BISMARCK - The U.S. Travel Association has named North Dakota's Sara Otte Coleman as its state tourism director of the year, the organization announced Monday, Aug. 13.

The association cited a 35 percent jump in tourism-related employment in North Dakota under her direction. It also noted the promotional campaign featuring Hollywood actor and North Dakota native Josh Duhamel.

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"Sara's unwavering commitment to telling the story of North Dakota-to the country and the world-has benefited the people of her state immeasurably," association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement.