Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau
Research and Education Foundation, 501(c)(3)
The mission of the Foundation is to champion destination development in the Central Valley of the State of California through education, research and participation with initiatives that enhance the value of the tourism assets within our community.
We are destination architects.
Core Values Statement
Partner, align, and collaborate with other educational and research organizations, both public and private.
Specific Objects and Purposes
Specific objects and purposes of the Foundation are to advance the establishment and support of education training and research activities for and about travel and hospitality activities.
1. Funding: Financial Sustainability
2. Research: Conduct and publish research
3. Education: Sponsor and produce educational opportunities
4. Scholarships: Provide scholarships and study grants
5. Nurture: Nurture sustainable efforts
6. Opportunities: Establish economic development opportunities for our destination
Destination Builders Program
Destination Builders Program provides interns with a positive environment to experience hands-on mentorship in destination marketing. The Stan Oken Fresno County Scholarship and the Jim McKelvey Award will honor upcoming tourism professionals in Fresno County.
Stan Oken was born in the inner city of Chicago and spent his early childhood years in East Los Angeles. Stan played basketball and baseball while earning a Bachelor of Science Degree at California State University, Los Angeles. At the end of World War II, he enlisted to serve in the 1st Cavalry Division of the U.S. Army. In 1967, Stan and two fellow coaches started Western Camps Inc. in Three Rivers, California. His interest in directing children’s camps grew by teaching children self-confidence, self-worth and values. In 1973, he purchased Wonder Valley Dude Ranch to accommodate the children’s camp. He still serves as Chairman of the Board. Stan and his wife Dorothy have 3 children and 11 grandchildren, 6 that work in the family business. Mr. Oken formed and served as the first President of the Fresno City and County Visitors Bureau. He served on the Board of Directors for the Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1984 to 2003. Stan served on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors from 1991 to 2000 and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors in 1993 and 1997.
For more information about Mr. Oken, click here>>
To donate to the Stan Oken Fresno County Scholarship, click here>>
Jim McKelvey was born in Greeley, Colorado and moved to Fresno after World War II. Between 1966 -1970, he served in the United States Air Force with assignments including two years as chief U.S.A.F. trial attorney at Clark Air Base, Philippines. From 1978-1987, he served as the Fresno City Attorney. During his tenure in the City’s Attorney office, Stan Oken was elected to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. Mr. McKelvey has worked with Stan Oken on official City/County business matters. He currently provides pro-bono legal counsel for churches and non-profit organizations. He lives with his wife Diane and has 5 daughters and 15 grandchildren. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University Fresno (1961) and L.L.D from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California Berkeley (1965). Mr. McKelvey has graciously provided general counsel to the Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2005.
For more information about Mr. McKelvey, click here>>
To donate to the Jim McKelvey Award for Destination Professionals, click the donate link below.