Rowan EDC hires new marketing and communications manager

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 8, 2023

SALISBURY — The Rowan Economic Development Council has hired Mollie Ruf as the organization’s new marketing and communications manager.

Mollie Ruf

She is joining the Rowan EDC team after working for the past six plus years at Miller Davis, Inc., where she served as director of digital services. Ruf replaces Jay Garneau who recently relocated to Miami, Florida.

During her time with Miller Davis, Ruf worked with the EDC for years. She heard there was an opening and decided to apply for the job.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone in this office. They’re just a real great group of people,” Ruf said. “I was just looking to make a change and try something new and focus my energies on one client rather than numerous clients.”

Growing up in Kansas City, Missouri, Ruf moved to Rowan County in 2009 with her then boyfriend and now husband, J.R. Kessler, after graduating from Florida Southern College, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in communications with a focus on public relations. Her husband moved here to work in motorsports and Ruf decided to join him in the move.

The couple has settled in Rowan County, buying a house in western Rowan with 17 acres and a pond in 2020. They live with their three dogs, Peanut, Snoopy and their new puppy Linus.

“We’ve both really embraced Rowan County. We just love it here so much and it’s just a great place to live. People are so nice here and I really recommend it to anybody,” Ruf said.

Ruf said she misses home, but she cannot imagine moving back. That being said, she is still a Kansas City Chiefs football fan and a “die-hard” Kansas City Royals baseball fan.

She comes to the EDC with a long history of working with various Rowan County economic development partners, and during her time at Miller Davis. she oversaw countless projects involving Rowan County’s rebranding efforts. She was integral in the creation and ongoing management of the Your Rowan campaign since its launch in 2018.

Her duties with the EDC include overseeing anything to do with marketing and advertising, creating newsletters, print ads and digital ads. Ruf will also be in charge of growing the EDC’s social media presence and preparing written and visual content. She will continue to elevate Rowan EDC’s brand and visibility by developing and implementing marketing programs that support the organization’s efforts to attract business and talent to Rowan County and provide expansion services to existing businesses.

“I’ve made so many connections in the community through my various jobs and especially through my time at Miller Davis and I’m excited to use those connections, friendships and relationships I’ve built over the past decade in this new way to better our community and help Rowan County continue to prosper and thrive,” Ruf said. “We’re on the cusp of a lot of really amazing things and I’m excited to be a part of that more directly now.”

Ruf’s official first day with the EDC was Dec. 30.

She previously served as the promotions director for Downtown Salisbury, Inc. for three years and prior to that she was the creative team assistant at Midan Marketing of Mooresville and worked in the Education Department at Blumenthal Performing Arts in Charlotte.

In addition to her work at Miller Davis, since 2019 she has served as the chair of the Rowan County Young Professionals, a program of the Rowan Chamber of Commerce, and is one of the newest board members of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. She also served on the Rowan Arts Council board for five years and is a past-president of the Salisbury-Rowan Choral Society, the longest running choral ensemble in North Carolina.

“We’re excited to welcome Mollie to the Rowan EDC team,” said Rod Crider, Rowan EDC president. “We have already been working with her for years through her work at Miller Davis, a Forward Rowan investor, and we’re glad to bring her on board. Her experience with the Rowan brand, talent attraction campaign, and connections in the community make her an asset for our organization as we continue to propel Rowan County forward in the new year. Her involvement leading the Rowan County Young Professionals is also a welcomed addition as we are focused on attracting talent to Rowan County for our existing and future employers.”

When she’s not working, Ruf likes to hang out with her “great of group of girlfriends.” They call their group the “RoCo Boss Babes” as a joke. She is a big advocate of shopping local and eating at local restaurants. She also likes to go to her husband’s races where he works as a parts manager for Riley Motorsports. He also works in the pit crew for Riley, which races in the International Motor Sports Association, a sports car racing company, and Ruf likes to go to the races to support him.