Governor Laura Kelly Announces First Round of Grants to Support Tourism and Economic Development


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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced the first-round of 2022 funding recipients for the Tourism Marketing Grant Program (TMGP). The TMGP, administered by Kansas Tourism, assists Destination Marketing Organizations, tourism communities and travel industry businesses or events. The program helps with first-time marketing efforts or enhancement of current marketing with new or innovative strategies.

“Our tourism industry injects millions into our economy and adds another incentive for families to put down roots in our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These grants will enhance local community efforts to develop quality tourism assets that will grow the economy and improve the quality of life for all Kansans.”

Kansas Tourism will provide a total of $21,685 in TMGP funding for three tourism marketing projects. Funds will be used to encourage travelers to select Kansas as a destination.

“Tourism is all about bringing visitors and new dollars to Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We’re pleased to support local marketing efforts that showcase the great places to visit across our scenic and vibrant state. When someone travels to a community, they eat at local restaurants, stay at local hotels, shop at local stores—and all of this supports community growth and economic prosperity.”

The grant recipients are:

  • Lawrence Busker Festival – to create a collection of professional video assets for future promotions and social content
  • Office of Economic Development, Wabaunsee County – to develop digital assets for use in a new tourism website and future marketing campaigns
  • Grow Clay County – to use towards website design and a billboard campaign showcasing Clay County attractions

“Tourism marketing and promotion is vital to our industry and in encouraging travel to and throughout Kansas” said Kansas Tourism Director, Bridgette Jobe. “This grant allows destinations and events to explore new marketing avenues and extend their current reach. It leverages our efforts from a state perspective and collectively brings more visitors to Kansas.”

TMGP applications are accepted throughout the year with awards given in March and October. For more information, click here or contact Kansas Tourism grant program manager Taylor Hartshorn at

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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