By LISA WHALEY
The town has a new tourism and marketing director.
In a unanimous decision Monday night, the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to approve the appointment of recent University of Tennessee graduate Cameo Waters to a position left vacant since July after longtime Tourism and Marketing Director Alicia Phelps moved to take over the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association.
“Cameo is one of these people that just has a natural ability to draw people to her,” said Town Administrator Bob Browning. “She has such a positive energy.”
Browning also pointed out while young, Waters had already exhibited skill and initiative in her work with Visit Knoxville, as well as various publications.
“When you are in a small town, you’re looking for a someone who can do a number of activities,” he said. Waters fit the bill, being well-versed in photography and social media as well as tourism and marketing.
According to Browning, about 37 applications were submitted for the position. The post is considered Grade 18, Step 1, with a salary of $48,854.
A committee, which included Claudia Moody, recently retired from NETTA, narrowed down the field.
Waters expressed her excitement and appreciation at being selected for the position.
“I feel like I’m at home,” she said earlier Monday as she continued to acclimate herself to her new position.
A native of Kingsport, Waters remembers visiting Jonesborough repeatedly during her childhood. “When I was little, I even attended the Storytelling Festival,” she said. Those memories, and the current charm of a small town, made the job even more appealing — and makes her even more excited to share Jonesborough’s story.
“I know there are people all over the world who would love to come here,” she said.
In the beginning, Waters said, she will be working hard to familiarize herself will all things Jonesborough and is looking forward to her first National Storytelling Festival as a Jonesborough staff member.
Mayor Kelly Wolfe said that he and the staff were so impressed with Waters that he approved her start date as Sept. 6, prior to the board’s approval, and also asked that the board make her appointment and pay retroactive to that date.