Meekins moves from tourism office to economic development agency

January 26, 1995|By From Staff Reports

Joan Meekins moves from the Office of Tourism to the county Department of Economic Development today.

Ms. Meekins, tourism director since 1990, now is marketing administrator for the development office.

"Joan is a natural crossover in a county where our No. 1 priority is retention of businesses," said Jack Lyburn, county economic development director. "She has been here for several years, knows everybody and has dealt with many county businesses."

Tourism and economic development are related industries, Mr. Lyburn said.

"By 2000, tourism will be the country's greatest industry," he said. "In the county, it generates $32 million a year and $670,000 in taxes."

Ms. Meekins, 50, sees the promotion as a "natural step and another growth for me."

"I am both thrilled and delighted," she said. "The job is a great match for me."

In her new job, which is a lateral move at the same $33,014 annual salary, Ms. Meekins will use marketing skills to attract businesses and retain industry. She also will help with expansions.

"Since tourism came under the Economic Development Office, I have gotten to know many business leaders," she said. "Now, I will still be working with them, but also I will have a different involvement with the larger companies like Westinghouse, Marada and Random House."

Ms. Meekins said that she will do double duty for a few months as she completes projects for the tourism office. For instance, she is a member of a state panel that is preparing for the White House Conference on Tourism in October.

A Carroll County resident since 1976, Ms. Meekins is a member of the board of the county Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with Carroll Hospice.

Mr. Lyburn said he has not decided on hiring a new tourism director.

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