Secretary-designee Sara Meaney Bio
Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney built her marketing and leadership expertise through a wide variety of industries and global experiences. A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native and world traveler, Meaney began her career working in healthcare marketing and corporate sales after graduating with a psychology degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Meaney’s early career led her to Denver, Colorado and Dublin, Ireland. Upon returning home to Milwaukee, Meaney channeled her entrepreneurial side and launched her own company, Comet Branding + PR, a specialized digital communications agency, in 2009. The success and quick growth of Comet led Meaney to merge the company with Hanson Dodge Creative, where she was a partner and served as President of Strategy and Growth.
Meaney joined the Milwaukee-based advertising agency BVK in 2013 as Managing Director, where she oversaw the earned media practices for the agency, which include public relations, social media, promotions and experiential marketing. There, she led teams in data-driven strategic marketing planning and execution for multiple tourism and hospitality clients, including Visit Orlando, Wyoming Office of Tourism, Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, Funjet Vacations and United Airlines Vacations.
Meaney became Chief Marketing and Development Officer of Milwaukee Film in 2018 after serving on the board of directors for six years. There, she planned and executed all marketing, fundraising and growth efforts for the organization and its programs to promote Milwaukee as a destination for film. Not only did Meaney’s efforts result in record media coverage of events, her fundraising campaign to renovate Milwaukee’s historic Oriental Theatre was the largest fundraising campaign in the organization’s history.
In 2019, Meaney was appointed as Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism where she combines her love for Wisconsin and her tourism and destination marketing expertise to lead the promotion of the state as a top travel destination in the Midwest.
Meaney is a nationally renowned keynote speaker and university guest lecturer. In 2010, Meaney was recognized in the Business Journal’s Forty under 40. In addition to her formal education, she completed executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management. Meaney and her husband Brian live in Milwaukee with their four children.