About WenDee

About WenDee LaPlant

WenDee's main task with the Foundation is to oversee the Kansas Sampler Festival and improve results by supporting the host community and creating a consistent template. The Kansas Sampler Festival is the signature event of the Foundation. She also is helping upgrade Foundation programs in all technical areas, is converting thousands of slides to digital, and is taking current digital photographs around the state to update the photo bank. 

WenDee helps organize the We Kan! Conference, the Retreat for Rural Leaders, and activities of the Kansas Explorers Club and assists with the many diverse projects that help preserve, sustain, and grow rural culture.

WenDee's Resume

WenDee Rowe

978 Arapaho Road, Inman, KS 67546

Assistant Director
Kansas Sampler Foundation
Professional Awards:
  • 2019 - Paul & Pat Phillips Award Distinguished Service to Geography from Kansas Geographic Alliance. 
  • 2018 - Huck Boyd Leader of the Year Award for outstanding performance in tourism. 
  • 2014 - Kansas' Finest Award from Kansas! Magazine.Researching every city in Kansas and writing a Kansas guidebook
Work History 
Assistant Director, Kansas Sampler Foundation
Co-author, Kansas Guidebook 2 for Explorers 

2005- 2006
Director, Finney County Convention & Tourism Bureau 

  • Develop the annual Program of Work and annual budget for operation for the Finney County Convention and Tourism Bureau. 
  • Provide and/or coordinate convention services such as registration, delegate housing, programming and publicity. 
  • Organize and host the annual Garden City Hot Air Balloon Classic. 
  • Motivate local organization members to invite their convention to Garden City and counsel convention planners through each phase. 
  • Keep abreast of new trends and developments in the field of convention and tourism promotion. Write articles pertaining to Convention & Tourism Bureau activities for the Chamber newsletter and other publications when possible. 
  • Develop trade ads, creating and updating promotional materials and website. 
  • Work with Special Events Director in creating travel packages for group tours, FAM Tours, motorcoach associations, conventions and local lodging properties. 
  • Organize and host existing and new events with the assistance of the Special Events Director. 
  • Serve as festival director for the Kansas Sampler Festival, 2006-2007, coordinating all aspects of the festival including marketing and committee designations. 
  • Conduct and keep minutes of the CTB Advisory Committee meetings. 
  • Update and create policies related to CTB funding, marketing, and conventions. 

2000 - 2005
Special Events Director / Travel Information Center Coordinator

  • Finney County Convention & Tourism Bureau 
  • Develop and implement plans to promote Finney County to city, county, state, and regional groups. 
  • Develop bid packages for organizations to plan their future conventions in Garden City. 
  • Develop and provide educational programs on tourism for local and area organizations. 
  • Work with the Main Street Downtown Vision promotional committee to develop events for downtown Garden City. 
  • Organize and oversee volunteers to assemble gift bags to distribute to conventions and meetings. 
  • Provide convention services such as registration, delegate housing, programming, publicity, and hospitality. 
  • Update Current Events Calendar for Finney County events throughout the year. 
  • Develop and produce new brochures and other promotional material and graphic design work for the CTB and Chamber as requested. 
  • Write news releases and articles for newsletter. 
  • Responsible for overseeing the Travel Information Center, recruiting, training and scheduling volunteer tourist counselors, maintain inventory of over 300 pieces of promotional literature. Maintain database with TIC statistics. Assist tourists with travel information and promote Garden City and the state of Kansas. 
1988 - 2000
Exhibits Curator, Finney County Historical Museum

  •  Exhibit Design: Responsible for the development, design, research, writing, fabrication, installation and maintenance of exhibits. 
  • Computer Graphics: Experienced in computer graphic programs including Corel Draw 7 – 9, Aldus Pagemaker, Publisher, Power Point, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access. 
  • Publications designed include brochures, invitations, posters, flyers, letterhead, meeting programs and annual reports. 
  • Conducted oral interviews for German/Russian exhibit, revolving biographical exhibit showcase, "My Place in Time”, an exhibit featuring the Asian New Year customs, veterans for military exhibits and other exhibits as needed. 
  • Other duties: Organize receptions, special events including the Finney County Folk Art Festival, assist in the research library and with educational programming, write newsletter articles and news releases and assist executive director with light administrative duties.


1993 - 1997 Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS  

1988 - 1993 Garden City Community College, Garden City, KS  

1974 - 1975 San Dieguito High School, Encinitas, California  

1970 - 1974 Greeley County High School, Tribune, KS