Application opens for CVB director

Published 12:02 am Saturday, June 7, 2014

NATCHEZ — With a little more than three weeks left to apply, the City of Natchez has received several applications for a new tourism director.

Mayor Butch Brown said he did not know the exact number of applications, but that most of them came in before the job was posted a few days ago.

The director will replace Connie Taunton, who retired April 1.

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Interim Director Creda Stewart is overseeing CVB operations until the city hires a new director.

Natchez Convention Center Director and Grand Hotel Manager Walter Tipton, who is chairman of the 13-member committee tasked with finding a director, said an advertisement for the position was posted on the websites of Southeast Tourism Society, Mississippi Tourism Association and Destination Marketing Association International.

The job posting reads, “As the City of Natchez anticipates its 300th anniversary celebration in 2016, the city is seeking a tourism leader to help reinvigorate an 80-year-old tradition of tourism in Natchez that began with Spring Pilgrimage tours of its world-renowned architectural treasures and now also features a large and modern city visitor center and convention center as well as more recent attractions.”

The job advertisement lists specific skill, education and other requirements for the job. The requirements include:

-Once hired, the director must live in Natchez or Adams County.

-Must be able to exercise good judgment, initiative, tact and diplomacy in a wide variety of public contact situations.

-Must be innovative and open to new ideas.

-Must have a bachelor’s degree from four-year college or university (preferably with a degree in business or marketing).

-Must have experience working with a board of directors.

-Must have experience managing and directing a staff of at least five people.

-Must have solid tourism experience; should have a minimum of five years of experience in CVB management or management directly related to cultural tourism (tourism promotion related advertising and public relations, travel industry trade groups and/or the hospitality sector).

-Must be current on technology and social media pertaining to tourism marketing.

-Should have experience managing a budget of more than $1 million annually.

The deadline to apply for the director’s position is June 30.

Brown said a salary for the director has not been set yet and will depend on the final candidate’s experience. The salary range, he said, is $50,000 to $90,000.

Taunton’s salary was $55,000 plus benefits.

The committee will short-list applicants, who will then be interviewed by city officials.

“I don’t know exactly how many will be short-listed, but we hope to have someone hired by Sept. 1,” Brown said.