Company announces Michelle Haider has been hired as director of event experience and promotions for two members of its team

VISIT Milwaukee is proud to announce two staff promotions and one new hire. Michelle Haider has been hired as director of event experience, Meg McKenna has been promoted to senior director of strategic and community partnerships, and Lesa Edwards has been promoted to finance manager.

Haider, who previously worked on the Event Experience team for six years, left VISIT to take the helm as executive director at a number of business improvement districts throughout the region. She brings extensive experience in event management and proven success in partner and client relations. Leading a department of five, Haider’s event experience team ensures the success of the meetings and events booked by the VISIT Milwaukee sales team. Event experience also oversees VISIT Milwaukee’s 200+ volunteer corps, which helps staff and welcome leisure guests in addition to major events throughout the year. Haider earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

“Michelle is excellent at ensuring that our meeting and convention clients have an authentic Milwaukee experience. Her knowledge of both our city and the needs of attendees will certainly help to elevate the experience of meeting guests. I couldn’t be more pleased to bring her aboard,” says Leslie Johnson, vice president of sales at VISIT Milwaukee. “Michelle is a natural leader with an eye for detail and that makes her the perfect fit for this role."

McKenna has worked at VISIT Milwaukee since 2012, most recently serving as partnership director. She is responsible for planning, leading, and executing VISIT Milwaukee’s private fund development activities, as well as growing revenue for the organization through corporate partnerships, sponsorships, marketing partnerships, memberships, and advertising. She is a proud Marquette undergraduate and law school alum and practiced civil litigation for many years following her graduation in 1992.

“Meg’s greatest strength is being a connector of people, a trait that is crucial to the success of a convention and visitors bureau that specializes in connecting people throughout the community to create a positive environment for visitors and residents,” says Peggy Williams-Smith, president & CEO. “VISIT Milwaukee is lucky to have such a dedicated and passionate champion of the Greater Milwaukee region helping to promote our community.”

Edwards started with VISIT Milwaukee in 2020 as a staff accountant, originally drawn to working for the organization to learn more about Milwaukee. Edwards earned her first degree in accounting and management studies at the University of the West indies and began her career as a court reporter for the Jamaican Supreme Court. After immigrating to the United States seven years ago, she earned her master’s degree from Concordia University.

“Lesa’s leadership and knowledge help not only the VISIT Milwaukee finance team achieve success every day, but the entire organization. Her knowledge and experience help our organization be a strong steward of our financial resources,” says Luis Ayala, vice president of finance and administration.

Headshots and interviews are available upon request.