Marilynn Hill, Moffat County Tourism Association executive director, announced Sunday she would soon be leaving the organization.
In a letter addressed to MCTA Board Chairwoman Kandee Dilldine and copied to the Moffat County Commission, Hill wrote that her last day would be May 19.
“This gives the board a full six weeks to search for a new executive director and for me to transfer the knowledge I have gained onto the new director,” Hill wrote in the letter. “It also allows time for the MCTA to complete the marketing research and to move to the next steps in the process in a seamless manner.”
Hill was hired as MCTA executive director in March 2010 as one of two finalists — the other was Craig resident Melody Villard.
Dilldine said she expects the tourism board will soon start to advertise for Hill’s position, but noted she is “really not sure — I have to talk to the board on Wednesday and find out what their thoughts are.”
“I’m sad that she is leaving,” Dilldine said. “I like Marilynn, I think she has done some good things for MCTA — number one, bringing (marketing company) Hill Aevium on board — and I think it is unfortunate that she is resigning.”
Dilldine expects the board to look for a replacement executive director with strong marketing skills.
“Yeah, we’ll move forward without her, but of course it is going to be more work on the board’s part if we don’t find a director right away,” she said. “But, hopefully we can find somebody within a month and a half and not have too much of a lapse in time when we don’t have a director.”
In her letter, Hill wrote she is in a “precarious position.”
“(It is) one which forces me to choose a full-time opportunity for employment and supporting my family over an opportunity in the community and MCTA where a longer tenure would have been preferable if it were able to pay a working salary,” she said. “But alas, the position as it exists with MCTA is only able to provide part-time hours.”
Hill said she would start a full-time position with The Copy Shop after May 19.
She said recent proposals from the Craig Chamber of Commerce and Villard made in February to control oversight of Moffat County’s 1.9-percent lodging tax rather than MCTA weren’t major factors in her decision to leave.
“I think that we have a strong board in place now and it is a very independent board, and I believe it has strong enough individuals on it that can overcome any what I call ‘institutional thinking’ that has plagued MCTA in the past,” she said.
Hill said she would continue to work on her Planet Yampa project — an idea for a large-scale greenhouse and hydroponic food business in Moffat County.
“I will be putting a lot of effort into making that happen, so I am working diligently to have everything ready to go come June 1 when we expect to have the funding in place,” she said.
Hill wrote in her letter the last year was “full of both turmoil and growth,” yet rewarding.
“I am pleased that during my tenure, the MCTA expanded its reach, overcame extensive challenges, found its voice by moving forward with a great vision, has a full board seated, and of course I am most pleased with the efforts by the board in supporting a professionally managed marketing research strategy, the results of which will set into motion a solid foundation for future successful marketing programs,” she said.
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