WAUSAU (WAOW) – The top leader of the Wausau/Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitors Bureau for 13 years who was influential in purchasing the Badger State Games for the bureau has resigned.
Darien Schaefer submitted his resignation to become president of the Geneva Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Lake Geneva Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Wausau promotion organization said Wednesday.
Dale Elliott, president of the group, said Schaefer's “energy and leadership” was instrumental in helping the Wausau area and Marathon County set records in tourism economic impact.
Schaefer helped create the Sports Authority in 2010, leading to the purchase of the Badger State Game in 2011 and the development of new events like the Wausau Marathon in 2012, Elliott said.
“Marathon County ranked 17th out of 72 counties in Wisconsin for traveler expenditures in 2000 when Schaefer joined the organization,” Elliott said in a statement. “Marathon County is now ranked ninth and the Wausau area is having its best year on record in 2013.”
Schaefer said among the things he will miss is his role in the Badger State Games and “will certainly miss living and working in the best place to play in the snow.”
Elliott said the search for Schaefer's replacement has started.