A love for Wisconsin and a passion for tourism have defined the life and career of Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Klett for more than two decades. Appointed by Governor Scott Walker in 2011, she is now serving her second term leading the state’s $20 billion tourism industry and marketing Wisconsin as the Midwest’s premiere destination for fun.
Under Klett’s leadership, Wisconsin’s tourism economy is up $5.2 billion since January 2011, a 35%
increase. In the last six years, tourism has also generated employment opportunities for Wisconsin
residents, supporting nearly 193,500 jobs. She has even logged an estimated two million miles
promoting and advocating for the state’s travel and hospitality industry.
Klett has guided the Department’s marketing efforts to support the travel industry’s innovative work to create fun and memorable vacation experiences. Staying true to the Wisconsin tourism brand of fun – the #1 travel motivator – advertising campaigns have employed the likes of basketball legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson, University of Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Coach Bo Ryan, and actors Henry Winkler, Tony Shalhoub and Robert Hays. Innovative and creative advertising executions from a Travel Wisconsin Supper Club Concession Stand in Lambeau Field to a Camp Wisconsin wrapped double‐decker buses in Chicago are among the initiatives that have contributed to the Department’s record 101 awards for marketing and public excellence, many of which are national and international in scope.
Under her leadership, the Department established a new public‐private partnership business model to keep Welcome Centers open on in‐bound highway locations; developed a customer service program to help tourism destinations grow their local economies; and founded the Big Bundle Up campaign that partners with the tourism industry to collect hats, gloves, coats and warm items for those in need. Now in its seventh year, the Big Bundle Up has donated over 103,000 items to local charities around the state.
A radio and television personality traveling the roads of Wisconsin for 25 years, Klett has appeared in radio ads with The Voice of the Badgers Matt Lepay and NFL sportscaster Wayne Larrivee and is a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio, WTMJ’s Wisconsin Afternoon News with John Mercure and the Kathy Keene show on WHBY‐AM.
Before joining the Department of Tourism, Klett was already widely known as the host of the Discover Wisconsin Television & Radio Series. She received eight Emmy nominations from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and in 2010 won an Emmy for “Individual Excellence for On‐Camera Hosting.” Klett is also remembered by many as the 1992 reigning Miss Wisconsin.
When she’s not busy traveling Wisconsin’s state highways to promote tourism, she is an AIDS activist and served as the 2013 Honorary Chair for AIDS Walk Wisconsin, the state’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser. Her other non‐profit work includes past board president for Beloit Regional Hospice.
Klett is a graduate of Beloit College and the daughter of Fred and Joanne Klett of Beloit. She also has the distinct pleasure of being the one and only sister to nine brothers. In her free time, she keeps up her skill as a cornet player.