Escondido, CA

Sorry to lose you to Napa, Katherine


Joyce Masterson, former director of community development and public relations for the city, who gave Katherine Zimmer her first job with the city, shares a laugh with her and congratulates her upon her retirement.

Katherine Zimmer, who for seven years has been the face and the heart of Visit Escondido, is leaving the city and moving to Napa. 

During her time on the job Zimmer has done a great job help to beat the drum for the “hidden” virtues of Escondido—virtues that are sometimes not all that well known to the people who live in Escondido.  She has presided over a fantastic website that keeps track of the city’s activities, and which I freely admit to stealing from whenever I get the chance—although I always give her credit. Better make that “usually.”

Alex MacLachlan, president of the Downtown Business Association, who knows and benefits from her work, had this to say about her when we reached out to him: “Katherine Zimmer has been a great friend, advocate, and resource for downtown Escondido businesses. Her breadth of experience, youthful spirit, and excitement for our businesses and industries often led her to lay out a comprehensive marketing plan for others and incorporate it into something she was working on before we even knew that this help from the city was available to us. Her love for Escondido and the people who make it a special place was always evident whether she was promoting the Highland Valley area as an up and coming wine appellation, a new brewery or boutique retailer, or one of our many community events showcasing Escondido’s fine attributes. Our loss is Napa’s gain, but we are so happy for Katherine as she starts this new chapter in her life.”

Here was another unsolicited comment about Zimmer from Katie Stokes at Edible: “Katherine Zimmer hit the ground running when she arrived to Escondido in 2012 as Interim CEO of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, and only now does San Diego realize we only borrowed her. Her tenure running the City of Escondido’s Tourism program harnessed all her creative and networking skills, so her many colleagues, partners and friends are sorry to see her go. The Escondido restaurant scene, emerging wineries, arts organizations and too many others to name benefitted from her ability to envision and enact new partnerships that added value for all sides such as ‘Dine Out Escondido’ and the Escondido Wine Region Alliance. The Napa area will greatly benefit from Katherine’s skills, energy, and track record. San Diego wishes her the very best!”

We add the voice of the Escondido Times-Advocate to the chorus of huzzah’s intermingled with “Oh nos!” The city will miss you, and we hope that whoever replaces you at Visit Escondido does even half as good a job. If so, then the residents of the city will still be greatly served.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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