EDC hires new marketing specialist to help lure retail

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 11, 2013

By Emily Ford

SALISBURY — A Salisbury native and Catawba College graduate has been hired as the new marketing specialist for RowanWorks Economic Development Commission.
Jessica Gaskill, 24, will start work July 22. She replaces Laura Jollay, who left in June after six months on the job to pursue other professional opportunities.
Jollay joined RowanWorks in December 2012 as the organization’s first marketing specialist after Salisbury Mayor Paul Woodson asked for a bigger effort to recruit retailers to the city.
The position was created to market both Salisbury and Rowan County to business and industry with the goal of attracting jobs and investment to the area.
“Laura did a good job and gave us a good foundation,” EDC Executive Director Robert Van Geons said. “We are really excited to have Jessica joining us and building on what we started.
“It’s great that we have someone so passionate about Rowan County.”
Gaskill has been working as a market research associate for Shat-R-Shield Inc. Prior to joining Shat-R-Shield in 2011, she interned for Lutheran Services of the Carolinas.
A lifelong resident of Salisbury, Gaskill graduated cum laude from Catawba with a bachelor degrees in business administration and communication arts, with a concentration in marketing.
While at Catawba, she was co-director of Volunteer Catawba and a member of Phi Beta Lambda, Student Government Association, Business Honors Society, Communications Honors Society and Catawba cheerleading squad. She received the first-ever Dr. Karl Hales Award for Excellence in Communications.
“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to blend my experience in marketing and communications with my passion for Rowan County,” Gaskill said. “I truly believe in the potential of our community and look forward to contributing to its growth and success.”
Gaskill will earn $39,900 a year, more than Jollay’s salary of $32,500.
Van Geons said Gaskill’s salary is within the range set for the position.
The EDC’s personnel expenses for 2013-2014 are lower than last year’s because Van Geons didn’t hire Jollay until halfway through the fiscal year.
Last year, the EDC budgeted $350,650 for personnel but spent only $310,785. This year, the organization budgeted $339,490 for personnel.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.