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Dave Parulo will take over as president and chief executive officer on June 1.

COURTESY PHOTO - Dave ParuloThe Washington County Visitors Association announced Wednesday, April 7, that it has hired a new president and chief executive officer to succeed longtime head Carolyn E. McCormick.

McCormick has served as president and CEO of the visitors association, which is based in Beaverton and promotes tourism and visitation throughout Washington County, since 2012.

Dave Parulo will take the reins from McCormick on June 1, the association says.

Parulo is currently president and CEO of Meet Chicago Northwest. That organization serves a similar function to the Washington County Visitors Association for its area: Based in Schaumburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, it promotes and supports tourism to eight communities outside Chicago in northwest Illinois.

Parulo has held that position in Schaumburg since 2010.

"I am honored and excited to be joining the Washington County Visitors Association as the chief tourism promoter of its 16 communities and the vibrant Tualatin Valley," Parulo said in a statement. "I look forward to the next step of my hospitality career and to establishing collaborative relationships with the travel and business communities in Oregon."

The association says it hired Parulo after a nationwide search.

"Dave brings a strong background in meetings and convention sales and an extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry, which will help Washington County as we emerge from the global pandemic," stated KL Wombacher, chair of the visitors association's board of directors and president of the Hillsboro Hops minor league baseball team.

The association credits McCormick with working to brand Washington County as a regional attraction, including by popularizing the term "Tualatin Valley."

Geographically, the Tualatin Valley extends from the Tualatin River's headwaters in West Linn — a few miles east of the Washington County line, in neighboring Clackamas County — out to the foothills of the Coast Range.

Over the past several years, however, the Washington County Visitors Association has used the term more or less interchangeably with Washington County, conjuring images of the tranquil river, farms and vineyards that thrive on the river valley's rich soil, and waterfront attractions like Tigard's Cook Park and the Tualatin River Greenway Trail.

"It has been a pleasure and honor to be a part of shaping Tualatin Valley as a great place to visit," McCormick said in a statement. "The WCVA is in an exciting position as we enter a new rebuilding phase of the destination."

McCormick plans to return to North Carolina after her retirement from the Washington County Visitors Association. She previously worked as managing director of the Outer Banks of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, promoting tourism in the coastal area of the state.

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