Visit BR’s Areng to head Miss. coast’s tourism agency _lowres

Renee Areng

Renee Areng, executive vice president for sales and marketing at Visit Baton Rouge and its predecessor agency for the past 12 years, was hired Tuesday as executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“I feel very honored,” Areng said of her new post, which comes with an annual salary of $130,000.

“It’s been incredible in this city. The growth in Baton Rouge has just been crazy. I think our success has been due to the talented team at Visit Baton Rouge and Paul Arrigo’s leadership as president,” she said.

For 12 years prior to her work in Baton Rouge, Areng was convention marketing director for the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission.

She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she majored in political science.

For the past year in Baton Rouge, Areng has marketed the city as host for what proved to be the largest Bayou Country Superfest in that annual event’s five-year history. At the same time, she worked to plan events associated with the Miss USA Pageant, held June 8 at the River Center.

Areng also arranged television spots in which Mo Isom, former LSU soccer goalie and homecoming queen, promotes Baton Rouge as a tourist destination.

“I think that’s why I had this opportunity,” Areng said of the impact her experiences in Baton Rouge had on her successful campaign for the Mississippi post.

“I look forward to new experiences on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Areng said of her new job, which begins Aug. 1.

From casinos to offshore fishing and everything between, Areng said, “I think this new destination has amazing potential.”