Updated Mon, May 13, 2013 5:17 pm
Vinton County’s new marketing director was introduced at Monday’s meeting of the Vinton County Commissioners. Sam Davidson, 23, replaces Brandi Betts who resigned the position in February.
Davidson was introduced by Vinton County Chamber of Commerce President Vicki Maxwell.
“I think Sam is going to bring a youthful outlook to the position and he’s going to be a good fit for the county,” Maxwell said.
Davidson has lived in Vinton County since age 10, and is a graduate Vinton County High School. After graduating in 2012 from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in business, Davidson briefly worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). He also spent six months at the Ohio State
University Extension Office through AmeriCorps.
Davidson said the position of marketing director presented him with an ideal situation.
“I really enjoyed growing up in Vinton County and I’m glad to be given the opportunity to come back here and advance the community’s exposure,” Davidson said.
The marketing director is an employee of the county commissioners’ Development Department, part of a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce (COC), the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (CVB) and development department. In addition to coordinating activities for the visitor’s bureau, the responsibilities of the director include all fundraising efforts such as grant writing and acting as county’s Fair Housing Coordinator.
County Development Director Teri Fetherolf said she is impressed Davidson’s enthusiasm and personable approach to the job.
“We’re thrilled to have Sam on board. He’s excited about the job and that means a lot to me. Sam’s is an example of a young person who had to leave the county to find now has the opportunity to come back and contribute. The job requires a lot of personal interaction and I think he’s going to do really well,”
With tourism a significant part of the local economy, Davidson said he wants to promote the county’s state parks and wants to take a regional approach to outreach.
“I have a true passion for the area and I think Lake Hope is one of the most gorgeous parks in the state. I will definitely be giving a call to organizations at Ohio University and encourage them have socials and banquets at the lodge,” Davidson said. “I think Moonville is one of the county’s best kept secrets.”
Davidson plans on getting more exposure in major markets around Columbus and Lancaster.
“When I worked up in Tar Hollow most of the people who camped there were from suburban areas like southern Franklin County and Fairfield County. When I took this job my focus was on the natural resources we have,” Davidson said.
Asked about his approach to developing relationships with businesses in the area, Davidson said he wants to use a personal touch beyond newsletters and email.
“I’m a face-to-face individual. I want local business owners and state park employees to know me. I’ve always wanted to see the area be successful put on the map and it’s hard to compete with areas that have larger attractions. I want to conduct things on a personal level and I want people to know me,” Davidson said.