Tourism group poised to hire new director

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette

Salisbury Post

A new tourism director is expected to be on the job here by March 1.

The Rowan County Tourism Development Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to offer the job to an undisclosed candidate.

Bill Burgin, chairman of the personnel committee, said the man is an executive director of a similar agency in the region and needs time to notify his board.

Burgin said he is confident that the man will accept the job. The offer specifies an annual base salary of $55,000.

Burgin said the person selected has spent his career in tourism including studies in college.

Judy Newman, who has been the executive director since 1989, announced plans to retire almost a year ago.

Newman will continue to work 30 days after the new executive director arrives to provide continuity.

A special personnel committee began the search for a new director in November netting 15 applications from advertisements placed in trade publications and other listings.

The committee selected five of those for interviews that were conducted in December. At that point, the committee opted to seek additional candidates, coming up with a pool of four applicants.

Burgin said three finalists were interviewed earlier this month.

In addition to Burgin, the personnel committee included Buddy Gettys, chairman of the Tourism Authority board; Millie Cress and Dan Peters, also members of the board; Jack Owens, a former chairman, and Foster Owen, a former Salisbury city human resources official.

During the special meeting, Gettys welcomed new members including Dave Redden and Krista Osterweil, both from the hotel industry.