CHICAGO — Navy Pier announced today the appointment of Amanda Willard to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Communications, effective Monday, Nov. 29. In her new role, Willard will lead the Pier’s marketing, branding and communications initiatives to create unique opportunities to attract more locals and tourists to Navy Pier.
Willard brings over 19 years of experience transforming brands to better connect with customers through marketing strategy, consumer messaging, promotional outreach, branding, advertising, and customer and donor engagement. Willard’s skills and expertise will be essential in her role as she looks to build brand awareness and support the mission and values for Navy Pier, as a nonprofit cultural institution.
“Amanda comes with a wealth of expertise that will play a vital role in developing integral Pier-wide marketing initiatives to better spotlight our independent businesses, free public programming, events, and one-of-a-kind attractions,” said Marilynn Gardner, President and CEO of Navy Pier. “She brings impressive experience from around the globe, including intimate knowledge of Chicago’s cultural nonprofits. With her strategic marketing experience, results-driven leadership skills, and ability to inspire creativity, Amanda will be a key player in showcasing Navy Pier as one of Chicago’s top cultural destinations.”
“I am thrilled to join the hard-working team at one of the city’s most iconic cultural institutions,” said Willard. “It is a fantastic opportunity to highlight innovative events, creative programming, new partnerships and fun experiences for our local and global guests to enjoy. I am excited to draw upon my love of Chicago and my years of building global brands as we shape the future of Navy Pier, the People’s Pier.”
Prior to her appointment at Navy Pier, Willard most recently served as a Marketing and Brand Consultant for Willard Brand Consulting (2020-2021), Vice President of Marketing and Brand for TeeOff by PGA TOUR, EZLinks LLC (2018-2019) and Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Communications for Lincoln Park Zoo (2014-2018). She also currently serves as the Vice President of Programming for the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association Board. Prior to her time in Chicago, she spent six years based in the U.K. and South Africa as a Client Director with Landor Associates.
About Navy Pier
Navy Pier is the People’s Pier, Chicago’s lakefront treasure, welcoming all and offering dynamic and eclectic experiences through partnerships and programs that inspire discovery and wonder.
Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million guests have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. In 2022, Navy Pier continues to evolve into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.