Tourism director requests new staff position

By Ryan Cornell

WOODSTOCK — The Shenandoah County Tourism Council is requesting funds for an additional staff position in its proposed 2015 fiscal year budget.

Jenna French, director of tourism and marketing for the county, told the council at its meeting Tuesday that the part-time staff member would work about 20 hours each week as a marketing and public relations assistant.

She said the 2015 budget proposal projects an increase of about $1,000 from the current year’s budget, which totaled $184,790.

The county’s tourism office once had a part-time administrative assistant before losing the position, French said. Currently, she’s assisted through an unpaid internship by Samantha Bernheim.

“Having Samantha here is a testament to how much we can truly do with two people in the office and being able to divide up those tasks and spread our resources,” French said.

She said the proposed budget is mostly “just a reallocation of funds” and one of her goals for next year is to update the office’s video and photography library.

“We’re seeing a lot more digital media and want to have enough of the resources to advertise in those fashions,” she said.

Councilman Coe Sherrard supported the idea of hiring an additional staff member, noting the busy schedules of French and other council members.

“I know what percentage our budget is of the county budget and the tourism part is underfunded,” he said.

A public hearing on the 2015 fiscal year budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 10 in Woodstock. French said the county board of supervisors would vote on the budget in May.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com