The woman selected to replace retiring Monroe County Tourist Development Council Marketing Director Harold Wheeler has decided not to sign on.
Jessica Bennett, who was selected for the position by council board members Aug. 22 to take over for the retiring Wheeler, will not to take the position due to “unforeseen personal reasons,” said NewmanPR Senior Vice President Andy Newman. NewmanPR is the marketing firm for the TDC.
The TDC plans to negotiate with Stacey Mitchell, the council’s director of sales for the last 18 years. She was among three finalists for the position.
“I have been asked to consider the position and I have accepted it based on terms to be brought forward,” Mitchell told the Keynoter Monday. “We haven’t negotiated anything yet.”
Wheeler will step down Sept. 26 after guiding TDC operations as marketing director for more than 21 years.
TDC Board member Sylvia Murphy said she was “rather surprised” at Bennett’s withdrawal.
“She gave a very impassioned speech” at the interview session, Murphy said. “But something came up and she cannot take the job.”
Bennett was the TDC’s research director from 2004 to 2016. She left the TDC to become the “consumer insight” manager at Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts in Central Florida.
Mitchell said Wheeler has been a great mentor.
“I am well-versed in the processes that are associated with the TDC and I look forward to a smooth transition,” she said.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219