Mall of America® vice president of marketing is candidate of choice

COLUMBUS – Experience Columbus has named its new vice president of marketing, Sarah Townes. In her role, Townes will oversee all aspects of marketing, interactive and public relations for Experience Columbus.

Townes will join Experience Columbus after serving as vice president of marketing at Mall of America®, a top retail and entertainment destination based in Bloomington, Minnesota that attracts over 40 million global visitors annually. In this role, Townes leads integrated marketing communications including brand strategy, paid media, creative services, digital marketing and innovation utilizing new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and holograms, to enhance guest experience.

"I am so honored to be selected by Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission to serve as their new vice president of marketing,” said Townes. “Columbus is a thriving, dynamic city with so much growth potential. I look forward to working with such an engaged group of community leaders to drive marketing efforts in support of the city’s strategic initiatives.”

Townes brings over 20 years of corporate marketing and advertising agency leadership experience working with a range of consumer brands including Aveda, Caribou Coffee, Kellogg’s Cereals, Gander Mountain, Marshall Field’s, Sears Holdings Corporation, Tresemmé Hair Care, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and many more. Throughout her career, she has spearheaded creative development, global paid media, social media, public relations and strategic partnerships to exceed business growth trajectories. Townes’ prior campaign work has earned numerous industry awards, including being named to the SGB 40 Under 40 Class of 2016, two Effie Awards, a Webby Award from The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and two Silver Anvils from the Public Relations Society of America.

“Columbus is a city on the rise and now is the time to capitalize on the momentum to boost our image and increase awareness,” said Brian Ross, Experience Columbus president and CEO. “Sarah’s extensive background in marketing consumer brands and developing innovative campaigns that achieve business goals will be a tremendous asset to our organization and city as we continue to grow the tourism economy.”

Townes is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in advertising. Townes will relocate to Columbus with her family and assume the new position on June 17.

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Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending that is generated by conventions, meetings, trade shows and leisure visitors.  Annually, visitors make more than 41.1 million trips to Greater Columbus, spending $7 billion and supporting 78,000 jobs. For more information, visit