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February 16, 2014

New NCVB director happy to be back home in Norman

NORMAN — Tourism professional, Dan Schemm, was living in Wichita, Kan. and loving it. He knew it would take something pretty special to make him leave those friendly, Midwestern digs. That something was Norman.

Schemm took over the helm of the Norman Convention and Visitors Bureau as executive director this month and will join an established team — Stefanie Brickman, Susan Bash, Michelle Hohlier and Taylor Mauldin.

“It’s an excellent staff,” Schemm said. “I’m thrilled to come here.”

Schemm is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He has a degree in environmental science and an MBA in finance and international business.

“I love Norman,” he said. “At some point, I wanted to come back home. The opportunity came along to come back and to do what I love to do which is to sell Norman.”

Schemm and wife Lindsay have already sold their home in Wichita and are ready to embrace the Norman community. The great schools and university environment are a big draw.

“As we’re trying to attract meetings, conventions and conferences here, people want to see a vibrant community with a high quality of life,” he said.

Schemm grew up in Edmond and remembers high school days running cross country and competing with Norman. Now, those two communities are part of the same regional market.

“The competition for leisure visitors and group travel is getting more and more fierce,” he said.

The NCVB will be 21 years old this year. Schemm said the industry has gone through a lot of changes since the inception of the bureau. Being close to Will Rogers World Airport and having the name recognition because of OU is a big plus for attracting visitors to Norman, he said.

Schemm would like to see Norman and the state of Oklahoma have even more recognition out in the world. He said it’s not that people have a bad perception of Oklahoma — it’s that they have no perception of Oklahoma. He wants to help change that.

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