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Three North Iowa women have become certified professional guides.

Colleen Frein, Mason City Chamber of Commerce membership director and community concierge, Libbey Hohn, Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce tourism director, and Karen Byrne, who leads walking tours at Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery and works with the MacNider Art Museum, Wright on the Park, KCMR and Epiphany Parish, recently earned the certification from Iowa State University.

The Professional Guide Training and Certification program is the first of its kind in Iowa, and is designed for staff and volunteers who deliver interpretive programs or lead guided community tours for the public.

Certification candidates must complete a training workshop, which combines theoretical foundations of the profession with practical skills in delivering quality experiences to visitors.

The final certification process is conducted at each individual’s place of work, directly applying professional guide practices most appropriate for each community or attraction, and improving visitor experiences across Iowa.

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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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