It has been 13 years since Jan Stevens joined the Dodge City Convention and Visitors Bureau. In January, that time will come to an end.
Recently, Stevens, director of the CVB, announced she will be retiring.
Prior to her joining the CVB, Stevens was the district manager for the Kansas Lottery in southwest Kansas for more than a decade.
"At that time, my daughter had graduated from high school and had moved to Manhattan, and this position had opened up, and I thought to myself, 'I think I’d be good at that,'" Stevens said.
Growing up in Dodge City, Stevens has always had a love for the community.
"Being a part of all the changes in the community has been extremely rewarding," Stevens said. "When I came to work for the CVB, the casino was just being debated, there was no events center or expo, the swimming pool was still near the Civic Center, and no thought of a distillery or brewery, but the visions for greatness was definitely there."
Propelling Dodge City into a first-class tourism destination has been one of the greatest joys for Stevens in her time at the CVB.
"There were some fantastic things in place already, and the team at the CVB promoted, supported, embellished, modified, refashioned and reinvented programs to fit the needs of the growing community’s tourism offerings," she said. "My job was to showcase what the community had to offer. I think the CVB did that well.
"We all worked together to make sure Dodge City was recognized across the nation and to the international traveler as well."
As she makes her exit, Stevens leaves the CVB and tourism in good hands with the staff that has been built around her.
"I feel like I’ve done what I set out to do — I’ve met some great people and made some lifelong friends," she said. "I’m still going to be involved in the community and have some ongoing involvement on the state level.
"We’re in a good place, and it’s time for me to spend a little more time with my family, and we'll see if there is something else out there that I can’t resist being connected with."
During her tenure, Stevens has received the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce’s Bronco Buster Award and the Kansas Sampler Difference Making Leadership ‘We Kan" Award. She also serves as a board of directors member of Dodge City Chamber of Commerce, Festivals of Dodge City, Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Humanities Kansas, and many other statewide and community organizations, events and committees.
When asked what she would like to do on her first day of retirement, Stevens said, "Have a nice glass of wine."
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