Norfolk Tourism Foundation names new director
Kelsey Backe has background in arts administration
The Norfolk Tourism Foundation and VisitNorfolk announced Thursday that Kelsey Backe is the foundation’s new director.
“I am thrilled to be able to join the Norfolk Tourism Foundation and to put my skills to use supporting our current hospitality workers, our future hospitality workers and tourism research initiatives that will help our community invest wisely in future growth,” Backe said in a statement.
Backe previously served as the managing director of The Hurrah Players, a not-for-profit family theater company in Norfolk. Prior to that, she was development director for the Zeiders American Dream Theater, a nonprofit professional theater company in Virginia Beach. Backe was the annual fund manager and office coordinator for the Virginia Opera Association Inc. and executive assistant and secretary to the board for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
“We are ecstatic to welcome Kelsey Backe to our VisitNorfolk family,” VisitNorfolk President and CEO Kurt Krause said in a statement. “I look forward to the outstanding accomplishments she will achieve as she brings her extensive experience, passion and skills to the Norfolk Tourism Foundation, bettering our local community and furthering our knowledge of tourism trends through multiple programs and initiatives.”
Backe is a member of the NEON District Committee, for an arts district in Norfolk, and of The Hermitage Collective, which supports The Hermitage Museum and Gardens.
Founded in 2004, the Norfolk Tourism Foundation is a nonprofit that functions as an adjunct agency to VisitNorfolk, the city’s destination marketing organization. The foundation has awarded more than $49,000 in scholarship and grant awards and participated in 17 research initiatives.