• 72°

Davis resigns — Tourism director spent 15 years developing city’s marketing strategies

Washington is looking for a new tourism-development director.

After 15 years in that position, Lynn Davis has resigned. Davis plans to remain in the tourism-development industry.

“I love working in the tourism industry and seeing the benefits it brings to communities like it has to Washington and Beaufort County. For a number of years, I have considered sharing my passion for tourism with other communities wishing to grow their tourism assets,” Davis wrote in an email. “I will now be able to pursue that passion of helping other communities reach the level of success we have achieved in Washington. Inner Banks Tourism Consulting will allow me to focus on a growing industry that will continue to do great things for the economy of our state and region.”

Davis believes her work with the Washington Tourism Development Authority in the past 15 years continues to produce results.

“The Washington Tourism Development Authority is in a great place. Recent successes like Cycle North Carolina leave a lasting impact on the community and leave positive impressions with visitors who continue to tell others about this fantastic community. Tourism revenues are at an all time high, and there is more on the horizon that will continue to put Washington on the map,” Davis wrote in the email.

David Gossett, a former WTDA member and who worked with Davis on numerous East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festivals and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships, said Davis was instrumental in developing tourism in Washington and Beaufort County.

“We go way back. I was on the interview committee, along with other members of the TDA, when Lynn was hired. She stood out at that time, during the interview process,” Gossett said. “Before Lynn, tourism in Washington was in its infancy. She brought professionalism. She worked very hard, not worrying about a 40-hour week. She put into it whatever she had to. She’s done so much for the city.”

Gossett said the recent Cycle North Carolina Spring Ride in April is an excellent example of that hard work. “Just think how many years that’s been happening — four of five times over those many years and how much it’s grown. She’s been right there for every one of them. She’s just done an outstanding job. … I think she’s going to be missed.”

Gossett said it’s going to be hard to replace Davis.

Under Davis’ leadership, several WTDA advertising and marketing programs and projects earned tourism-industry awards. Davis and the WTDA were instrumental in having Washington names as of one America’s Coolest Small Towns. They urged residents and businesses to support their effort. With Davis at its helm, WTDA earned a Destination Marketing Achievement Award for its monthly electronic newsletter. WTDA also earned Destination Marketing Achievement Awards for its Historic Washington Walking Tour book, the www.visitwashingtonnc.com website and the Paint Your Weekend Purple & Gold ECU football ad campaign.

Later this week, an article will explain the process for hiring a new tourism director and any changes in the duties and responsibilities of the next director.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike