Were you born here or did you move here?
I was born in Danville.
What do you love most about Lexington?
I love the people – there is a certain genuineness, sincerity. There is a saying we developed for Lexington, “Southern starts here.” We say that we are the front porch of the south. I also love the scenery. I think the entire state could be a national park.
How did you get involved in tourism?
I’ve been here at the tourism office for 12 years, started in marketing and then have been President for the past 5 years. I attended Center College in Danville and majored in french and history. As a student worker I was placed in a job in the communications office which led to an internship with a public relations company. After my internship ended, they had a position open up and so I went to work for them for 8 years. While there, I worked with hospitality clients.
What is your favorite thing about your career?
There is a phrase, “embarassment of riches.” That is what I have doing this job in this place. I love that I get to share something so near and dear to my heart with others. It’s meaningful work and drives the quality of life for the people of Lexington. It contributes to the public.
When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?
I eat out as a recreational hobby. I’m not a foodie per se but I am so intrigued by the food here in Lexington. We have an abundance of immigrant owned restaurants. I have 2 kids, an 11 year old and an almost 13 year old and we are taking a trip around the world via the restaurants here.
What’s the weirdest thing that has happened to you working in this job?
There is this yard sale along 127 which goes through Frankfort and Danville and runs a little west of here. A call came in one day from this british woman who had heard about the yard sale and wanted to earn some extra money so she would shop the yard sale. She wanted to know where she could belly dance to make this extra money.
What is your dream vacation?
Patagonia region of Argentina. I do have a long bucket list however of places I’d like to visit.
What is the craziest adventure you’ve ever been on?
I was on vacation in Bermuda and signed up to do a tour. We were there in the off season and so our bike tour was just us and the tour guide. After we were done, the tour guide invited us to the black only yacht club. We had to be inducted in and had to pay our membership of $20. We were the only tourists there – it was amazing – I think we got back to our hotel at 1am.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve?
I was in Nashville for the “end of the world” party when we went from 1999 to 2000.
What is the biggest misconception about Lexington or what do you wish people knew about Lexington?
I want people to know it’s a city that “punches about it’s weight class”with a deep bench of cultures and influences. We have a great makers space of craftsmen in this city. We are also a very smart city. We are not Disneyland and we don’t gloss over what we do.