The Board of Directors of the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced that Becky Davis will become executive director. Davis took over as interim executive director when Heidi Jeffers left the positon in November.
Davis has spent the past four years as marketing manager with the CVB in Statesboro. Besides managing 10 social media accounts for various tourism outlets, Davis also worked with hotels, restaurants, and attractions to promote to visitors and tourists.
Her photography featuring Statesboro has been used in national, state and local publications. She has more than 20 years of experience in merchandising, retail development, and community service. A native of Candler County, Davis has lived in Statesboro for the past 25 years. She and her husband, Jeff, have one daughter, Sydney, who is a student at Georgia Southern University.
The Board also announced that Justin Samples has joined the CVB staff as the new marketing manager. Originally from Duluth, Samples has lived in Statesboro since 1997, when he moved here to attend Georgia Southern University. With a degree in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation, he worked in the transportation industry in Savannah and Statesboro for several years before joining Pladd Dot Music in 2005 as a music instructor.
He made a career move to the Statesboro Police Department as a patrol officer in 2010. In 2012, he was appointed to the position of public relations officer, and was promoted to the rank of corporal. He joined the CVB in February as marketing manager.
Davis and Samples both possess unique perspectives on Statesboro and the dynamics of tourism within the city, Bulloch County, and the southeast region of the state, according to Darin Van Tassell, president of the CVB Board of Directors.
"Becky and Justin understand the importance of tourism in Statesboro and in Georgia," Van Tassell said. "They recognize tourism's impact on economic development, and they are a dynamic team who can build on the over $133 million local tourism industry."
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDED) reports direct travel spending for 2014 in Bulloch County at $133.4 million (2014 numbers are the most recent travel stats available.)
Lori Hennesy, tourism project manager for the Magnolia Midlands Travel Region, of which Statesboro is a part, complimented Davis' and Samples' work on behalf of tourism.
"Becky and Justin already operate like a well-oiled machine, and that's invaluable when it comes to the success of a CVB," Hennesy said. "I know they will continue the great work that has become the hallmark of the Statesboro CVB."
"We are excited to have staff members who are dedicated to being cheerleaders for Statesboro," said Barry Turner, CVB's vice president. "Their enthusiasm for bringing visitors to our area translates into travel spending, improved economic development, and ultimately tax savings for local citizens since approximately $4 million per year in taxes is generated locally through travel spending by people who live outside Bulloch County."