UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Distinguished Alumni

2022 - Paul Dykstra

Paul Dykstra is an independent board member and recent past Chairman, President and CEO of Viad, a $1.1 B NYSE (VVI) company with domestic and international operations in Marketing and Event Services, Travel and Recreation Services, and formerly Payment Services. Dykstra oversaw the consolidation of businesses and growth through acquisition and global expansion.

Prior to leading Viad, he was President and CEO of Global Experience Specialists, a $600M global exhibition and event company. Over his six years in this position, he transformed the company by streamlining operations, focusing resources on developing new technology for the exhibition and events industry, and instilling a values-based winning culture. Before his time at GES, he served as the Sr. Executive V.P. for MoneyGram International, Inc., a $550M payment systems company.

Paul has a long history of service on community and industry boards. Currently, he is a member of the UWRF Foundation Board since 2017 and has chaired the investment committee for four years. He also served previously from 1998 to 2003. Paul also serves as Vice President of Finance for Whispering Hope Ranch Foundation, which provides hope and healing to children with special needs through the wonders of camp and the human-animal connection. In addition, he served for nine years on the board of The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix. He served as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, Chaired the Finance Committee and served on the Executive Committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Distinguished Alumni Award - Paul Dykstra