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Commission thanks Collier for dedication to county, byway
new deh county commission cris collier pic
Retiring Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Cris Collier, center, receives a certificate of appreciation from Barton County commissioners Homer Kruckenberg, Don Davis, Kenny Schremmer, Jennifer Schartz and Alicia Straub. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

There will be a goodbye reception for Retiring Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Cris Collier from 2-4 p.m. today at the Best Western Courtyard, 2920 10th Street, in Great Bend. Collier is leaving the CVB after 30 years at its helm.

 It was a beautiful friendship.

That was the message the Barton County Commission had for retiring Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Cris Collier Monday morning. It approved a certificate of appreciation for Collier for her efforts at promoting the county and the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway.

“I have found the relationship with Cris to be a very positive one,” County Administrator Richard Boeckman said. The byway has been a 15-year endeavor and its success is a credit to Collier’s dedication.

Collier has seen the project grow from its inception to the success it is today, Boeckman said. Due, in large part to her efforts, there have been economic, cultural and educational changes to not only Barton, but also Stafford and Reno counties. 

“Having her leave will be a real loss to the byway,” Boeckman said. He has worked with her on the project for four years and it has been a great partnership.

Collier garnered wider recognition as well, he said. “She has a strong reputation statewide.”

“There will be some very big shoes to fill,” Commissioner Jennifer Schartz said. Collier is retiring after 30 years with the CVB.

“This was actually born out of one of your strategic planning meetings,” Collier said of the byway. “This has always been a county initiative from day one.”