Interactive Marketing Manager, Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau
What was your first job?
My first job was working as a cashier at Winn Dixie when I was sixteen years old. My parents told me if I was going to drive then I had to help pay for my insurance.
Most of my education has been on the job experience. I have been fortunate enough to attend and graduate from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College and obtain my Certified Destinations Management Executive accreditation through Destinations International.
Where do you live?
I live in downtown Tunica.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to my high school sweetheart Eric. We have been together almost thirty years now. We have two spoiled dogs, Marlin and Murphy.
Describe what you do in your current position.
I help promote Tunica as a destination by using digital marketing to reach potential visitors. I manage our social media channels, work with our digital agency to create ad campaigns, monitor our google analytics, and update our website tunicatravel.com.
How did you become interested in your current career?
When social media first started being used by businesses for marketing my boss Webster Franklin gave me the opportunity to start our social media pages and from there I just wanted to learn as much as I could about digital marketing.
What do you like least about your job?
Internet trolls are the worst. Sometimes you want to tell people that if they have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. We work hard to promote our destination and sometimes it seems like some people think because it is on social media that they can say whatever they want without worrying about people’s feelings.
Best business decision you have ever made?
I attended a large social media conference and came back to work and said I wanted to bring it to Tunica. It was a national conference and I never thought we would actually win. With the support of my boss and the community the conference was held in Tunica the very next year.
Worst business decision you have ever made?
We were doing a PR Campaign to promote Tunica. If you brought in a certain competitor’s players card we would donate to the local humane society. The campaign also included a piece of artwork shaped like a dog with the players cards attached. I thought the dog cutout should be given to the humane society along with our donation. That backfired and the competitor made a large donation for the dog artwork, which now hangs predominately in their casino. The positive is that the humane society was a winner.
Name two or three people who have made a difference in your life.
My father taught me to never give up. No matter what life dealt him, he worked hard and always wanted the best for his family. The other person that has made a difference is my boss Webster Franklin. I have worked for him for sixteen years. When I first started working for him I was shy and had very little self confidence. Webster had faith in me and showed me I was capable of so much more than I could have ever thought. He has given me the skills to become one of the top people in my industry and has always supported my efforts.
Being a dog lover I have to say The Art of Racing in the Rain. Most people pass it up thinking it’s only a movie about racing. Make sure you have the tissues handy if you watch it.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. The book reminds me that every life touches others, we are all connected and that we are all here for a reason.
Best business advice you have been given?
To have confidence in myself and trust my decisions.