Lynn Osmond has been appointed as the new President & CEO of Choose Chicago. Osmond, the first woman to helm the city’s tourism agency, was most recently the President & CEO at the Chicago Architecture Center.
“Lynn Osmond’s thorough experience leading the Chicago Architecture Center will be a great asset to Choose Chicago—and we’re proud she is the first woman to take on the job,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “As the city continues to see a rise in tourism, Osmond’s intimate knowledge of this city will ensure that we will continue to safely encourage and delight those who come to Chicago for work or play.”
Officials and colleagues were quick to point out the deep history Osmond has with Choose Chicago and the Chicago tourism and hospitality community. They say this means Osmond will hit the ground running.
“I’m proud to welcome Lynn Osmond’s historic appointment at the helm of Choose Chicago as we welcome visitors from near and far back to the nation’s third largest city,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “Reinvigorating our tourism industry is a key component of my economic recovery plan, from investing in commercial corridors to funding tourism convention bureaus from Chicago to Carbondale. Our best resource in this work is local leaders who know the ins and outs of our state’s greatest treasures, and when it comes to the Chicago tourism and hospitality community, there’s no one better than Lynn to take the Windy City’s global reputation to new heights.”
“We’re very grateful to have had an impressive pool of candidates who went after the position—and particularly pleased with how strongly Osmond stood out,” said Glenn Eden, Chair of the Board of Directors for Choose Chicago, and head of the CEO Search Committee. “The search committee was very excited about her experience in leading an impressive and local organization like the Chicago Architecture Center. We are ecstatic to welcome her to the Choose Chicago team. Not only does Lynn bring deep knowledge of Chicago’s tourism and hospitality community, as a former Choose Chicago board member, Lynn also knows our organization. We are thrilled that she will be able to hit the ground running to promote our city on the national and global level.”
Osmond was appointed after a global search overseen by a 13-member committee of Choose Chicago Board members representing a cross-section of the tourism hospitality community.
“I am excited to have been selected for this important position as President & CEO of Choose Chicago. This is a logical next step for me in a career with key leadership positions in nonprofits including theater, symphony orchestras, and architecture. I love Chicago and believe we have a tremendous opportunity to build back meeting business and provide audiences with experiences that will have them returning many times over,” said Osmond.
Under Osmond’s leadership the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) grew from a $2.4-million- operation in 1996, with an audience of 150,000 to a $25 million organization in 2019, with an audience of 700,000, making it one of the top cultural attractions in the city and the largest architecture center of its kind in the world. It was her vision that gave the city Open House Chicago and the Chicago Architecture Center, with the interactive city model at 111 E Wacker Drive. This past year the CAC River Cruise on Chicago’s First Lady Cruises was named the #1 Boat Tour in North American by USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.
“I want to commend the Choose Chicago team for their continued commitment and outstanding work during this time of transition,” said Eden. “Under the leadership of James Meyer, the team has been able to continue to drive the organization forward bringing visitors and tax dollars to Chicago.”
Osmond’s appointment is effective May 9, 2022.