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Former Wine Trail Executive Takes Over Otsego County Tourism Promotion

Jan 23, 2018

(COOPERSTOWN)-- A new year has brought an entirely new team to Otsego County's Destination Marketing Corporation (DMCOC). The organization's mission is to actively promote and market Otsego County for the purpose of encouraging overnight visitation, thus contributing to the economic impact of tourism in our community through the generation of occupancy tax revenues. This is accomplished by creating overnight stays – “heads in beds" – by marketing outside the area, to potential visitors within at least a three-to-four hour drive from Otsego County.

After over 30 years in promoting the tourism properties of Otsego County, Deborah Taylor retired at 2017 year-end. She's been with the DMCOC since its incorporation in 2014 and has laid the groundwork for an extremely successful tourism program. With the announcement of Taylor's retirement this past fall, the Board of Directors began seeking for her successor. After a nationwide search, Cassandra Harrington was chosen to command the organization moving forward.

Harrington is the former executive director of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail – America's first established and longest running wine trail. While in charge, CLWT underwent an entire rebranding, launched a wayfinding mobile application and saw a significant increase in event traffic. Prior to the Trail, Harrington was the Membership Development Manager of the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce, serving the county in economic development and tourism-based initiatives. She's a graduate from Keuka College and grew up in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. She brings to the position a healthy portfolio of tourism and craft beverage marketing experience.

“I intend to help Cooperstown, Oneonta and all of Otsego County to attract visitors and talent which ultimately support the community's economic vitality. The County has an incredible amount of tourism assets that make it a must-visit for everyone. The history, the arts, and the food and beverage scene are astounding and I am delighted to be here and to have the opportunity to share that with the world", says Harrington.

Also new to the organization is Executive Assistant, Jacqueline White. White enters with a recent history in tourism promotion and tour coordination with Erie Canal Cruises (ECC) out of Herkimer. As General Manager of ECC for the last four seasons, White was responsible for creating and marketing a variety of exciting cruise options for each season, planning and coordinating weddings, and overall sales. Daily dealings with individuals, groups, schools, the mortorcoach industry as well as creating and keeping itineraries were some of her main tasks. White is experienced with attending both local and national travel shows that are vital to the overall promotion of tourism. White is excited in her new role as an important, supportive part of promoting Otsego County.

Together, Harrington and White intend to showcase Otsego County as a world-class vacation destination in a global marketplace full of potential visitors. For more information on the DMCOC, please visit


Cassandra Harrington