A former graduate of Hardaway High School in Columbus was named Thursday as the tourism director of the Russell County-Phenix City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Jacy Jenkins was introduced to business leaders and city officials during a 2 p.m. news conference at the riverfront building of Troy University. She will be responsible for expanding tourism in Phenix City and Russell County with a strategic marketing plan, new partnerships and leveraging state and regional efforts.
Wade Burford, chair of the board for the Phenix City-Russell County Chamber of Commerce and president and CEO of Columbus Bank and Trust of East Alabama, described Jenkins as an experienced organizer, communicator, connector and visionary. Her annual salary will be $54,000.
“Her knowledge of the area and all it has to offer will mesh well with her proven ability to effectively utilize a wide range of marketing strategies,” he said. “Jacy’s proven track record of organizing collaborative and creative efforts will serve her and the entire Russell County-Phenix City area well in this role.”
With her work in Los Angeles and travels throughout Europe, Jenkins considers herself a tourist.
“I think being a tourist and looking myself for an experience, I know how the tourist thinks,” she said of her new position. “I think that is one more reason I gravitated to it.”
A graduate of the University of Georgia, Jenkins said she has a lot of ideas about the job, but she noted the numbers will indicate who is staying in hotels and making money.
“I want to see the numbers increase in hotels,” she said.
Jenkins, 34, said she will pay close attention to digital and marketing.
“Everything is going digital,” she said. “We want to be on the cutting edge of digital, all the social media platforms.”
With marketing, Jenkins said people want to know about the city and what it has to offer.
“Those are going to be two huge concentrations,” she said.
Jenkins has been involved in a number of community-based efforts. She founded Electric City Life, a cultural online magazine, and was the mastermind behind the Monthly Meeting of Minds, a platform to connect community members with industry experts to discuss ways to make a difference in the community.
She is also the co-founder of the Way Down Film Festival, a two-day event for filmmakers to showcase their work.
Her first day on the job is Sept. 20.