Executive Coordinator, Visit Topeka & Marketing & Comm
Kate Garren is passionate about contributing to the exciting tourism advances that happen each day at Visit Topeka. She was proudly raised in Carthage, Missouri, a charming small town nestled in the four-state area. She attended Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri with a focus on vocal music education. During her time at MSSU, she danced on the Southern Gold Dance Team, and after graduation, she worked in an array of positions within the hospitality industry.
After moving to Topeka, Kansas, Kate began working with the City of Topeka Municipal Court and thoroughly enjoyed serving the Topeka community. Soon after, she transitioned to her current role with Visit Topeka at the Greater Topeka Partnership. With her outgoing personality, Kate knows no strangers and looks forward to growing with the vibrant Topeka and Shawnee County community.
What's one small change that an individual or family can make to contribute to the local economy's growth?
Be proud of your community! Every city has its perks and downfalls. Share the positive things with your family & friends living outside Topeka.
Can you share a success story or project you've worked on that has had a significant impact on the local community's economic development?
I joined the Visit Topeka team when Topeka Dino Days kicked off! Visit Topeka offered an inclusive assortment of programming that all could enjoy. We saw a dramatic increase in hotel room sales. Additionally, we saw record-breaking attendance rates at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, Great Overland Station, and the Topeka Zoo. The dollars spent by our partners and hoteliers filtered back into our Topeka economy, and not into the hands of external communities. In addition to the previously mentioned participating locations, Visit Topeka offered a free Allosaurus exhibit in our downtown visitor center. The free exhibit hosted several school field trips from not only our Topeka school districts but our surrounding community’s districts. This successful marketing campaign touched thousands of lives, generated local revenue, and offered a lifetime of memories. We can’t wait to plan the next big thing!
In your opinion, what are some of the most important factors in building a strong and sustainable local economy?
I believe having strong community pride, is one of the most impactful parts of building a strong and sustainable local economy. I moved to Topeka about two years ago, and this community has SO much to offer, not only to its locals but our visitors. I challenge our community to step outside the box. Try a local restaurant outside their comfort zone, see a play at the Topeka Civic Theatre, visit the historic Brown v. Board of Education site, or attend one of the many free concerts during our milder seasons at Evergy Plaza. We have a lot to be proud of!
Kate Garren, Executive Coordinator for Visit Topeka & the Greater Topeka Partnership, knows the importance of offering safe and exciting places for Topeka area children to play and grow. That’s why in her free time, she volunteers at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center on their free admission nights, made possible by generous local businesses committed to providing high-quality and interactive play experiences for local families. For Kate, a perfect day in Topeka includes a visit to the Topeka Zoo with her children, where they can ride the historic carousel, hop on the new all-electric choo-choo train, and cool off with a swim in the Blaisdell Pool. It’s a day filled with fun, laughter, and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.