Rob DeCleene is stepping down as executive director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka to become vice chancellor for university relations and advancement at Indiana University South Bend.
DeCleene’s last day with the visitor’s bureau is May 13. He has led VSBM for 12 years.
“Twelve years ago, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to return to South Bend and assume my role at VSBM,” said DeCleene. “It’s been the privilege of my life to serve in this role and accomplish some great things with my extremely talented team. As a proud native of South Bend and IU alum, I’m thrilled to stay in my hometown and serve my community and alma mater.”
Jeff Rea, president and CEO of the South Bend Regional Chamber, is leading the search for the VSBM’s next executive director.
“Rob has been an integral part of our team for the last 12 years, building VSBM into one of the top destination marketing organizations in the country,” Rea said. “We’re thrilled he will be staying in our community and look forward to working with him in his new role.”
DeCleene is credited for growing tourism and the VSBM staff, budget and scope of the organization during his tenure as executive director. DeCleene in 2021 was involved in raising the St. Joseph County Innkeepers Tax rate from 6% to 8%.
DeCleene was honored as Indiana Tourism Association Member of the Year in 2019 and currently serves as ITA board president.
Visit South Bend Mishawaka promotes tourism and develops the visitor experience in St. Joseph County.