As Director of the Colorado Tourism Office, Cathy Ritter leads the state’s $19 million annual effort to drive domestic and international travel throughout the state. Prior to her appointment in December 2015, Cathy was Illinois’ state travel director, leading a major recovery initiative post 9/11 and developing a widely embraced statewide strategic blueprint for tourism growth. She began her career as a newspaper journalist, winning multiple reporting awards and serving as a statehouse reporter in the Illinois Capitol, before joining state government as a media spokesperson and policymaker. More recently, she has served as a top marketing executive for three major not-for-profit senior living systems. Cathy holds both master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and makes her home in Denver with husband Kevin and near daughter Caroline’s family.