Industry veteran Janis Ross has been named vice president of events and experiences for the Sports Events & Tourism Association. Ross, who had been executive director for the Eugene Cascades & Coast Sports Commission in Oregon for the past 15 years, will oversee the association’s major events and programs, including the annual Symposium, Women’s Summit and 4S Summit, among other events.
Ross is currently treasurer of the Sports ETA Board of Directors and a member of the association’s executive committee but will leave that role with the new staff appointment. As a result of the vacancy, the association is seeking nominations for both treasurer and secretary, two positions on its executive committee that eventually lead to the role of chairman.
“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Janis in her role as an executive committee member of our board for the past two years,” said Al Kidd, president and CEO of Sports ETA. “Janis will offer valuable insights into our industry in leading our events as well as serving as a mentor for new emerging leaders in our association.”
In Ross’ role in Eugene, she developed the region into a sports event destination through strategic partnerships and the development of new facilities and events to drive tourism. Among other upcoming events, the region will host the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in track and field, and will host the 2021 World Championships in the sport as well, the first time the event has been held in the United States.
Ross has also been an active member of Sports ETA, serving for five years in various leadership roles including chair of the association’s Education Committee. She is also active as a board member for Oregon Track Club and a member of the MPI Meeting Executives Advisory Board. She earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s of business administration from Portland State University.
Ross began her position January 2 and said she welcomed the shift to be more involved in the association’s events. She said the association’s events will get a fresh new look and not just from a content perspective. “It’s not just about the content, it’s about this whole concept of event design,” she said.
After years of volunteering on behalf of the association, Ross said she was looking forward to joining the staff in an official capacity. “I have such a passion for the organization,” she said, “I’m just excited to be part of the staff.”