Western National Parks Association Appoints New Chief Marketing Officer

Michael Matthews brings more than twenty-five years of marketing leadership experience to Western National Parks Association.

TUCSON, Ariz., March 28, 2023—On March 20, 2023, Western National Parks Association (WNPA) announced the appointment of Michael Matthews to the position of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). With decades of global marketing experience, Matthews’ proven areas of expertise align with WNPA’s long-term growth and strengthened support of the National Park Service (NPS).

Michael Matthews hiking Sierra Nevada Range (courtesy of Michael Matthews).

Matthews brings to the role a lifetime of experiences in national parks. “Since I was 8 years old,” he said, “spending time at national parks and public lands has been a big part of my life. Over the years I have visited, camped, backpacked, kayaked, and hiked in more than 40 national parks. This role is incredibly exciting as it combines my passion for our nation’s most treasured spaces with my career experience in marketing.”

As founder of marketing agency Matthews Marketing Consultancy (MMC), Matthews successfully collaborated with executive teams to foster growth and positive revenue. He served as a Board Director for Grand Canyon West, a tribal enterprise of the sovereign Indian Nation of the Hualapai Tribe and one of the largest tourism destinations in the Southwest. In this role, he gained deep respect for Hualapai Tribal members’ spiritual connection to the environment and to the nuanced nature of tourism on the Hualapai Reservation, which included the imperative that the Tribe’s stories and wellbeing remain central to all strategy.

Michael Matthews (courtesy of Michael Matthews).

Matthews has a long, successful track record of leading world-class agency-side and brand-side marketing teams for some of the most prestigious brands in the US, including Allstate, Amtrak, Southwest Airlines, University of Chicago Medicine, and Best Western Hotels & Resorts. While at Starcom MediaVest Group, Matthews helped lead the Chevrolet division during an unprecedented time in GM’s history. Among his industries of extensive focus, Matthews has experience in outdoor recreation, diversity and inclusion, travel and tourism, environmental and sustainability causes, destination marketing, and ecommerce.

In his position as CMO, Michael will oversee strategic marketing and communications, revenue diversification, and brand awareness in support of our partner parks and NPS. “We are delighted to have Michael join the WNPA team,” said WNPA President and CEO Marie Buck. “Michael’s passion for public lands, extensive marketing, public relations, and branding expertise will enhance WNPA’s long-term growth initiatives in support of our partner parks and mission.”

About WNPA

WNPA helps make the national park experience possible for everyone. As a nonprofit education partner of the NPS, WNPA supports parks across the West, developing interpretative retail products, services, and programs that enhance the visitor experience, understanding, and appreciation of national parks. Since 1938 WNPA has worked to connect new generations to parks in meaningful ways, all with one simple goal: create advocates who want to preserve and protect these special places for everyone, for all time. Learn more about the organization and career opportunities at www.wnpa.org.

By: Julie Thompson