11 to Watch: Laura Jollay

  • Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 1:37 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 2:14 a.m.

SALISBURY — New stores, restaurants and businesses make headlines.

So does the mayor’s charge that economic development leaders recruit more retailers.


Together, that makes the new marketing position at Rowan County Economic Development Commission one high-profile job.

Laura Jollay, 26, took the newly created position and started work Dec. 10 to market Salisbury and Rowan to potential employers. The Catawba College graduate who grew up in Lexington has a master’s degree in communications and leadership and loves to work out, run, read and support causes that support veterans.

Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson made a big push for a retail recruiter when he took office last year, challenging the EDC, Downtown Salisbury Inc. and the Rowan Chamber of Commerce to attract more shops and restaurants to Salisbury.

— Emily Ford

Laura Jollay

Dream date? Musician John Mayer

If you won the lottery? Pay off student loans. “Take care of my family and do things for them.” Travel to Ireland, Italy and somewhere tropical.

Favorite TV show? “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”

Who should play you in a movie? Alicia Silverstone

Your ideal last meal? Chicken Parmesan from Olive Garden, mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, king-sized Snickers and Cherry Coke. “All the stuff I don’t normally eat.”

Who will you watch in 2013? Ryan Dayvault, a Catawba classmate and Kannapolis City Council member. “He is an inspiration for people my age. I’m excited to work with him in this position.”

N.C. Gov-elect Pat McCrory because of “my Catawba connection to him, and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.”

Your biggest challenge in 2013? “This job is essentially what I make of it. There is no set protocol. So I have the challenge of making it worthwhile and showing the community that this position is vital.”

Your biggest hope for 2013? “To make a lasting impact so I can look back in 2014 and say, ‘Wow. I made this happen for the community.’ ”

Reaction to being chosen? “Oh no! This is such a wonderful surprise! ... This is definitely an honor. I hope I can live up to it.”

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