Todd Garofano, a Capital Region resident with 25 years of experience in hospitality and tourism, will begin as executive director of Discover Schenectady this month, according to an announcement Wednesday from the board of directors.
Garofano comes to the county’s tourism promotion agency after serving eight years as the president of Discover Saratoga. He also worked in sales and marketing positions at Amtrak and Carlson Hotels Worldwide.
Garofano said he’s most looking forward to “building upon” Schenectady’s pre-pandemic momentum.
“As we go through this pandemic, and beyond, it is and will be very important to highlight the health and safety protocols that have been implemented, as developed through the #SchenectadyStrong initiative,” Garofano said. “[This] ensures visitors and locals alike that it is safe to come to Schenectady to visit any of our amazing attractions, spend the night in our hotels and inns, have a great dining experience in any of our amazing restaurants, shop in our local stores and boutiques and just have a great experience safely visiting Schenectady County.”
Jeff McDonald, board president and vice chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature, said Discover Schenectady is “pleased to bring aboard an experienced tourism professional” during a critical time for the non-profit organization.
Garofano said he hopes to use the collaborative skills he learned from his time at Discover Saratoga as he transitions into the new role.
“One of the biggest lessons I learned in Saratoga is to collaborate consistently with local business owners and community organizations with like-minded goals; chamber of commerce, downtown and local business improvement districts, economic development organizations and with arts, historical and cultural groups, as well as government, to make sure everyone is supporting one another and working in the same direction for the greater good.”