joan’s English Toffee
    1450 Redemeyer Road
    Ukiah, California 95482

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MendoFever Staff
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