Heather Daniel named Finalist for President of Explore Newnan-Coweta

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From Coweta County Press Release

The board of directors of Explore Newnan-Coweta, Inc. (ENC), the community’s new tourism entity, has named Heather Daniel as the finalist for the president and chief executive officer’s position.  Mayor Keith Brady, who serves as chair of the board, made the announcement this week.

“The board has been diligent in identifying qualified candidates for this position and new tourism organization,” according to Brady.  “Our process has been very focused on finding a person who understands Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO); has the ability to build a team of professionals to market our community; and has knowledge of what it takes to increase our capacity to grow tourism jobs and revenues in the community.  Heather has all of these skill sets and more.”

Daniel currently leads business development for Rhyme & Reason Design, a private sector branding and design firm that has built a solid reputation of working with DMOs across the country to strategize and implement tourism marketing initiatives.  She has held the position with the Atlanta-based company for the past six years.

“The opportunity to put my experiences and training toward building a Destination Marketing Organization for Newnan and Coweta County is truly exciting,” Daniel said.  “Tourism is a huge piece of the economy for this community.  From fans who visit the set of The Walking Dead in Senoia to the visitors who enjoy Newnan Centre, each of these opportunities and those in between create jobs and add to the economic vitality of the area.  I look forward to being a part of this new organization.”

Daniel is a graduate of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree. She is also recognized as a Tourism Marketing Professional (TMP), receiving her certification from the Southeast Tourism Society.

She currently is the president of the Atlanta Metro Travel Association board of directors and has also served on the Historic Heartland Travel Association board in middle Georgia.

The City of Newnan and Coweta County initiated an effort to create ENC in 2018.  Legislation approved by the Georgia General Assembly allowed voters to approve an increase in hotel/motel tax from five percent to eight percent and fund the organization. The existing tourism services provided by the Coweta County Convention & Visitors Bureau will be transferred to ENC over the next several months.

As president of ENC, Daniel will be held accountable for maintaining relationships and regular communications with local hotel operators, restauranteurs, venue managers, product developers, and tourists; developing and managing an annual departmental budget; value-added relationships with community leaders; initiating the development and implementation of a measurable strategic plan for tourism in the community; and maintain a competitive presence in Georgia’s Camera-Ready program.

Other measurable results will include producing monthly reports for the ENC Board, local elected officials, hotel operators, and other stakeholders; serve as a liaison between the City of Newnan, Coweta County Board of Commissioners and the ENC Board regarding tourism matters; and utilize lodging tax collection reports as well as STR data to monitor lodging activity needs and success.

In addition to Brady, other members of the ENC board include Michelle Alexander, Your Chef to Go, Inc.; Candace Boothby, Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce; Chris Doane, Crezent Interactive Marketing; Michael Fouts, County Administrator, Coweta County; Cleatus Phillips, City Manager, Newnan; Scott Tigchelaar, Senoia Enterprises, Inc.; Brittany Thompson, Chick-fil-A, Inc.; and Tony Ventry, Paramount Hospitality Management.

Daniel will be voted upon by the ENC board after the required 14-day waiting period as specified in Georgia law for public agencies.  Once approved by the board, her first day in the position is scheduled for July 6.

ENC retained the services of The Chason Group, a Georgia based business that specializes in executive searches for destination marketing organizations, economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, foundations, and other non-profits, to lead the process for the board.

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