Lula S. Cassidy, Executive Director
email | Phone Extension # 3947

Lula joined the GSCCVB team in June 2016. Her rich history in sales, marketing and tourism spans over 25 years.  Lula proudly originates from a rural farming community in Illinois, near the Quad Cities, beginning her studies and dedication to her career with a BA in Marketing from Augustana College; and continuing her studies with a Master Degree in Tourism Science from Cornel University.  Lula comes to the GSCCVB after having recently served as President and CEO of New York City based InnTerActive Marketing, a hospitality and tourism outsourcing consulting firm. She has provided revenue strategies and brand consulting for companies such as LaQuinta Inn & Suites, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Best Western, the Laredo Heat Soccer team & Wells Fargo Bank.  Lula has been a keynote speaker at major hotel brand conference events such as LaQuinta Inns & Suites and Best Western.  Prior to leaving the East Coast to join the Greater St. Charles CVB, Lula served as Fundraising Chairman for both “Safe Places to Play” a youth sports volunteer organization and “Pack the Back Pack Program” a North Central West Virginia volunteer group dedicated to providing food & school supplies for children in need.  


Michelle Cianferri, Tourism Development Manager
Phone Extension # 3949

Michelle joined the team in May 2009 as a part time Sales Manager, and brings significant experience to the position, having worked both in hotels and the convention and visitors bureau realm. Her enthusiasm in building relationships with planners as well as suppliers ensures "win-win" events. Michelle's primary concentration is Group Sales which now includes the political market and prospecting for new business.  Michelle also shares the meetings and conventions market with Nick Bacik. She has been a member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), having served as co-chair for the annual MPI Chicago Area Chapter Golf Outing following several years' tenure with the event's coordination.  Michelle is also an active member of Illinois Society of Association Executives (ISAE). Michelle, who attended Loop College and Loyola University, enjoys spending time with her husband and two children during her free time.


Nick Bacik, Tourism Development Manager
Phone Extension # 3950

Sports Sales Manager Nick Bacik's background in events sponsorship sales and as an athletic recruiter, combined with his MA in Sports Administration from Central Michigan University, have enabled him to hit the ground running in promoting Greater St. Charles as a destination for amateur adult and youth sports events and in understanding the specific needs of events rights holders and national governing bodies. In addition to matching athletes to venues, Nick will be developing the health and wellness market.


Michelle FergusonMichelle Ferguson, Events Coordinator
Phone Extension # 3948

Michelle joined the GSCCVB team in August 2017 after relocating from Southern California where she worked as Head of Business Affairs with Special Artist Agency (SAA), a commercial talent agency in Beverly Hills, CA.  While at SAA Michelle managed the contractual, financial & commercial production of the Celebrity Division.  Michelle’s experience as a stage performer helped her understand and anticipate her celebrity clients every need. 

Prior to joining SAA Michelle worked for The Walt Disney Company in Burbank, CA as Department Coordinator/Office Manager for Corporate Brand Management/Strategic Marketing department.  Michelle created and managed a multi-million dollar budget worldwide and assisted with the Corporate Identity Program and brand management approvals across the company.

Michelle’s attention to detail and out of the box creative thinking make her a welcome addition to the GSCCVB team


Zena Rayford, Finance and HR
Phone Extension # 3951

Executive Assistant Zena Rayford joined the team with an extensive administrative background and her Bachelors of Science in Telecommunications Management.  Her role includes maintaining key websites with area events, welcoming new businesses to be included in the visitors guide listing and being a resource for inquiries regarding nearby activities.