CVB director chosen but city doesn’t reveal name yet

Published 1:05 am Sunday, December 18, 2016


NATCHEZ — The City of Natchez has potentially chosen its next tourism director, but officials are remaining tight-lipped about the hire until the candidate officially accepts the job.

The Natchez Board of Aldermen interviewed Saturday Lyn Fortenbery and Misty Shaw for the position.

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Fortenbery is assistant general manager of Dunleith in Natchez and a past president of the Mississippi Tourism Association.

Shaw is the director of programs and services for the Louisiana Office of Tourism and formerly worked for the Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mayor Darryl Grennell and the aldermen interviewed Fortenbery and Shaw separately for approximately an hour each in executive session.

The board cited the personnel provision of the Open Meetings Act as allowing the interviews to happen out of the public eye.

The director position was left vacant after former director Kevin Kirby was terminated in April following ongoing personnel issues at the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau. The board of aldermen also asked for the resignations of the members of the Natchez Convention Promotion Commission.

Since then, the city has been re-evaluating the management of its tourism operations and has sought to rebuild its leadership.

The board recently appointed CPC commissioners, and the main remaining need, city leaders say, is to get a director in place.

Although Grennell suggested the aldermen allow the CPC to hire the director, the aldermen voted 4-1 at their Tuesday meeting to make the hire themselves.

Members of the CPC attended the interviews Saturday.

Grennell said once the chosen candidate is contacted and if she accepts the position, the city will publicly announce the hire.