Chamber of Commerce names new Tourism Coordinator
Published 8:55 am Wednesday, June 1, 2016
A new face will be taking over the job of promoting tourism in Carter County, but it is a face that many in the community will be familiar with.
On Tuesday, Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce Director Tonya Stevens announced that Kayla Carter has been selected as the new Tourism Coordinator for the Chamber.
A native of Kingsport, Carter received an associates degree in speech communication from Northeast State Community College and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from East Tennessee State University.
Prior to accepting the Tourism Coordinator position with the Chamber, Carter worked as a reporter with the Elizabethton Star, Erwin Record and Johnson City Press. She also served briefly as the Elizabethton City School’ public relations coordinator and also served on the Plough to Pantry editorial council for the Summer 2016 issue.
“Northeast Tennessee is where I grew up and live,” Carter said. “I’m thrilled to share with others what I love specifically about Carter County.”
Carter completed the Appalachian Trail in its entirety in 2014, and has since become a volunteer trail maintainer. She plans to complete an AmeriCorps term with the Appalachia CARES program serving at Rural
Resources in Greeneville this year. Carter considers herself a local food and business advocate.
Now, Carter looks forward to being a voice on a local, state, national and international level as well as a resource for visitation to Carter County. One of her main goals in her new position is to play a role in raising more awareness of current opportunities to visit the county while researching future opportunities for growth in the industry.
Building relationships with people who are already promoting tourism to Carter County is what Carter looks forward to the most.
“I’m most excited to brainstorm ways in which people in all tourism sectors — accommodations, recreation, events, transportation, attractions, food and beverage — can work together to benefit to greater whole,” she said.
The position of Tourism Coordinator had been vacant for some time, but hiring someone to fill the job was put on hold due to funding issues. During the 2015-16 budget process, the Carter County Commission voted to withhold funding from the Chamber of Commerce, citing the need for a contract between the county and the agency to handle tourism promotion. Earlier this year, the county and Chamber came to an agreement and a contract was signed, which allowed for the funding to be released to the Chamber and the hiring of a new Tourism Coordinator.
“We are excited to bring Kayla to our team,” Stevens said. “Her past experience has allowed her to be very familiar with Carter County and she has established relations in our community.”
“We feel Kayla will be a great asset in the Tourism Coordinator role,” Stevens added.
Carter will promote and represent Carter County in all aspects of tourism, Stevens said. Carter will officially take on her duties as the new Tourism Coordinator on June 8.