Four candidates for the city’s director of tourism marketing came to Seaside Wednesday, for a day of interviews and a chance to meet local residents and business owners. The position reports to the general manager of the Convention Center and Visitors Bureau and is charged with leading and directing the city’s tourism promotion and management efforts.
The job became available after director of tourism and marketing Jon Rahl was named assistant city manager in April.
Candidate Beth Javens came from Cocoa Beach Florida, where she is executive director of Downtown Cocoa Beach Main Street. Originally from the West Coast, Javens said she has been in destination marketing for more than 20 years. “It’s been a few years since I’ve been in Seaside, but the downtown, the beach side and the Promenade — everything is fantastic,” Javens said Wednesday. “It’s pedestrian friendly, and there are a lot of things for people to be proud of.”
After college, candidate Josh Heineman worked in San Francisco in computers and communication while attending law school. He returned to Portland four years ago, where he now works in management and marketing. He describes himself as “strongest when creating content and shaping communication.”
Lincoln City resident Scott Humpert has lived on the Oregon Coast for six years. A lifelong Oregonian and University of Oregon graduate, Humpert serves as marketing manager for the Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau, a position he has held for six years. “The tourism industry is changing, from purely marketing to destination management and looking at it more holistically,” Humpert said at the meet-and-greet. “How we work with hoteliers, restaurants and all the different entities is a challenge, but it’s important to have those conversations and bring everybody to the table.”
Dan Gering lives in Tualatin and works for the Clackamas County Tourism, Visitors and Convention Bureau as an information system software specialist and webmaster. Gering heard about the Seaside job on a marketing industry website, he said. A Civil War re-enactor for many years, Gering has familiarity and “many friends” on the North Coast.
Seaside Civic and Convention Center General Manager Russ Vandenberg conducted candidate interviews, accompanied by Rahl, Seaside Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian Owen and members of the city’s tourism advisory committee.
A decision is expected by Friday. “We’re very impressed with the candidates,” Vandenberg said. “We’re hopeful to get them into the position by June 15, and by the latest, July 1.”