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Oneida County Tourism Announces Sarah Foster Calero as New President

Jun 29, 2023

UTICA, NY. (June 29, 2023) – The Oneida County Tourism Board of Directors announces the appointment of Sarah Foster Calero as the next President of The Convention and Visitors Bureau for Oneida County, Inc. dba Oneida County Tourism. Foster Calero has been a member of the NYSTIA Board of Directors since 2020 and is the Tourism Excellence Awards Committee Chair.

The appointment is a promotion for Foster Calero, a New Hartford resident. Over her 12 years at Oneida County Tourism (OCT), she has held positions as Director of Communications and TV/Film, Director of Media Relations, and Director of Sales. A graduate of Marist College with a BA in communication and public relations, Foster Calero grew up in Vernon, N.Y., and graduated from Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School.

“Sarah’s proven track record of successfully promoting Oneida County, passion for the area, collaborative spirit, and deep knowledge of the tourism industry makes her exceptionally qualified for this position,” says OCT Board Chair Lee Arthur, General Manager of Delta Hotels by Marriott Utica. “The Board of Directors is confident in her ability to nurture community partnerships and continue OCT’s impressive history of attracting visitors to the region.”

Foster Calero has earned several accolades from her destination marketing work, including two New York State Tourism Excellence Awards for the 2021 campaign, The A-to-Z Food Tour, which creatively highlighted the area’s culinary offerings. She currently serves as a board member of the New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA). 

“I’m so honored to assume the role of president of Oneida County Tourism,” Foster Calero said. “Having dedicated my entire professional career to promoting the place I call home, this promotion is both a personal and professional milestone. I’m committed to working collaboratively with our talented team, stakeholders, and community to continue to build on the hard work and dedication Kelly (Blazosky) has given, and feel fortunate to have been mentored by her,” she continued.

Foster Calero will lead a team focused on attracting visitors to Oneida County through active public relations and strategic marketing across multiple industry sectors including leisure, group tour, meetings, sports, travel trade and film/tv production. 

She succeeds outgoing President Kelly Blazosky, who steps down June 30 due to a residency requirement after 14 years leading the organization. Kelly, a highly regarded New York State tourism executive, will stay engaged with the industry as an active member of the NYS Tourism Advisory Council, member of NYSTIA, board member of Canal New York and SKAL International Albany Club. She will be administering the $1.75 million NYSDMO EDA grant and NYSDMO finances through 2025. 

"I'm very pleased the Oneida County Tourism Board of Directors are promoting Sarah to lead the organization." stated Kelly. "Her passion for Oneida County, Central New York and New York State shines brightly in everything she does. She quickly became a leader among her peers in the industry and within the community after joining the OCT team in 2010. She will do the same as she steps into the role of president to lead the organization through an amazing period of growth in the community. I wish Sarah and the staff all the best going forward".

Foster Calero assumed the role of President on July 1.