Cunning retires from visitors bureau

After seven years, Dan Cunning has announced his retirement from the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, the tourism promotional arm for Madera County.

Cunning became the CEO of the bureau in August, 2008. Prior to making the move to Madera County, Cunning held a like position for the Lake Havasu Convention & Visitors Bureau, representing leisure travel, association and group meetings, and sports and event marketing.

In September, 2014, Cunning stepped down from his position of CEO of YSVB. Not ready to retire completely, he became director of special projects. In this position Cunning worked with Madera County to promote sports tourism and sat on the board of directors with Cal Travel. remaining an invaluable asset to the YSVB.

“Dan Cunning provided the personal spark which ignited the eternal flame that is the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau as we now know it,” said Ray Krause, owner of Westbrook Wine Farm and YSVB board member. “In the face of opportunity or adversity, Dan always found a way to improve and grow Madera County’s only true marketing agency for the benefit of our visitors, and citizens.”

Throughout his career, Cunning participated in many national and state tourism organizations, including the Western Association of Visitors Bureaus, Travel Association of America, Association of Film Commissions International, the National Association of Sports Commissions, California Tour & Travel, and California Tourism Association (Cal Travel).

“The past seven years spent with Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau have been some of the best of my career.” Cunning said. “I plan to follow YSVB as it moves into the future. Together we accomplished many positives. I have made so many great friends that I don’t plan on walking away from.”

The Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau team will miss Dan’s presence but looks forward to continuing to build on the great work that he has accomplished.

“We all appreciate the work that Dan has done with the Bureau, and wish him well in his future ventures.” said board President Michelle Miller.

Though Cunning is retiring from his position with the bureau, he has no intention to sit idle. He will once again be working on several major entertainment projects alongside his wife, a business he has always loved.

Dan and his wife, Judy, live in their mountain dream home in North Fork, where they enjoy the outdoor life, organic gardening, a variety of animals, and all the wonderful recreational opportunities the Sierra Nevada offers.

- Staff report