Beasley named permanent CVB manager

Rashelle Beasley is the interim director of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rashelle Beasley is the interim director of the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau.

— Rashelle Beasley, the person who had been tapped to take over operations at the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau following the dismissal of Lisa Riddle last October, accepted a permanent position as CVB manager Wednesday, Albany-Area Chamber of Commerce Officials said.

Interim Chamber President and CEO Robert McKinney told the Herald Wednesday that Beasley was the "logical choice," for the position.

"With her knowledge and experience, it was an easy decision to slide her into the role permanently," McKinney said. "She's obviously focused on Albany and Dougherty County but she's also engaged with people in Southwest Georgia and on the state level as a whole. She understands that we want people to stay here, but while they're here, there is a lot this part of the state has to offer in terms of tourism."

Deborah Bowie, the chamber's senior director of Public Policy and Communications, interviewed Beasley and along with McKinney, determined that she was the right fit for the position based in-part, Bowie says, on Beasley's warm personality and her ability to pitch Albany and Dougherty County to a broad audience.

"What impressed me is her warm way with people," Bowie said. "You can be smart and have a grip on what's going on in your industry, but, with her sales background and the fact that she's from this area, Rashelle can promote this area like few others."

Bowie said that Beasley's ability to shift her message depending on the audience also distinguished her. Meeting with state legislators and tourism stakeholders in Atlanta recently, Bowie said that Beasley was just as comfortable talking legislation with elected officials as she was talking about the hospitality industry with others in the trade.

Beasley said Wednesday that she was glad to have the chance to serve in a permanent capacity.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the city, county and chamber and with state officials to push tourism in Southwest Georgia," Beasley said.

With better than 2,000 people dependent on their careers in the hospitality industry in Dougherty County alone, Beasley said she feels that it's her responsibility to do everything she can to help keep those people employed through promoting and hosting events.

"People kind of hear us say that heads in beds are important, or that the economic impact of this particular event was a certain dollar figure," Beasley said. "What they often don't think about is that for every bed that is filled in Albany, there is a certain number of jobs attached.

"And don't forget that when people are here in town, staying at our hotels and motels, they're spending money on food, gas, and other items which comes back to the local governments in the form of sales taxes and helps keep those businesses in open for the rest of us," Beasley said.