As director of marketing, Cara J. Allen develops and manages the PACVB’s marketing, public relations, events and membership activities. She currently leads the "Bring Your Meeting Home" campaign, which encourages individuals and organizations to bring their meetings to the Peoria area, among other initiatives to educate the public on the economic impact of tourism in the community. In less than a year on the job, she has led team efforts in rebranding the PACVB, including a new website and other marketing products, in addition to enhancing internal workflow and contributing to a more creative work environment.
Allen shares her marketing and public relations expertise on numerous committees for the Greater Peoria EDC, Downtown Development Corporation and Peoria Civic Center, as well as the IHSA Steering Committee. She is also a member of the Illinois Council of CVBs, Destination Marketing Association International, Peoria Ad Club and American Marketing Association.
Prior to her role at the PACVB, Allen climbed the ranks at the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino, where she was promoted four times in six years. A graduate of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce Leadership School, she is founder and president of the CT USA Parents Club, fundraising chair for the Dunlap High School PTA, and board member and income development chair for the FC Peoria Soccer Club.
Allen is the proud wife of veteran Tony D. Allen and mother of two children, Austin and Olivia, who she supports through various clubs and organizations, from the Dunlap High School Soccer Team to Foster Pet Outreach.
In 2002, her husband's military career stationed the family in Germany, where Allen served as a Family Readiness Group leader for the U.S. Army. While he was deployed in Iraq, her active volunteerism earned her the 409th Base Support Volunteer Award and the prestigious 3rd Corps Support Command Outstanding Family Member Deployment Support Award. iBi