Meet Our Team

Whether you're a visitor or a meeting planner, you'll will fall in love with Overland Park and all that our city has to offer. Shopping, excursions and best-in-class dining make Overland Park one of the most beloved cities in the Midwest. If you're executing an event or if you need a recommendation, the Visit OP team is here to lend a helping hand. But first, here's a quick introduction to the team:

Warren Wilkinson Headshot

Warren Wilkinson President & CEO

A passionate travel and tourism advocate he serves as President of Visit Overland Park. Prior to his joining the organization he served in senior roles with several advertising agencies including Kansas City based Barkley, leading the travel and tourism practice as well as serving as Managing Director for the global travel and tourism practice at MBuy. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer for Choose Chicago where he helped lead the consolidation of tourism efforts for the city of Chicago into one entity from three and permanently increased the annual budget by $18 million dollars via additional state and city resources. At Choose Chicago, he led the marketing effort to increase tourism for Chicago resulting in 2012 visitation to Chicago totaling 46.37 million visitors, a 6.2% increase from 2011. The growth was fueled by a significant increase of 10.2 percent in overnight leisure visitation (which exceeded the national growth rate by three percentage points). International visitation to Chicago rose 14.2% in 2012 more than twice the national average. Additionally, he led the redesign and digital consolidation of Chicago’s visitor focused web presence to the website. This new multilingual site saw a 250% growth in visitation to over five million annual visitors. Prior to joining Choose Chicago, Wilkinson served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Visit Indy, responsible for directing the marketing and communications efforts for the official destination marketing organization for greater Indianapolis. Mr. Wilkinson has more than 20 years of experience in the airline industry, having served in key senior marketing and communications positions for national and regional airline companies. From 2001 through 2008 he served as Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Government Affairs for Republic Airways, second largest regional airline in the world. Warren lives in Leawood, Kansas with his wife and kids but on the weekends can be seen at Overland Park’s Scheel’s soccer complex watching his son play soccer or Lacrosse or at Oak Park Mall with his wife enjoying watching their daughter perform at Culture House.

Eric Olson

Eric Olson Vice President of Sports Tourism & Events

Eric has 20 + years of experience in sports marketing, including leadership positions with Eat Sleep Breathe Lacrosse, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Golf Course Superintendent Assoc. of America (GCSAA). Eric brings with him a deep knowledge of the nonprofit and sports tourism industries through the lens of Rights Holders, National Governing bodies, Sports Commissions, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and Local Organizing Committees. Eric has served on various boards nationally and locally including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Executive Committee, USOPC (United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee) Multi-sport Organization Committee and was instrumental in the formation of the Lacrosse Association of Kansas City. He has been a featured speaker and panel guest at various conferences and institutions regarding sports and event management. He is a graduate of Missouri State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and resides in Leawood, KS.

Katie Walkley Headshot

Katie Walkley Director of Administration

As Director of Administration, Katie provides a wide range of support for the organization – including financial management, strategic initiatives and overall operations. Katie joined the Visit OP team in 2018 and greatly enjoys working in the tourism industry. Prior to joining Visit OP, Katie served as the Government Affairs Manager for the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City – conducting advocacy efforts on the local, state and national levels. She grew up in the metro area and immediately returned after college, mostly due to a love of BBQ, live jazz and football. If she’s not working her magic at Visit OP, you’ll find her dancing with the swing community, baking for friends and family (and colleagues!) or embarking on a new house project.

Chad McFarland

Chad McFarland Director of Sports and Hotel Services

Chad comes to Visit Overland Park as the Director of Sports and Hotel Services. Originally from Winfield, Kansas his college career took him to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas where he earned his bachelor’s in education. He ultimately moved to Overland Park in 2005. Before Visit OP, he served 14 years in public education and achieved his master’s degree in leadership, finishing his career as a building Administrator for the largest Alternative Education Program in Olathe. He then pivoted his interest to sales & marketing. He began working in real estate, building a new brand through marketing strategies and social media campaigns in the Kansas City area. Some of his additional works include marketing contributions for the AdventHealth Championship golf tournament. Chad has also served for 3 years as a business development and strategy consultant for Nucleus Training Solutions, a workplace training curriculum developer in Overland Park. He continues to provide intermittent consultation services to Nucleus Training Solutions today. Currently, Chad is the 2023 Vice President and long-time Board of Directors member at The 3&2 Baseball Club of Johnson County and was recently voted onto the Board of Directors for the Kansas Sports Officials Association by his colleagues. Chad also has an extensive and successful sports officiating career, serving both sides of the state line in high school and collegiate football, baseball, and basketball. Chad now lives in Olathe, Kansas with his wife and four boys. Their evenings and weekends are usually spent on the baseball diamonds, mountain biking, motocross or at RoKC in Olathe.

Sarah Rowan

Sarah Rowan Director of Marketing

Sarah is a passionate, innovative, collaborative, creative and strategic marketer with 20+ years of professional experience. Sarah brings a unique perspective as the Marketing Director to Visit Overland Park for most of her career she has been in creative leadership roles for both agencies and in-house marketing organizations across a variety of industries. Sarah loves the power of design and understands that it is more than creating a logo or moving pixels, it’s about moving people, both emotionally and behaviorally. Sarah is an authentic marketing strategist and designer with a history of crafting award winning campaigns, cultivating high performing teams and fostering engagement with stakeholders. She employs empathy to her process to create genuine, trusting, and sustainable campaigns and marketing solutions. Sarah has been a resident of Overland Park for 12 years. She is a foodie at heart, enjoys playing golf with her husband and taking their dog Jameson on walks down the Indian Creek Bike and Hike Trail.

Samantha Travis

Samantha Travis Social Media and Content Manager

Meet Samantha, the face behind Visit OP’s social media channels. Born and raised in Lawrence, KS, Samantha's earliest memories of Overland Park date back to her childhood adventures at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. Samantha attended college at the University of Kansas, where she studied journalism with an emphasis on news and information. During her time at KU, Samantha served as a copy editor for the University Daily Kansan and worked as a Social Media Manager at McLain’s Market Lawrence. This position provided her with the platform to create engaging and authentic content that targeted a niche audience. Upon graduating, Samantha's talents led her to Kansas City, MO, where she served as the Social Media Marketing Manager for SageAge, a senior living marketing agency. There, she gained a comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior and developed a deep appreciation for data-driven marketing strategies. Outside of work, Samantha spends her time painting pottery at Ceramic Cafe, sewing at home, and browsing the Downtown Overland Park Farmers Market. Whether it’s exploring the city or making something handmade, Samantha is always finding ways to infuse creativity into her day-to-day.