skip to content
Primary navigation


Welcome to the Office of Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan Newsroom. Here you will find our latest press releases, statements, and other information. 

Governor Walz Appoints Lauren Bennett McGinty as Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism

11/1/2021 12:24:07 PM

[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced the appointment of Lauren Bennett McGinty as the Director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, effective November 15.

“Minnesota is among the top destinations for travelers from across the globe looking to explore our natural beauty and vibrant communities,” said Governor Walz. “I’m proud to appoint Lauren as the Explore Minnesota Tourism Director, where she will bring her expertise in marketing to engage our residents and attract new visitors and talent to our state.”

“Minnesota is home to beauty, innovation, and opportunities to appreciate our vibrant cities and magnificent natural resources,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “We are excited for Lauren to lead Explore Minnesota Tourism and help ensure people from all backgrounds and walks of life feel excited and welcomed to explore our inspiring state.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Lauren into state government leadership. She’s going to be an excellent leader for Explore Minnesota,” said Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove. “We look forward to partnering with her and the great team at Explore Minnesota to accelerate economic recovery for Minnesota’s extraordinary tourism industry.”

"I am honored to take on this important role as our tourism industry continues to work its way out of the pandemic. As we face challenges on our path to a new normal, we need to find creative ways to engage intra and interstate travelers,” said Lauren Bennett McGinty. “I am committed to listening to the needs of tourism partners across Minnesota to deliver the best hospitality in the country and help travelers discover the unique experiences that exist in our great state."

About Lauren Bennett McGinty
Lauren Bennett McGinty is a nonprofit executive with more than 10 years of experience working in communications, operations, finance, hospitality, education, and advocacy at Minnesota-based nonprofits. Most recently, she served as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild where she directed strategic plans, executed major events, and guided overall marketing for more than 160 breweries.

About Explore Minnesota
As the state's tourism promotion office, Explore Minnesota works to inspire consumers and facilitate travel to and within Minnesota while pursuing an entrepreneurial approach and leveraging the state's tourism investment with increased involvement by the private sector. Tourism is a key sector of the state's economy, historically generating $1.0 billion in state sales tax on $16.6 billion in leisure and hospitality sales and employing nearly 275,000 workers in Minnesota's leisure and hospitality businesses. Visit, and share your sights with @exploreminn on Twitter, or @exploreminnesota on Instagram and Facebook, using #OnlyinMN.

back to top