Explore Crawford County is the official Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) of Crawford County, Kansas. We are more than a guide of where to eat, play, stay, or have your tournament or meeting in Pittsburg or surrounding towns. We inspire travelers to see our community as a destination for experiences they will want to return to. We promote our entire community to leisure travelers, business travelers, meeting professionals, and more. We connect planners with lodging and other event needs. And, we represent tourism and hospitality professionals in our area who serve the traveling public.

Explore Crawford County
P.O. Box 1115
117 W. 4th St.
Pittsburg, KS 66762

Office: +1 (620) 231-1212

Advisory Board

(* Eligible for re-election)

  • Board Chairperson: Rick Hardy, Ph.D. – Pittsburg State University (Expires: December 31, 2023*)
  • Vice Chair: Pam Henderson – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (Expires: December 31, 2024*)
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Courtney Powell – General Manager, Comfort Inn and Suites (Expires: December 31, 2023*)
  • At Large: LaWana Johnson – General Manager, Holiday Inn Express and Suites (Expires: December 31, 2023*)
  • At Large: Lynn Grant – Retired (Expires: December 31, 2023)
  • Ex-Officio: Dave Looby – Director, Explore Crawford County (Destination Marketing Organization/DMO)
  • Ex-Officio: Blake Benson – President, Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Ex-Officio: Jessica Ripper – Executive Director, Girard Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Shelby Cannon – Owner, Pearls & Curls (Expires: December 31, 2023*)
  • Sookie Fields – Owner, Frisco Event Center and Family Fun Depot (Expires: December 31, 2023*)
  • Jeff McKain – General Manager, Kansas Crossing Casino (Expires: December 31, 2023)
  • Damian Smithhisler – Associate Athletic Director, Facilities Robert W. Plaster Center Coordinator, Pittsburg State University Athletics (Expires: December 31, 2024*)
  • Brenna Whetzell – Sales Manager, Hampton Inn & Suites (Expires: December 31, 2024*)
  • Sara Vacca – Director, Pittsburg Family YMCA (Expires: December 31, 2023)

County Commissioners

  • Bruce Blair
  • Tom Moody
  • Carl Woods

Explore Crawford County Employees

Dave Looby
Dave Looby

Executive Director
(620) 231-1212

Began as a team member in November 2021

Awards: A finalist for Explore Minnesota’s 2020 Individual In Tourism Award

Background in tourism: Executive Director for Minneapolis Northwest Tourism from 2007 to 2020. In 2017, he was designated a Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) from the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s.

Bemidji State University graduate – Bachelor of Science in Communications with emphasis in Public Relations

Chris Wilson
Chris Wilson

Marketing & Communications Manager
(620) 231-1212

Currently serves as Treasurer of Southeast Kansas Tourism Region

Began as a team member in December 2017

Background, more than 25 years in media: DJ for KKOW AM & FM, web/social producer for KOAM TV/Fox 14 TV, reporter for Columbus Daily Advocate (evening newspaper at the time), and publicity and community outreach for USD 247 Southeast-Cherokee

Pittsburg State University graduate – Bachelor of General Studies (2005) and Master of Arts in Communication (2006)

Pittsburg, Kansas area native

More about Explore Crawford County

Mission Statement

The mission of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, also known as Explore Crawford County, is to promote travel and tourism in Crawford County, Kansas through sporting events, conventions, conferences and general travel. Utilize attractions, facilities and accommodations to promote travel and economic growth in Crawford County.

Advisory Board Duties & Responsibilities

The Advisory Board provides input to the Crawford County CVB as it seeks to fulfill its mission.

  • Full Board Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday every other month at 8:00 a.m. CST. (February, April, June, August, October & December) – Plus, the Annual Meeting is 2nd Wednesday of January at 12 p.m.
  • Executive Committee Meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday every other month at 8 a.m. CST (March, May, July, September & November).
  • Budget review

Application to be considered for the Advisory Board

All applicants must be residents of Crawford County, Kansas. Download the file below, limit all answers to available space, then email the document to dlooby@visitcrawfordcounty.com.