“That first festival had so much energy and excitement,” Klett said. “It put Beloit on the map as a place for serious filmmakers”

Each year, The Beloit International Film festival selects a supporter of film, filmmakers, and the Beloit community to serve in the role of Honorary Chair of BIFF. This year, the selection is a celebration both ways, as the state’s number one promoter of cultural and natural virtues of Wisconsin returns to her home town to help celebrate 15 years of BIFF.

There is hardly a bigger fan of BIFF since its inception than Beloiter Stephanie Klett, former Wisconsin Secretary of Tourism and current president and CEO of Visit Lake Geneva. As Honorary Chair, she will be a part of all the major public events at this year’s BIFF and will host the initial “BIFFteenth” Anniversary Party on the eve of BIFF 2020, Thursday, Feb. 20th.

Klett first helped to market and promote the Beloit International Film Festival in 2006 when she was Host of Discover Wisconsin Television and Radio. She asked her co-host Rick Rose, whom she had become friends with as theater majors at Beloit College, to join in on the promotion.

Stephanie Klett | Beloit International Film Festival

“That first festival had so much energy and excitement,” Klett said. “It put Beloit on the map as a place for serious filmmakers to go and elevated our community in a way that is almost unquantifiable. I am thrilled to be the Honorary Chair for the 15th Anniversary. This is a huge accomplishment for the hundreds of BIFF volunteers, the Beloit area and of course the Board of Directors”.

Executive Director Greg Gerard has indicated that “we are excited that she is available to support our 2020 celebration. We are already planning the party, and there is nobody we would rather celebrate with!”.

Klett is a graduate of Beloit Memorial High School and Beloit College. She first brought national focus on Beloit as Miss Wisconsin in 1992, winning the talent portion of the Miss America Pageant for her solo trumpet work. She has also soloed with the Beloit Janesville Symphony. For the past eight years she served the state as Wisconsin’s chief promoter in the Scott Walker administration. Through her Spotlight on Wisconsin, she promoted and supported the work of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Beloit Regional Hospice and the Stateline Boys and Girls Clubs.

Stephanie Klett has had a career in the television industry for 27 years, winning an Emmy Award for outstanding on-camera host, as well as earning 10 Emmy nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chicago/Midwest Chapter. She’s been featured in commercials for Nicolet Bottled Water and Best Western Hotels, and has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN News and on the Miss America stage as our Miss Wisconsin.
(She won’t tell you the year.)

As Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for 8 years, Stephanie was the Chief Marketer for the state’s award-winning tourism campaigns. Klett was part of pop-culture history when the directors, producers and writers of Airplane! (David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahamson) were reunited with two of their original cast members (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Hayes) to star in a series of Wisconsin Tourism ads. This series of commercials earned international attention and was picked up by news outlets from China to the United Kingdom, generating over $60 million in earned media.

Stephanie has worked with Emmy-winner Tony Shaloub, Henry Winkler, Coach Bo Ryan and Green Bay Packers Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver in numerous commercials for the state. She also conceived and wrote the commercial starring Driver, filming with a crew of 30 on-location. She was excited to be in the John Mitchell film Cheeseheads – the Documentary, which played at BIFF to packed crowds and at film festivals throughout the Midwest.

Because of her marketing efforts in television, film, print, out-of-home and digital, Women in Travel and Tourism International named her one of four top women in the world for marketing. Klett is thrilled to be the 2020 Beloit International Film Festival’s Honorary Chair.

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival