PA ProStart Blog
Executive Director, Visit Lawrence County
Briefly describe your job and responsibilities.
The Executive Director is the key management leader of Visit Lawrence County and is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include marketing and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.
What does a "typical" day at work look like for you?
That typically depends on the season. Toward the last quarter of the year, I am looking forward to the next year and producing our visitors guide for print and distribution. Mix in a budget plan, and a few advertising venues plus an annual meeting. The first quarter of the year is meant for distribution of that guide and planning for marketing throughout the year. The rest of the year is implementing those actions. The one constant in my day is finding all the good that exists in Lawrence County, PA and sharing it with as many people as I possibly can reach.
What was your first job?
I joined Visit Lawrence County in 1998 as an administrative assistant and I found that if you stay someone long enough and enjoy your work, you will climb the ranks. In 2016 I became the executive director.
When did you know this industry was right for you?
I knew from the get-go at my interview that this was where I belonged. It felt so good and so right that I took the job before it was offered to me. My intuition surely paid off 24+ years later.
Briefly describe your career path and how you got to where you are today.
My career came by chance— I had a friend whose sister was looking for a specific employee to work side by side with her and grow the business. I asked what the qualities were and exclaimed "that's me!" I went to the interview and took the job at a very low pay scale. Money is not always the only factor in considering a position. I saw great potential and growth and I have never regretted a day in joining this agency.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is sharing the good news. Our mission is to share the beauty and livability of our community/county. We highlight all the great things to see and do!
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Most challenging would be staying in touch with our community leaders and the upkeep of each community. It is just as important to have the community feet on streets as it is to have the visitors’ heads in beds.
What advice would you give to students interested in your profession?
Every day is a challenge and allows growth for each person. You can dream and put in goals to get there. It is amazing what you can do if you plan and put into action steps to get there. It isn't always an easy task, but it is worthwhile for sure. Someone said if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I believe this.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I am actually very proud of what I do so there may be several but to choose a couple I would say working with the Pittsburgh Film Office in finding a location for the Season Opener of West Wing was a highlight. Secondly, I was instrumental in getting the designation of a national recreation trail for "Stavich Bicycle Trail".
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love LIFE! Whether using the downtime as downtime or singing/dancing or doing theater.
What is your favorite food to make or eat?
My go to was always Prime Rib and while I enjoy cooking that a couple times a year, roasted vegetables or anything from scratch; chicken and dumplin's, biscuits, corn bread, sweet tea! Did I mention I grew up in the south? Yes, I am a Georgia girl by birth.
What's at the top of your bucket list?
Going to Europe with my daughter. I will fulfill a major part of this going to England this summer of 2022 for a couple of weeks. I may still try and make a trip to Italy and Switzerland in a few years.
PA ProStart Blog
The PA ProStart Blog is for Pennsylvania students and teachers of the ProStart Program- a nationwide, two-level high school career and technical education program that teaches culinary arts and restaurant fundamentals.