about GGFCVB

Let us plan your grand adventure.

Most of our staff members were born right here, and have grown up in the area. Some were away for a while and are now back. Each one can guide you to the hidden gems of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. They know all the great corners and local favorites—and are happy to share them with you.

Julie Rygg

Executive Director

Team member since: 2002

Responsibilities: Oversee all bureau activities

Service and leadership: Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota, Women’s Fund Advisory Committee, North Dakota Tourism Alliance Partnership, NDSU Hospitality and Tourism Management Advisory Board, North Dakota Ballet Company; 2nd Vice President for the Society of Government Meeting Professionals National Capital Chapter (SGMP NATCAP); Chair, SGMP NATCAP Special Events Committee

Experience and qualifications:
Grand Forks native, Hagerstown/Washington County (Maryland) CVB Director of Sales, GGFCVB Director of Sales (1994 – 1997)

Governor’s Travel & Tourism Award for Travel & Tourism Leader and Organization of the Year, 2009; SGMP NATCAP Supplier of the Year

Other passions:
Time with her husband and their two children, especially volunteering together, traveling and summertime at the lake

Sandy Dobmeier

Visitor Services Manager

Team member since: 1985

Managing the Visitor Center and its staff members; group tour marketing; accounting, including membership, payroll and payables; building & grounds maintenance

Service and leadership:
Vice President, DMAND (Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota; Vice President, Riverland Association; Secretary, Minnesota Heartland Tourism Association; Member, DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International; Past National Commander, Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary and currently active on the local, state and national levels

Experience and qualifications:
College degree, University of Minnesota, Crookston

Other passions:
Fishing, flower gardening, watching sprint car races, keeping up with family activities and enjoying friendly, safe Greater Grand Forks

Deb Stewart

Sales Manager-Meetings & Conventions

Team member since: 2003

Responsibilities: Meeting & convention selling, bid proposals & presentations, lead generations & database management, advertising sales for Visitors Guide; representing the GGFCVB at ND & MN State Tourism Conferences, Upper Midwest CVB Conference, Midwest Society for Association Executives meetings and visiting various regional cities for Greater Grand Forks promotions and outreach

Service and leadership: Blues on the Red, Art & Wine Walk, ND Travel Industry Conference, UND Summer Programs & Events Council

Experience and qualifications:  B.S., Recreation & Leisure Services, University of North Dakota; Grand Forks Air Force Base school system and community outreach

Other passions: Traveling, gardening, reading; time with kids, pets, family and friends; anything outdoors, especially camping, visiting state parks, cross country skiing and playing on the Greenway in every season

Stephanie Bernstrom

Sales Manager-Athletic Tournaments

Team member since: 2010

Responsibilities: Sports & athletic tournament management, including attracting new events and further developing existing activities and events

Experience and qualifications: B.A., University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.

Other passions: Time with her family in beautiful Greater Grand Forks, especially shopping, dining, special events and community activities

Shelley Wagendorf

Communications Coordinator

Responsibilities: Daily Facebook and Twitter posts for the Visit Grand Forks pages; proofing and writing copy for various publications; ad creation; updating and maintaining our website; marketing local events and attractions on radio, in print and utilizing travel websites; producing Greater Grand Forks promotional videos

Team Member Since: 1998

Experience and qualifications: B.A., Psychology, University of North Dakota; North Dakota Tourism’s 2006 Front-Line Hospitality Person of the Year Award

Other passions: Politics, music, theatre, food and wine, basketball, hockey and of course, travelling 

Nicole Blair

Sales & Services Coordinator

Team member since: 2007

Responsibilities: Managing all aspects of complimentary services for meeting and event planners to make organizers’ jobs easier and participants feel spoiled

Experience and qualifications: East Grand Forks native; College degree, Alexandria, Minn.

Other passions: Spending time with her husband and four adorable children; attending musicals and movies; enjoying Greater Grand Forks’ four distinct seasons and all the experiences and activities within each one

Alicia Van Eps

Marketing Coordinator

Responsibilities: Designing ads, sales and promotional materials and banners for events/conferences/tournaments; maintaining the Visit Grand Forks Instragram page; staff photographer 

Service and leadership: American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, organizing numerous community fundraisers

Experience and qualifications: Native of northwestern Minnesota; B.S., Graphic Communications and Mass Communications, Minnesota State University Moorhead

Other passions: Spending time with friends and family, including her beautiful new daughter, Gracie Jane; any hobby or activity involving design; shopping, concerts and movies