Media Contact:

Mayla Lohnes, Public Relations Specialist








Whitney brings a wealth of knowledge to SLO CAL,

with a proven track record of collaboration and partnership building.


Whitney Chaney Headshot

Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy Whitney Chaney

Photo Courtesy of Visit SLO CAL (Download high-res image HERE)


San Luis Obispo County, California, April 11, 2024 – Visit SLO CAL, the countywide destination marketing and management organization for San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL) announces Whitney Chaney as Director of Community Engagement and Advocacy. With deep roots in SLO CAL, Chaney brings a wealth of dedicated community engagement experience to her role. Her expertise and commitment to community involvement make her an invaluable asset to SLO CAL’s mission. Chaney reports directly to Visit SLO CAL’s Interim President & CEO, Cathy Cartier.


Tourism stands as the second-largest economic driver in SLO CAL, playing a crucial role in sustaining local businesses and nurturing community development initiatives. Without tourism, each local household would need to pay nearly $2,000 in taxes to maintain a similar level of community support.


“Community engagement and advocacy remain critical components of Visit SLO CAL’s efforts in supporting the tourism community,” said Interim President & CEO of Visit SLO CAL Cathy Cartier. “Whitney is well connected in San Luis Obispo and brings a fresh perspective to the role. I look forward to collaborating with Whitney to further develop her expertise in advocacy and public policy.”


For the past six years, Chaney served as the Program Director for Downtown SLO, a 501©6 non-profit dedicated to fostering an economically vibrant downtown. In this role, Chaney oversaw the organization’s largest program, the Thursday night Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market, managing all aspects of its planning and execution. Under Chaney’s leadership, the market celebrated 40 years and continues to attract thousands of tourists weekly.


Prior to her tenure with Downtown SLO, Chaney worked for the Sundance Institute in Park City, Utah, notably recognized for its premiere event, the Sundance Film Festival, as the Volunteer Program Manager. In 2015, she returned to SLO CAL to work for her family retail business, Central Coast Surfboards, which is still operating in San Luis Obispo under new ownership and is about to celebrate 50 years of operation.


“With a deep understanding of our local community, and a track record of successful collaboration and partnership building, I am excited to spearhead Visit SLO CAL’s initiatives,” said Chaney. “Our focus will remain on fostering the growth and sustainability of SLO CAL while enhancing the quality of life in our region as it continues to evolve into a premier destination. I am eager to delve into advocacy and public policy, working closely with Cathy to expand my role.”


Chaney currently resides in San Luis Obispo.


For more information about Visit SLO CAL, visit or email Mayla Lohnes at





Visit SLO CAL is the countywide non-profit destination marketing and management organization (DMMO) for San Luis Obispo County (SLO CAL). Visit SLO CAL is responsible for promoting SLO CAL as an attractive travel destination and enhancing the public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, Visit SLO CAL strengthens the economic position and provides opportunity for all people in the community. Built on research with a strategy of continuous improvement, Visit SLO CAL aims to establish SLO CAL as a favorite West Coast destination known for its signature slower pace of life and unique mix of incredible, immersive guest experiences. For more information, go to



South of the Bay and north of LA, SLO CAL is conveniently located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It features more than 100 miles of breathtaking coastline and expansive vineyards covering over 40,000 acres. The area’s scenic open roads are beyond compare and its stretch of Highway 1 is an unforgettable journey through some of California's most captivating coastal landscapes. For more information, go to