Meet the team

With a shared passion for our vibrant Bend community, the Visit Bend staff is committed to promoting responsible tourism, sustainable practices, and a culture of inclusivity. We aim to make every visitor’s experience feel personal and connected. When we’re not hard at work, you’ll find us embracing all that makes Bend special, whether it’s exploring the trails, fishing the rivers, or soaking up the vibes at an outdoor concert.

Jeff Knapp

Jeff Knapp, the CEO of Visit Bend
Jeff wakes up everyday thinking of innovative ways to have positive impacts on community. With 25+ years in hospitality and destination stewardship, he has found his home in Bend. When not building bridges he enjoys standing waist-deep in a remote river, listening to live music, and playing strategy games.

CEO

Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson
Valerie loves rules, punctuality, and accounting. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, skiing, CrossFit and powerlifting, movies, and various other leisurely outdoor pursuits. A native of the Portland area, she has lived in Bend since 2005.

VP, Operations + Policy

Nate Wyeth

Nate Wyeth, a champion of DEIB and sustainability, brings 20+ years of marketing experience, a heart for the community, and some golden retriever fur to everything he does. Whether leading Visit Bend with innovative, community-first strategies or diving into cutting-edge tools like AI, Nate thrives where adventure meets purpose.

VP, Marketing + Communications

Catherine Carroll

Catherine Carroll, staff member at Visit Bend
Catherine loves long walks by river, a good book, and helping people make the most out of their Bend vacation. She has been fortunate to call many places “home”, with the honor being Bend’s since 2021. When not enjoying the outdoors, she is enjoying the indoors, and always with her dog Frank by her side.

Visitor Center Manager

Kelli Carrow

Kelli Carrow
Kelli Carrow is a PNW native whose love for the outdoors started when she was young. Her many years of marketing experience give her the skills to build strong relationships and drive successful media campaigns for Visit Bend. Kelli’s passionate about spending time with her husband and two boys, being outside, and cooking.

Marketing Manager

Patty DiRienzo

Patty DiRienzo
A nomad of sorts, Patty has lived in every region of the country from the Deep South to the PNW. When settling in a new town her first stop is always the visitor center before exploring what makes a place and its people tick. Patty keeps busy in her off time trying a new restaurant, kayaking the river, or heading for the trails.

Visitor Information Specialist

Tawna Fenske

Tawna Fenske
A 4th gen Oregonian, Tawna has called Bend home since 1997 and gets giddy for hiking, SUPing, and devouring Bend’s culinary and concert scenes. She’s been slinging words and singing Bend’s praises since 2010. After work, she’s either camping, smooching dogs, or twirling her pen as a USA Today bestselling rom-com author.

PR + Communications Manager

Charmaine Glenn

Charmaine Glenn
Charmaine savors any hike along the Deschutes River and early morning paddleboarding. Three times a week she swims at Juniper Swim & Fitness. She enjoys new experiences (especially through international travel), appreciates being in nature, and loves all animals, especially dogs and cats!

Visitor Information Specialist

Laurel Hunter

Laurel Hunter
A marketer by accident, Laurel was trained as an artist and still makes tiny drawings and paintings in addition to guiding the creative direction at Visit Bend. She lives on the edge of the forest and spends her time chasing good weather with her trail running shoes, mountain bike, fly rod, and naughty dogs.

Marketing Director

Justin Keyes-Bundy

Justin Keyes-Bundy
Originating from the land of Dolly Parton (East TN), Justin made the move to the PNW in 2022. He is a graphic designer, social media manager, and community storyteller. When not at work, Justin is either out exploring the trails with his husband and two pups or volunteering with one of his favorite community organizations.

Digital Content Manager

Jason Lusk

Jason Lusk
In his position as Special Projects Manager, Jason brings his love for the community and the outdoors to his role at Visit Bend. When he isn’t riding motorcycles, skiing, or hiking he spends his time in an R.V. down by the river.

Special Projects Manager

Elena Pressprich

Elena Pressprich
Elena can often be seen with a camera in hand. She has been in Bend since she was a tiny human and has many fond memories of growing up here, while still discovering and exploring new places to this day. Elena is often found outside with her two dogs, hiking, backpacking, skiing, or paddleboarding.

Visual Content Manager