Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Tourism Commission has named Vanessa L. Ulm as their newest Tourism Director.
Mrs. Ulm, who resides in Chalybeate with her husband, Alex, and two daughters, Evelyn and Samantha, is experienced in a number of ways that can benefit Edmonson County, according to Tourism Commission Chairperson Shaksa Hines.
"Vanessa brings experience in management, marketing, and as an event coordinator," said Hines. "Vanessa will be working closely with the city and county governments as well as local non-profit organizations to promote tourism within the county to boost economic growth and development, attract investment, create jobs, develop infrastructure, and increase tax revenue to help improve the standard of living of our residents."
Mrs. Ulm, who is a WKU graduate and public relations major, worked 16 years at Fruit of the Loom in various roles of a manufacturing corporate environment. She said she wanted a better work-life balance with the community that she's grown to love.
"I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work part-time with the Edmonson County’s Sheriff’s Office since November 2020, so I’ve had the privilege to interact with our local residents and it peaked my interest for staying within the county while job searching," she said. "I am thrilled to be working inside Edmonson County for a wonderful community service aimed at celebrating our county, and I'm eager to build relationships with colleagues and see what all of us together can accomplish for our county, businesses and residents.
As the new Director, she said she's going to try to utilize both older and younger generations for the county's benefit.
"Edmonson county’s seasoned residents have the knowledge and experience of our county’s heritage that we want to preserve and celebrate, but I feel it is our youth that have the opportunity to flourish in our county and continue to grow it into a sought-after destination. I’d like to explore that idea to see where it can lead," she added. "Also, with much of the county’s tourism funneling into Mammoth Cave, we’d like to highlight other destinations and attractions that will peak the interest of potential visitors."
Many questions surrounding former Tourism Director Rhonda Clemmons are still unanswered. Clemmons was fired on May 26, 2020, one year ago to the day. She was indicted in March of 2021 and is accused of stealing more that $30K from Tourism. She is still wanted on indictment warrants. The Tourism Commission board has repeatedly stated that they are letting authorities handle the investigation and are ready to move forward.
Mrs. Ulm said she's already enjoyed positive experiences with the current board members, which have been nothing but helpful so far.
"All are pivotal members of our community and exude such pride for Edmonson County. They have all pledged to help me jump into this new position and I know we will all be champions for our county and the potential we can unlock for maintaining and bringing additional tourism to our communities."
"I am thankful for this opportunity and hope to make Edmonson County proud with my efforts and dedication," she added.
Mrs. Ulm will officially begin her duties on Monday, June 7th.